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Effective Email Marketing - Evaluating Your Campaign
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to a targeted audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. There are a number of advantages to email marketing - compared to other marketing investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, it is less expensive. and the return on investment can be high when done properly.
Email marketing can be a very effective way to reach a target audience around the world. However, your marketing efforts may not reach their full potential unless you invest some time, energy and money into evaluating your email marketing strategy. During this evaluation you may determine whether or not the email marketing is helping you to reach your goals. Likewise you can determine if the email marketing is having an adverse affect on your business. This article will discuss the importance of evaluating your email marketing and will also offer some useful advice on how to do this.
To say that evaluating your email marketing strategy on a regular basis is important is a tremendous understatement. Regularly evaluating your email marketing is not only important it is critical to the success of your business. Failure to evaluate your email marketing strategies can have adverse effects ranging from not producing results to causing you to lose customers to your competitors.
Make sure you're not blacklisted!
Companies considering an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' CAN-SPAM Act, the European Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 or their Internet provider's acceptable use policy. Even if a company follows the law, if Internet mail administrators find that it is sending spam it is likely to be listed in blacklists such as SPEWS.
Consider an email marketing campaign which is not effective because it does not reach the members of the target audience. Some business owners make the fatal mistake of not taking care to ensure their email distribution list features recipients who are extremely interested in the products or services you offer. Business owners who take shortcuts by purchasing large email lists, often find their shortcut did not pay off because the recipients of their marketing emails are simply not interested in the products or services you offer. In this scenario the email marketing is likely to generate very few sales or website visits. However, reevaluating the email distribution list to include recipients who are interested in your products or services will likely result in significantly more sales and website visits.
Now consider a situation in which your email marketing is being construed as spam by the recipients. If you have taken precautions to ensure your emails are reaching members of your target audience but your emails seem like over the top sales pitches, the members of your email distribution list may view your emails as spam and not take your advertisements seriously. When this happens the member of your email distribution list may be more likely to seek out a competitor when they are in need of products or services rather than making a purchase from you.
Evaluating your email marketing efforts may be formal or informal in nature. If you have specific business goals in mind you might want to consider using whether or not you are on the way to meet this goal as an indication of whether or not the email marketing is working. If you're interested in reading more about email marketing check out www.jeremyburns.com/blog - Alternatively, you can evaluate your email marketing efforts by soliciting customer feedback. Asking customers for their opinions about the email marketing campaign and whether or not they were compelled to make a purchase because of the content, the advertising or some other element. Based on this information you should have a good indication of whether or not the email marketing is effective. If it is not effective you should consider making changes to create more interest in your products or services. The changes you make should reflect the feedback you receive though to ensure you are not making changes which will cause even less interest from the members of the target audience.
About the Author: Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a site on Email Marketing Strategies and maintains the Internet Marketing Library.