Marketing is something which is ubiquitous, be it the situation where you have to present yourself for an interview or when you have to sell your product. Gaining profits is the grail of any business enterprise and it is only through marketing that a business triumphs. When companies market their products, they are able to generate demand and consequently, profits. Survival of any firm is out of the question if these aspects are not administered to.
Marketing is a function which involves a set of operations to create, communicate and deliver value to patrons. It also includes an effective management of relationships with customers for the comprehensive benefit of the organization as well as its stakeholders.
Evolution of Marketing
In classical times, the only concern of any organization was ‘production’ of goods. They only enthralled upon large scale production and as a consequence, the consumer’s demand and quality of the product did not receive much attention.
Eventually, ‘sale’ of the product became the pivot replacing production of the product. But, it was only in the 1970s, after the era of production and sales, that the notion of marketing emerged. Firms took a good deal of time before they could realise that the only key to making profits is the customer.
Objectives of Marketing
Some of the basic goals of marketing are as follows:
- Through marketing, it becomes easy to pinpoint customer’s needs and hankerings. Promotional programs like personal selling and advertising make consumers intimate with the utilisation of the product, which enhances the product’s demand.
- Marketing also helps in expanding the market share of any organisation. Efforts put up in promotion reaps benefits in terms of increased product awareness which results in easy capture of a fair share in the market.
- Goodwill of the organisation also swells up in the market if effective marketing is done. Any firm just needs to provide top notch products and later popularise the same with advertisements, modest prices and finest quality.
Marketing emerged at no less than a break neck speed after the 1990s, and also sprouted many more kinds of marketing since then. One among them is Email Marketing.
In this, you mail educational, entertaining and promotional content to people who have subscribed with you or have earlier shopped from you. The principal motive behind this is to intensify your connection with the customer or even potential customer through customised texts that you directly send them.
Also, do not forget to comply with the CAN- SPAM Act, GDPR and other ordinances which govern email. They direct you to be responsible while sending commercial emails. Send emails to only those who have opted in and hence anticipate messages from you. Give them the option to opt out as and when they want to. While making contact, keep your identity transparent.
With these points turning over in your mind, make a strategy with which you will be making up your email list i.e. a complete database of people to whom you will send your email. Lead capture forms that have been put up on your website is the most customary mechanism. You will stand in need of email marketing software and a CRM for sending, tracking and monitoring the potency of your mail. Also, you can employ email automation software which will send email predicated on triggering criteria.
Through this article, you will be very well acquainted with all the ins and outs pertaining to email marketing.
Why Email Marketing
A very usual question which still haunts our mind after the evolution of other digital marketing strategies is : “Is marketing through email still pertinent?”
The answer is in affirmative. You can outstretch and connect with your audience personally and thereby increasing sales at an economical cost. Tools of email marketing have empowered the businesses to reach their target audience as easily as pie.
What follows are some of the reasons favouring email marketing:
Connection with the audience:
You can make your customers enlightened through emails. Customers connect with you more when they have this assurance that they are on your mind. A simple email would be like “Hi, Divya, Why are you leaving so soon? Stick around this time. You have amazing products lying in your cart. How does Flat Rs 100 OFF sound?” I copy pasted this one from my mail.
Emails captivate people:
Email has been an effective way of communication for over 40 years. People usually reply, forward, visit the link or do something or the other with the mail they recieve. Therefore, you can use them for driving audiences to your website or make them do any call to action.
Email marketing is measurable:
Email marketing tools are designed in a way which helps you in tracking the consequences once you are done with your email campaign. You can trace bounce rates, delivery rates, click through rates, unsubscribe rates as well as open rates. These metrics are of utmost importance as with these you can have a clear picture of the success of your email campaign.
You can be in touch with a multitude of customers for not more than a penny per mail. Here are the rates of a few email marketing services:
- SendGrid- $0.0006 cents per mail
- Mail Chimp- 12000 free mails a month
- Vertical Response- 4000 free mails a month
Sounds amazing, right? Email marketing ensures a remarkable Return on Investment which could be made more significant if you hire a personnel to manage these activities. Consider this, as per Shout It Out Designs, if you have a database of 15,000 email addresses, about 152 hours would be spent per year on managing this campaign, which would include all the activities like writing and sending emails, solving customers’ queries, managing the database etc.
