E-mail marketing is a type of direct marketing that utilizes electronic mail to correspond to an audience. Honestly, every email that is sent to potential clients could be considered a marketing strategy. In most cases, email marketing builds a relationship between the sender and the receiver, which encourages customer’s loyalty as well as repeat business. Some emails on the other hand, prompt the receiver to click a link in the email and purchase a product at that time, during a sale or providing that price for X amount of hours. Some companies send third party ads along with their emails or even allow third parties to send emails to their customer list.

Pros of email marketing

The return on investment with email marketing comes in second as one of the most effective marketing methods online only just under search engine marketing. In most cases, email marketing is used to send information to those that are interested in your products or services. You know these individuals are interested or they would not have signed up to receive your newsletter and your special offers.

Almost everyone that gets on a computer has an email and checks their email usually every day, thus a great reason to send information regarding your products or services via email.

Cons of email marketing

The sad news is that today many email services are using filters to rid their clients in box of filling up with spam. Even though, you may have filled out a form to receive the information, the email services software may deem the email spam and send it to your spam box or not even deliver the email at all. During a 2008 study, the results showed that fifty six percent of legitimate emails being sent never arrived, were rejected, or were filtered by the email server.

For companies wanting to use email marketing, they should read all spam laws regarding emails campaigns to ensure they are not breaking the law. The two major laws that should be read include European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and the United States’ Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act.

Opt-in e-mail advertising

Opt-in email marketing is the act of sending emails to individuals that have granted you permission to send them emails. This method rose from marketers developing this method to rid any disadvantages that arise from email marketing including abiding the laws created for spam.

In the majority of cases, opt-in email marketing allows the sender to provide the receiver a wealth of information on different subjects as well as sell their products or services. The majority of opt-in emails offer individuals newsletters on topics they wish to read about as well as products or services that blend well with the topics.

However, in some cases, individuals can accept emails from third parties by clicking a box on the form for emails or notices. These emails may not be on the subject of the newsletter you signed up to receive but could be on a wide array of topics according to the boxes you choose.

Legal Information

A few laws are in effect regarding email marketing. In Europe in 2002, the European Union announced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Under Article 13 of the Directive, the use of email addresses for marketing is prohibited. This Directive created an opt-in regime where all unsolicited emails will be sent with permission from the recipient. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 in the United Kingdom covers email marketing. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 authorizes an $11,000 penalty per violation for sending unsolicited emails per individual. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was recently updated in July of 2008 with a few new requirements.

Before sending emails to customers, it would be in the best interest of any company to learn the laws and regulations of their hosting company, in their country, and the countries of customers.

How to measure your email marketing impact

The best way to measure, the impact is by taking around ten percent of your email files and putting it into two groups. You will send one group emails while ignoring the other group. After one week, add up the total sales in the groups. Now, all you have to do is compare the total sales of group A (the ones that received emails) with group B (the ones that did not receive emails). The difference between the two is the email marketing impact.

One thing you must remember after performing the test above is that you should not try to decipher all of the different campaigns combined at the same time. This would be a huge mistake unless you have been in SEO for years and understand how to combine all of your marketing methods and learn the impact of each without pulling out your hair. The best way to learn the different marketing impacts is by testing each one separately.

You may learn that email marketing increases at the same time as your paid search increases. This could mean that those receiving your emails are also looking online before visiting your website to learn if you are truly offering a good deal.

Conclusion

The best and safest way to enjoy email marketing is via a business that offers this service. The main reason this is true is you will be able to know that all emails sent from the company will be legal. These companies offer email marketing as well as other forms of marketing skills and understand all the laws and regulations when it comes to marketing. This way, you will not have to worry if your email campaign is legal. Professional can send targeted emails to customers that are looking for your product or services, thus their services will take the guesswork out of email marketing.