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Email Marketing - Place Where to Start

Welcome! This page is a starting point to help you understand important information related to email marketing, it’s history, and how it works.

Reading this page you will get insight into email marketing concept, issues related to it, conditions necessary to have to make it work, tools needed to make it effective, etc. All elements that make email marketing function as an integral part of any business have to be in place in order that whole system works. Everything necessary to do to make email marketing work and effective is available to study in detail on this site (check the menu Basic Courses and other posts).

If you are familiar with matter explained on certain parts of this page, please skip to the next part.

OK, let’s begin!

P1-The History of Email Marketing

Most of us jump on our work and personal computers several times each day to check our email. It has become an effective method of communication for work, personal relationships, and marketing. You may have noticed you get more emails encouraging you to purchase items than ever before. This is because email marketing has come one of the most popular methods of reaching consumers who make purchases online.

Email come into existence in the 1990’s as the internet was starting to become more popular. Businesses quickly figured out that this was a great way to reach customers. It was also less expensive than mailing out advertisements to homes. By 1995 the number of email advertisements sent out that year was more than the number sent out by regular mail. Businesses spend a great deal of money creating email marketing campaigns that won’t be confused with spam.

In fact, email marketing hit a huge road block when spam filters became so popular. Many email marketing campaigns had to be revamped as they were being wiped out by the filters. Businesses were losing money on the marketing campaigns and not getting any results. However, savvy computer programmers and businesses soon learned that effective email marketing titles and headlines as well as using their real email address helped get the emails past the various spam filters.

The internet was once used for research, entertainment and work related functions. The idea of shopping online has become very convenient in our society. After all, it allows you to compare prices in a flash. Most of us are too busy to run from store to store. Shopping online has given those in remote locations the chance to get all the gadgets out there they desire. It is only logical that consumers are paying more attention to email marketing since this is the method they are using to do a large portion of their shopping. Email marketing has become mainstream. Almost every website gives the consumer the opportunity to give their email address and consent to being solicited with email advertising.

On the other side of the coin are those who hate getting their email filled up with email marketing ploys. This is why every email sent from a business has to include a link that gives the consumer the opportunity to opt out. Businesses have to respect this choice made by the consumer and remove them from the mailing list. This was the result of legislation stepping in when the idea of email marketing started flooding every email address out there. There are rules and laws in place now to protect consumers against having their privacy invaded. The penalty for violating these laws include expensive fines and the possibility of jail time.

However, with the acceptance of email marketing by consumers comes their demands for effective advertising that meets their needs. Getting the email to the consumer is only half of the battle. The information you send them has to grab their attention and entice them to take the link to your website and make a purchase. Your email should be a teaser that it going to make the consumer curious enough to go directly to your website at that very moment. There is a lot of competition out there and businesses are having to come up with wittier and smarter email marketing campaigns to keep their consumers interested.

Email marketing will continue to evolve as those sending them have to find innovative ways to capture the attention of the consumer while getting ahead of their competition. Don’t expect email marketing to be replaced any time soon. It is anticipated that more and more dollars will be spent on email marketing campaigns every year to come. With that volume comes more responsibility on the end of the businesses that use email marketing. Not only do they have to follow the laws and regulations set, they have to respect the consumer as well as appeal to them. Businesses know that email marketing is on the rise so they have no choice but to participate in it or be blown away by the competition.

If you want to learn all about email marketing and its function in internet business setting, read till the end of this page and check out courses and articles from this site.

P2-Advantages-of-Email-Marketing

Email marketing is a wonderful way to reach large amounts of customers worldwide in a short amount of time. This is an inexpensive marketing method and it is very effective with a lot of advantages over other more traditional forms of marketing. One obvious advantage of email marketing is a short time between campaign development and implementation. Email marketing can be used by any type of business, regardless of the products or services they have to offer.

One huge advantage of email marketing is that it can be effective for both large and small businesses. When it comes to offline marketing, the larger companies can afford huge expenses of reaching customers, while smaller businesses can’t. With email marketing small businesses can create effective and professional looking email marketing campaigns on a small budget.