Rocketing Brand Awareness:
It is not fair to consider social media as the only way to increase brand awareness. If you possess your prospect’s or customer’s email address m, this directly indicates that they are interested in your business. Through email marketing, you can multiply this level of interest, brand awareness as you are always on top of their minds. But, you should know that sending 4-5 mails daily to each customer is the easiest way to make them hate you.
Email Marketing is opportune:
One of the advantages of email marketing is the sale of your product, if done in an appropriate fashion. Make use of all the information you have regarding your customer so that you can send them certain offers in their birthday month. These little gestures work wonders. Your strategy can also include seasonal offers, holiday sale or an annual sale. Incorporate urgency in your mail which will make the readers avail the offer promptly before it ends.
Everyone uses Email:
As per a survey by Hubspot, 91 percent of purchasers use email. This fact is more than sufficient to persuade you to exploit the tool. You can hit two birds with the same arrow by making effective use of email marketing tools. You can furnish your customers with discounts, latest products and even they have the option to forward those to others. A quality email marketing strategy should aim towards encouraging your customers to share your offers to the max.
Email marketing laws and their compliance
In the United States and all other countries, Email Marketing is guided and governed by various laws, especially CAN- SPAM Act. These regulations are meant to dictate certain decrees by which all the email marketers should abide by if they wish to avert themselves from heavy fines. These laws make sure that there is no unauthorised use of email addresses of people. Therefore, if you are engaged in a licit business using email marketing, you are inevitably complying with these laws.
Here are a few things which are going to further assist you in compliance of Marketing laws:
The most significant thing which you should make sure is that you have consent of all those people to whom you are sending your campaigns. The CAN- SPAM Act ensures that spammers do not attempt to contact people when they are not permitted to do so. If the person is your exist customer, an active member or a donor, you have an implicit permission to send them emails. In the other case, you will have to seek express permission from them by making them enter their email in a form or on your website.
Avoid equivocal information:
Along with your email campaign, you also put up header information, which should be genuine and true. Add nothing misleading or inaccurate stuff there to hoodwink the receiver to open your mail.
Set the seal on transparency:
Conforming to the CAN- SPAM Act, avoid deceiving customers by disclosing your mail as a form of advertisement. Your mail should look more like a promotional advertisement rather than a personal text from a friend.
Encompass a genuine postal address:
This could be your street address or P.O. Box.
Give the option of opt- out:
Every mail you send to your customers should incorporate an option to opt out from receiving further mails from you.
Revere opt- out requests:
It is stipulated by the CAN- SPAM Act that within 10 days, all opt out requests should be honoured. You cannot make the recipient do nothing more than visiting a page to opt out or send a reply mail. You can’t charge fee or make them undergo multiple steps before they can opt- out.
A how- to for developing an efficacious email marketing strategy
Prior to making an email marketing campaign, your focus should be towards coming up with a comprehensive strategy so that you can have a clear target. Follow the undermentioned tips to reach to a constructive email marketing strategy:
Delineate your audience:
Only when the content of your mail holds relevance to the recipient, then it would be a definite victory. For example, an 18 year old engineering student would be least interested in fashion courses. So, to begin with, make a customer profile to gain knowledge regarding their interests, tastes and preferences.
Be clear with your goal:
Do not just keep on sending mails only for the sake of sending and be exasperating. You should have a clear picture in your mind of the objectives which are to be achieved through emails which can be to gain more customers or introducing a new product or service to your customers etc.
Make the sign up process simple:
Augmenting a database of genuine and interested customers is the most arduous aspect. So, in order to simplify a little bit, make sure that the process of signing up is easy- peasy. All your social media posts should have the link which directs the people to your sign up page. Add a pop up box on your website or make the sign up option easily visible. People won’t give their email addresses all by themselves until you ask or make it easy for them. You can hire the services of a proficient marketing expert for such technical works.
Determine the type of campaign you wish to pursue beforehand:
Know that there can be many kinds of campaigns, each for a certain specific objective. Take into consideration your audience as well as the goal to decide between sending a newsletter, a blog post update or an announcement.
