Email marketing is using e-mail as a means of promoting your products or services. This can be direct one to one e-mails but typically it relates to sending e-mails to a group of people that have subscribed to a mailing list. For example some people may subscribe to receive a regular newsletter from you.
In general the term “Email marketing” is used to refer to:
- Sending promotional e-mails in order to acquire new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
- Sending emails specifically designed to enhance relationships with current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Adding advertisements to others companies’ e-mails (on a partnership basis) to gain exposure within a new market.
Email marketing is a good and cheaper alternative to sending direct mail (via the post).
How much does it cost to start an e-mail marketing campaign?
Typically the cost of running the campaign is nothing more than the time it has taken you to send the message, follow up with responses, and so on. Even the excellent tools available online are generally free unless you are dealing with large volumes.
Are there any legal issues I should be aware of?
People do not appreciate getting unsolicited email so make sure to only send marketing emails to people that have specifically subscribed to your mailing list.
Should I buy e-mails lists from companies that sell them?
This type of business is quite widespread today, however, this is really something we would not recommend you to do. Unsolicited e-mails are really spam and also the conversion rate is so poor it is often not worth your while. Focus on building a qualified list of e-mail addresses of potential customers.
Do I need technical skills to manage e-mail marketing?
Not really, using a standard tool such as MailChimp requires very little technical knowledge. You may need some graphics to improve the look of the e-mail you send, however, there are also good templates to choose from.
Uses of Email Marketing
Email marketing can be used for many different purposes.
• Promotion — you can use emails to promote a special offer, or a new product or service to a list of existing or potential customers. The main aim of a promotional email is to get the reader to take some type of action, such as, book a room, buy a gift card, or reserve a table. If your readers have specifically subscribed to your mailing list to receive special offers and promotions then that’s fine, but if they have subscribed to a list to be kept upto-date on news and events then if you are constantly bombarding them with promotional emails you stand the risk of alienating them and forcing them to unsubscribe.
• Retention — these are emails aimed at building a relationship between you and your readers. These generally take the form of newsletters where you are providing your readers with information and stories that they may find interesting. A newsletter can of course also include promotional messages or advertisements but these should not be their main aim. Your customers can forget about you very quickly so keeping in contact with them on a regular basis is a good way to keep them aware of you and your business.
• Communication — these types of emails are generally short emails designed to communicate some important information to your readers. For example, invitation to an event in your hotel, a traveller tip for your area, details of a news article about your hotel.