Email marketing is an effective way to deliver the information you want to get to consumers and you can create a deeper relationship with them. Almost everyone has email these days and it is common to log on and check for messages several times each day. It gives you the opportunity to reach consumers around the globe. There are no boundaries when it comes to location with this method of marketing.

On average, email marketing costs 78% less than other forms of marketing. This calculation is made after the cost deduction of other marketing activities like R%D, strategy planning, etc. Email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spent.

Email marketing is one of the most common as well as most successful marketing methods available today. It is a great way to reach a volume of people quickly and inexpensively, and to communicate with them in real-time.

P3-Register-Domain-Name-and-Hosting

First thing to do is to register a domain name and hosting for your website. Before you set up your blog/website you have to consider 2 options.

You can either - a) use free option and host it on service providers such as WordPress, Blogger and few others, or you can b) use self-hosted website option.

With option [a] you will be restricted with customization options regarding functionality, you will not be permitted to advertise on your blog and your domain name will have an extension (For example http://www.mydomain.hostxyprovider.com/). I don’t recommend this path.

In option [b] self-hosted website you have full freedom to do what you plan to do, you can advertise there and your website will look much more professional (For example http://www.mydomain.com/). I recommend this path.

IMPORTANT - The other important issue is a domain name extension. There are many extensions available for domain names, but I will recommend you to choose among extensions (.com .net or .org). They are more memorable and all professionals use them, especially .com extension.

Domain name is your door that brings the power of the Internet to your business. Owning a hosted domain name means owning a virtual address of the world-wide-web. It lets you to fully brand yourself online and brings you unique online identity,

 

Web Hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and companies to store their data and set-up their websites on hosting servers, and make their content accessible to visitors online via world-wide-web.

When selecting a web hosting company provider, be sure -

- That you choose trusted company with good reputation and excellent service
- That they offer you enough storage space and unlimited bandwidth (the amount of traffic and data flowing to and from your website) for a reasonable price
- That hosting service guarantees 99+% of uptime (amount of time the servers are functional)
- That hosting service provider supports your web developers scripting and programming languages (if you use outside developer), or blogging scripts like WordPress, or the CMS (Content Management System) that you will use to develop your blog/site
- That the hosting company has technical support available 24/7 (toll-free number, online chat, email submission)
- Use shared or standard hosting option. It is more than enough to cover all your requirements

You can visit my RESOURCE PAGE to review few hosting options that I use.

P4-Create-Email-Marketing-Campaign

As you know email marketing is a very effective way to reach your customers. It will also help you increase the traffic to your website and improve sales. How do you develop an effective email marketing campaign? After all, what you send to your customers is very important. If it isn’t well designed and professionally tailored the results could be damaging to your business instead of beneficial.

The first part of the email marketing campaign should include your goals. What do you expect to achieve from your email marketing campaign? Who do you want to reach? You should also decide what type of marketing you are going to do. Will it be random discounts and promotions, seasonal sales, or will you be sending a regular newsletter? Well, you need to do some research. What are the current market trends in your market niche? How are you going to make your email marketing campaign more appealing than that of the competition? You have to have these goals clearly defined and outlined. Make sure these goals are clear and realistic.

Since email marketing is a great opportunity for you to communicate with your customers and to promote your business, it is very important that you take the time to know the market before you develop your email marketing campaign.

Since the goals of every business are very different, the strategies they use in email marketing will also be very different. While this gives each business the ability to be creative and unique in developing their marketing campaign, it

also makes it difficult because there are no clear cut answers. You should get skilled in developing an email marketing campaign, which is not so hard, it’s just time consuming in the beginning. You also need to get familiar with auto responder services and software so you can put your campaigns on autopilot (described in section below).

How well do you know your customer? I hope well because this is a very important part of developing an effective email marketing campaign. You have to be able to address your key audience by providing them with relevant information. If they aren’t interested in what you have to say then it doesn’t matter how many emails you manage to send out.

Make sure everything in the email is spelled correctly and is grammatically correct. Nothing looks more unprofessional than emails with bad grammar. It’s elementary, but it is important. Bad grammar will also bring down your conversion rate. Many overlook this fact.

