Before the global boom of e-commerce and internet-based companies, businesses had only few options available to attract new customers or retain their existing client base. Pre-electronic marketing strategies, such as paper flyers or other printed promotional material, would often also prove costly and relatively ineffective. Nowadays, however, online companies can take advantage of a whole range of simple, cost-effective email marketing strategies, which get the message out there by the mere click of a button. Within the wide range of electronic marketing possibilities available, three main types can be distinguished.
- Direct emails are call-to-action messages sent to a list of existing or potential customers in the form of promotional offers or an invitation to sign up to the weekly mailing list.
- Retention emails offer more in-depth information than direct emails and, rather than getting customers to act on the message you send them, they are designed to leave a long-lasting impression of your business on the reader by providing them with vital company information. These emails usually take the form of newsletters.
- External email advertising offers the option to include your promotional offers on the newsletters of other businesses and therefore take advantage of a whole new external mailing list. Many companies even produce newsletter emails for the sole purpose of selling advertising space.
The advantages of this type of marketing are obvious. It allows you to reach hundreds – even thousands – of customers at the same time without spending much money, time or effort. However, in order for these strategies to make a real impact, the content, lay-out and targeting has to be spot on. To that purpose, many online companies now offer a wide range of software solutions, which help design and target your emails for maximum effect.
A few examples:
Constant Contact offers over 400 professional email templates in various languages, which can be customized for different target audiences. Their software is equipped with anti-spam and anti-fraud detection and can be easily integrated in social media. The simple, step-by-step process makes this an ideal software package for beginners and a dedicated customer support team are on hand to give you tips and advice on how to build the perfect email campaign.
Benchmark Email is another popular email marketing provider, whose services include professional and flexible templates and interactive features, such as surveys and sign-up forms. One of the main advantages of this product is the range of detailed analytics features, which allow you to chart the real impact of your campaign and optimize where necessary.
Vertical Response also offers survey solutions and print marketing strategies, but their email marketing campaigns make up a huge part of their business and are overall highly rated. Whether you require pre-designed templates or an easy way to integrate your own html, Vertical Response’s software package can be as flexible as you want it to be. All emails are checked for spam features and thoroughly analyzed for impact and customer response. The software is extremely user-friendly and allows for optimized social media integration. Email marketing is without a doubt the best way to make potential and existing customers sit up and take notice of your business. Create different mailing list according to location, interests and demographics and optimize your emails to target each group specifically. If you succeed in understanding what your customers really want, you will always remain one step ahead of the competition.