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Email Marketing Is It Appropriate For Your Business?
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.
Deciding whether or not email marketing is a good idea for your business can be a difficult process. The concept of email marketing is very simple to understand the process of determining whether or not it is right for your business can be significantly more complicated. This is because you have to consider a number of different factors before making your decision. You should consider your target audience and their propensity to use the Internet, whether or not your message can be effectively states in an email and whether or not your message is likely to be misinterpreted as spam. All of these factors are important and can help you determine whether or not email marketing is right for your business.
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.
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to invest your money, energy and time into email marketing is your target audience and how likely they are to use the Internet regularly. This is important because an email marketing campaign is not worthwhile if members of your target audience are not likely to use the Internet to purchase or research the products or services you offer. Even if the use the Internet for other purposes it is not worthwhile because they will not be likely to become online customers for your products or services. However, if you have a target audience who is very likely to use the Internet to purchase the products or services you offer and to research these items, an email marketing campaign is a good idea. In this case it is absolutely worthwhile because you will be providing information which the members of your target audience will find useful and which they may already be looking for elsewhere.
Next you should consider the products and services you offer in an attempt to determine whether or not your message can be effectively stated in an email. This is important because if you offer a product or service which is difficult to explain the emails you use for marketing are not likely to be understood or well received by the recipients of your email distribution list. This is important because you want to be able to convince potential customers of the need for the products and services your offer, not make them feel more confused.
Finally, an important concept to consider is the possibility that your email messages will be viewed as spam. This is a very important concept because emails which are viewed as spam are not likely to be well received by the recipients and may not ever even make it to the recipients if their spam filters tag these emails as spam. Even if the emails do reach the intended recipients many Internet users have grown accustomed to weeding out spam rather quickly and will be quick to delete, without reading first, emails which are suspected to be spam. In determining whether or not your emails are likely to be viewed as spam, it is important to consider the subject of your business and therefore the emails you send out. This is important because certain subjects such as weight loss pills are likely to be viewed as spam more quickly than other items. If you are in the business of marketing products or services which would likely cause your emails to be deemed spam, orchestrating an email marketing campaign may not be worthwhile.
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.