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To “E” (mail) or not to “E” (mail) – Is This Really a Question? Email Marketing, Part 1

emailDid you know that most people spend more time reading email than browsing the Internet?  We are an email-centric society.  It is one of the primary ways we conduct business, share ideas, and communicate. It is both powerful and inexpensive; two things that most businesses need.    Used wisely, a few of the benefits to businesses are that it can boost direct sales, raise brand awareness, increase communication with target audiences, enhance credibility, promote other areas of the business, and increase referrals.  Through email marketing businesses can engage in conversations and use it as a platform for testing new marketing ideas.

Email marketing is fast.  It reaches customers almost immediately and responses typically occur within a matter of seconds to a matter of days.  No long term waiting for measuring the success of the campaign.

Business can also tailor different messages to a variety of audiences and through the results of each campaign they can better understand what works and what doesn’t.  Tracking the success is easy and businesses can discover areas of improvement and refine their messaging as they grow.

While email marketing is cost effective, it is far from easy.  If not done properly or used inappropriately, the effects can backfire in both a loss of customers and being placed on black lists as well as having financial repercussions with fines from anti-spamming laws.  You usually have only one chance to make the right impression.  Once your target “unsubscribes” or lists you as a spammer, you will be gone from their in-box forever.

The fact that the cost per contact is incredibly inexpensive makes email marketing extremely appealing to businesses, but also to those annoying spammers as well.  The activity from spammers that don’t follow the rules make it much more difficult for the legitimate marketers out there to reach their target audiences.  But even with its limitations, email marketing is still more effective than its Internet marketing counterpart and is an effective tool in reaching target audiences.

But to be effective, email marketing involves time to develop.  Professionals are usually hired to write and create the emails.  There are a lot of rules and regulations that professional marketers can help businesses through.  Hiring a professional is well worth your time and money, especially considering the cost effectiveness of email marketing.  When developing these campaigns, experience should outweigh the costDon’t use inexperienced writers or designers, because in the end, their mistakes could cost you more than the difference in the price.  You have to remember, is losing customers due to a bad email campaign worth the cost?  Is the cost of legal fees for not following the rules worth the discounted rates you receive by amateurs that are still learning the ropes?  No.  This is one of those areas where, if you go it alone, good luck – You will need it.  If you hire a professional (that’s us!), your return will be obvious in the end.

And if you do take on this task, remember this:  The time and effort it takes you to develop the campaign yourself has a cost of its own.  While you are working on this, you are not working on your core business and you are using your customers as guinea pigs to your learning curve;  we can do it faster and in the long run, less expensive than you can do this yourself.

In the next post, we will discuss those rules and regulations.  Then you can decide if it is a task on which you are willing to gamble your business.  In the mean time, if you have questions or want to learn more, feel free to give us a call: Full Moon Design Group 512-428-9072