Make sure the subject lines of your emails are clean and don’t contain spam triggering words. This will help your email marketing campaign to get pass the spam filters and virus protectors ().

Many researchers of email marketing believe the subject line will make or break the reader’s decision to open your email. Subject lines are the first element of your campaign what your audience will see. So if they are not interested in what was written as the subject of the email, they will not open that email. There are many tools that evaluate subject lines ().

Make sure you personalize emails in your campaign. On your opt-in form include first name beside email address and use it in every email.

You should be honest about the kind of content you will be sending via email before people register for your list. Always inform your readers of what kind of email you will be sending and how often it will arrive. New subscribers will know exactly what to expect from you, and won't be shocked by the quantity of emails, or their content.

If you want your email marketing strategy to be unique and creative you need to keep the wants and needs of the customer in mind. Getting your email to customer is only half of the way. You have to work on it to make it very appealing, so you get their attention to read it.

As you start measuring the success of your email marketing campaign, make sure you are comparing the data only against your own information not that of the industry. In the next part are discussed indicators that should be monitored in order to evaluate email marketing campaigns.

Don’t be discouraged if your first email marketing campaign doesn’t do as well as you hoped, especially if you are a new in this. It takes time to build trust with your audience.

P5-Evaluate-Email-Marketing

Evaluation of email marketing campaign is an important process to determine level of success and to identify which parts of the program needs to be improved. To do this you have to look at 5 main indicators - a) email delivery rates, b) open rates, c) cluck-through rates, d) conversion rates, and e) number of unsubscribe requests. All those indicators have to be monitored closely so that the campaign can be evaluated and improved.

Most of the mailing providers and services have built in software for tracking delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, etc., but there are also many other independent tracking services and software available.

First indicator - Delivery rate presents the number of emails that are actually delivered to the recipient. This means delivered to the inbox, but also to spam or junk folder. If your delivery rate is low, then you have a lot of bad email addresses on your list, and you need to check and clean your list. This usually happens in case of renting or buying email lists, but if this happens on the list collected mainly from your own website, then you didn’t do a good job maintaining your list or you don’t have proper mechanism of checking email at the moment visitors submit them on your opt-in form.

Second indicator - Open rate is an important indicator of success of your email marketing campaign, and need to be closely monitored. Open rate presents the number of received and opened emails.

Third indicator - Click-through rate presents the number of clicks made by people with internal email links that leads to your web page, landing/sales page, or any other page what you want them to visit. Click-through rate may be presented on many different ways (percentage, number). It will depend on tracking system you use.

Fourth indicator - Conversion rate is by far the most important indicator that tells you how many of your subscribers made purchases or took action.

Fifth indicator - The number of unsubscribe requests is indicator that you should monitor closely. If you have high numbers of unsubscribe requests means that your email marketing campaign is low quality or/and you are sending emails too often. Further more, this issue is too important to overlook because it can hurt your reputation as sender and it can damage your email list. During the campaign, if the total number of unsubscribe requests plus spam complains exceeds 2.5%, it means that something is very wrong with the campaign. In that case you should determine immediately what causing it.

P6-Create-a-Newsletter-on-Regular-Basis

When using email to market your business to your audience, you have to make a plan concerning every aspect of the campaign. It can be difficult designing a plan that will generate interest and additional sales without concerning the nature of your customers or prospects. It can also be hard to determine how often to send an email to them. Have you thought about creating a business newsletter and emailing it to consumers?

This is a great opportunity to keep your business name and brand in their mind and in the same time inform them on a regular basis what is going on in your industry and your company. Newsletters are best to be short and informative.

You can create and send the newsletter on a regular basis. A monthly newsletter is very common, but some companies choose to send on a weekly basis, while others do it every two weeks. The choice depends on the type of business you have, the amount of content you have, and the time and money you have to invest in the project.

