Email is still a vital medium for internet marketing. There are still millions of internet businesses, with money to spend on advertisements – that rely on email as their primary lifeline. And, for those who take the trouble to make it personalized and relevant, Email Marketing still delivers substantial returns on investment. Email marketing software is available in a variety of configurations, allowing you to view “real time” reports that show the effectiveness of a particular email marketing campaign. According to The Email Experience Council, LLC, the return on investment for every dollar spent on email marketing was around forty-five dollars, compared to a return of less than half that figure from non-email Internet marketing, and still lower figures from direct response newspaper advertising, non-catalog direct mail, telemarketing and catalog marketing, it is easy to see why email marketing is becoming more popular.
Email marketing had been receiving flak in recent years as being outdated and a “waste”. Let’s look into some common email marketing lapses that have contributed to this observation. Most email marketing mistakes lie in the HTML coding of the email. Spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation and missing words lead to poor emailing results. Another mistake is the use of images, which are by default suppressed by email providers and by most email clients. Setting improper pixel width in HTML coding and use of CSS may cause disastrous email marketing. Improper use of capital letters, special and repeated characters, or spacing between characters in the subject line of the email leads to the email being treated as unsolicited bulk email. Further, email marketers forget the “add to safe senders list” feature. Using multiple links (multiple calls to action) inside the email may tempt the recipient to delete it. Again, email marketers often avoid a “list-unsubscribe” header code to their email. This tempts the recipient to click the unsolicited bulk email button. Finally, one of the biggest drawbacks for companies that still rely on email marketing is their lack of customer insight. These companies continue their “batch and blast” method of emailing, following the “one shoe fits all” solution. All these mistakes in email marketing have led to “Email fatigue”. So, the fault does not really lie in email marketing, but in the way it has been used.
Clever companies however, continue to use email marketing profitably because they avoid the common pitfalls seen earlier. The key reason for still opting for email marketing is that it is seen as a “free” media and that whether you send 1 or 1million emails, it is the same price. A recent survey found that 95 per cent of Australian email marketers believe their marketing campaigns generate average to good return on investment. In the US today, email marketing generates an estimated return on investment of forty-five for every dollar spent on it, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
Alongside field product marketing done by every sales agent, some companies employ Direct mail marketing, sending pieces via post to potential prospects. This could be done through the lists obtained by their best product sales agent and his team of best sales agents, lists developed from prospects referred to them by their current customers, or maybe through purchase of lists of names and addresses.
If your targeted audience belongs to a very specific demography, employ the services of an experienced list vendor, who can offer you a customized email list by breaking down the email list into continent wise, country wise, city wise, age groups, professionals, salary ranges, etc. Your email list vendor can obtain corporate email lists also, which can be broken down into customized lists such as: Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, the countries of origin, number of branches, number of employees, etc. Your email marketing can also incorporate software to monitor all of your targeted audience engagements, primarily “opens” and “clicks”, which indicate that subscribers care about your email. Overall, major internet marketing survey firms have indicated that return on investment of email marketing outpaces that of search, direct mail and all other forms of marketing. However, the key to higher returns lies in applying time-tested strategies, techniques and employing best practices to each organization’s unique subscriber database. In a 2011 survey that studied Survey Options for product marketing, three-quarters of the population surveyed still prefer email, and direct mail is a distant second with a downtrend at less than one-fifth of the population preferring it; text messaging and social networks are negligible. And even though new technologies such as Google Wave, are being developed to try to unsaddle email marketing, Email marketing continues to be the most preferred and cost-effective method of marketing today.
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