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Why email marketing can be good for you

The basics

Email marketing, which, in its most basic format, is an electronic form of direct mail, is a powerful communications tool. However, it can be far more effective, simply because recipients must have ‘opted in’ i.e. given their permission for you to contact them with offers on pre-selected topics of interest in this way. As they have already shown an interest, they are more likely to respond positively.

In addition, they can click through to a website instantly to request more information or even place an order. And it allows marketers to measure the impact, progress and success of their campaign.

The benefits

Email marketing is a fast and cost-effective method of promotion, raising brand awareness and gathering information. It enables almost immediate distribution and responses to be sent and received at a speed that was never possible with paper-based direct mail.

Individual customer behaviour can be tracked and measured so that a relevant follow-up can be planned and calls to different prospects prioritised. The results can be instantly monitored, quantified and analysed – and the campaign content and tactics changed if necessary – to maximise effectiveness.

All this means you can target potential customers with timely and relevant information and increase the likelihood that they will buy.

Setting up your campaign

Email marketing campaigns are easy enough to run if you have your own email system and database but it may also be worth looking at the use of special software that

makes the job easier and may help you to get your emails through spam filters and into the inbox, not the junk folder. Or, if you have a major campaign to run, using a third party service provider, who will be already be geared up to ensure your messages don’t end up as junk.

Costs and measurement

As with any marketing tactic, costs vary hugely depending on the campaign. But as an example, emailing 150,000 users on a mature database (i.e. one that takes into account the preferences and behaviour of its members) can generate £20,000 in revenue on a weekly basis at a cost of around £300 per week amortised over three years.

A carefully targeted email campaign that focuses on quality rather than quantity, can achieve and sustain ‘click-through’ rates of between 20 and 30 per cent. This compares to response rates of two to five per cent for non-targeted ‘blanket’ email campaigns and under two per cent for print-based direct mail.

For many types of campaign email marketing clearly offers a very good return on investment.