A great way to get consumers interested in your newsletter is to ask them what they are looking for. Let them know you encourage their questions, suggestions, comments, and feedback. Make sure they know you will address their concerns as well. Make sure you reply to consumer’s feedback in each newsletter. If you have a small business and no staff for that, find a time and do it yourself. This shows that you care about them and their satisfaction. It is also a good way for your business to know what is working and what need to be improved.

An effective newsletter, suppose to talk about various aspects of the industry, company, upcoming events, sales, promotions, and new products. Try to arrange the information so that it is informative without appearing to be directed at sales only. You want the consumer to look forward to your future newsletters. Keep the subjects informative for the reader while informing them about sells. Always remember who your target audience is and write articles that will appeal to them.

Your newsletter should also offer tips to help customers in their business.

The layout of your newsletter is important as well. Both, the visual and the content counts, but the content of the newsletter is more important. Whole newsletter should to be clear and each segment visible at first look. Be realistic about the amount of content you can put into one newsletter. Don’t use the smallest font just to get more material in. Try some basics in the beginning and then expand. You can add features and permanent sections as your newsletter evolves.

If the newsletter is going to be your main source of marketing, make sure you put effort in its development.

Take the time to test your newsletter on the various email service providers because they work differently. You don’t want a large percentage of your customers to not be able to read the newsletter because they all subscribe to an email service provider who has a system that is unable to read your material. Test the main email providers out there before you release the newsletter by email to save you the disappointment of finding out later many people couldn’t read it.

Email marketing is very effective if you take the time to use an approach that is informative and builds a relationship with the customer rather than just pushing your products or services. A newsletter is a great way to accomplish that. It also opens the door for you to email information to the customer on a regular schedule depending on how often you want to create a newsletter.

P7-Email-Marketing-Laws

Email marketing is a very effective way or reaching your target market. It is less expensive than other types of marketing while allowing you to reach large volumes of prospects/consumers. By now, it is expected to be the most used method of advertising. Are you aware of the various email marketing laws that are in effect throughout the United States and other countries? It is important that you take the time to educate yourself on this topic before you proceed with an email marketing campaign. In the United States of America 36 of the 50 states have privacy laws in place regarding email marketing tactics. There are also laws in Europe, Australia, and Asia. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these laws to assist you with your email marketing campaigns. If you are a small business planning to start on your own, it is very important that you are aware of how these laws affect you.

The CAN-SPAM Act was implemented in the United States to protect the privacy of consumers on January 1st of 2004. CAN-SPAM is short for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Marketing Act. The act prevents the use of misleading to and from headers in the email. Marketers are required to include their physical address in the email. There must be an opt out link in every email that gives the consumer the ability to reach the marketers and tell them they no longer want to receive information from them. The sender of the email must remove that email address from their database within 10 business days. Any email that contains sexual content must be clearly labeled and identified before the recipient opens it.

Regulators of the internet are getting harder on marketers who violate these laws. The harsher regulations are placed to protect the users of the internet and email services who felt their privacy was being violated as their email box continued to be swarmed with hundreds of unsolicited emails that were randomly sent without any target market in mind. As the use of email marketing continues to grow, expect the regulations to be further enforced.

The Coalition Against Unsolicited Emails is a non-profit advocacy organization formed to help consumers know their rights, to stop unfair email marketing practices, and to provide businesses with answers to their questions before they engage in such activities. They also work closely with members of Congress to get laws passed that will be in the best interest of both consumers and businesses. Their website is a good place to get information regarding US.

Email marketing is a great opportunity to keep your business in the mind of consumers as well as encourage them to make new purchases. It is important that you follow the laws and regulations that have been put in place to protect consumers from unfair email marketing practices. While most businesses do all they can to follow these laws, many don’t. Others simply aren’t educated in these laws so they break them without intending to or realizing they have. The internet is a great place to get additional information about fair email marketing practices as well as the laws for each country.

On this website, you can learn all about right and effective email marketing practices for your business, and also, if you are beginner, how to start your own online business and what you need to know to do that.

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2 Responses to Start Here

  1. teen says:

    Thanks so much for the blog post. Really looking forward to read more.

  2. Harkavy says:

    Really appreciate you sharing this article post. Really thank you! Much obliged.

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