Schedule your campaign:
The pre- eminent way to generate a loyal following is to have a steady time to send your mail so that the customers get it at the same time when they are expecting to hear from you. Email marketing services make this step easy.
Step- by- step vade mecum
When you have a goal set priorly, developing an email marketing campaign is uncomplicated. Act in accordance with the steps mentioned below to create a fruitful email marketing campaign.
Set your goal
The first and foremost thing which you are required to do before beginning an email marketing campaign is to set the purpose for which you are putting in efforts. This previously laid down goal would guide you all the way through the process and will help you while making decisions which are of utmost significance to the firm. Some examples of campaign goals are to drive website traffic, promotion of products and services, spur sales, spreading news, request funds or donations etc.
Hand- picking an email marketing service
Before opting for services from any company, contemplate upon the requirements and goals of your business and then pick the one which complies with them.
Build a database of emails
This would probably be the most long- winded work, but at the same time, holds a very crucial place in the entire process. You define your target audience through this list of emails, thus making it vital for email marketing campaigns. Do not commit the folly of buying email lists. Work hard and increase the list with organic and genuine audiences who are interested and will engage with your content. Some of the sources from which you can get email addresses include existing lists, softwares managing customer relationships, email accounts, contact management systems, etc. You can also make use of your social media handles and website to request new emails.
Segmentation of the list
After making a complete list of emails, the next step would be to split up the same so that you can send mails to all those people depending upon their demographic information or interests. People are more likely to open, read, engage and forward your mail only when they find it relevant. Segmentation can be done on various grounds like geography, past purchases, demographics, expressed interests, buyer’s behaviour, email engagement etc.
Design your campaign and email
While using any email marketing platform, making an effective email is vital. Almost all of the service providers serve you with a template and will guide you regarding the best place for headers, CTAs etc.
Make use of autoresponders
Autoresponders are responsible for automating the delivery of email. Submission of email by any person triggers these autoresponders to send an email. They are worthwhile in generating leads, building trust, providing confirmation emails, sending transactional emails and serving useful information to the customers. Through autoresponders, you can save a great deal of your time and efforts as it unfailingly dispatches triggered emails.
Give the green light to tracking as well as analytics
Understanding your campaign has to be done by actively involving in its analytics. This way you will know where you need to focus more, where there is a scope for improvement, the number of customers associating themselves with your mails etc. You can get the exact numbers right in front of you by customizing your analytics. Some of the metrics that can be used for tracking are as follows:
- Unique open rate: This is the count of distinct receivers who take time to open your mail.
- Click- through rate: This depicts the number of people who have clicked on one or more links contained in your email.
- Bounce rate: This rate shows the number of times your mail is rejected by the servers. A high bounce rate indicates that your email database has a lot of unproductive addresses.
- Unsubscribe rate: This is the rate which shows how many people decide to opt out from receiving any more mails from you. It should not exceed 1%. If it does, try reevaluating your database and mail content so that it becomes more attractive and relevant to the tastes and preferences of your audiences.
election of an email marketing service
When surrounded with too many options, it becomes difficult to choose the one which would prove to be most fruitful for you. Same is the case with email marketing platforms.
You can make an attempt to narrow down the list of alternatives by examining the needs of your business in the first place. Find out if you are in need of a start- to- end service provider or just need assistance for the process of segmentation. Also, keeping in mind your goal, choose a platform which satisfies your needs and accomplishes your targets.
All the email marketing services have incorporated varying features within their plans. It is your part to figure out what all features are extremely useful for you and which ones are dispensable.
You should also have a solid estimate of the number of emails or the number of customers and prospects you have so as to determine the costs. All the email marketing services charge on these basis.
One last thing which you have to take into consideration is the present scale of your business as well as the scale in the near future. If you are sure of an increase in scale of your business after some time, select a platform which evolves with you. These platforms have come out with multiple plans, pricing of which depends upon the scale and extent of your business.
Now that you are very well acquainted with the steps to gain expertise in Email Marketing, make sure before their implementation you are also clued up on its downsides. As Email Marketing is gaining importance in the present time and age, almost all the companies have resorted to it. Consequently, people encounter ‘email fatigue’ and mark most of the mails as spam.
Once marked spam, all your further mails would directly go to their spam folder which is never opened. You can steer clear of the spam folder by targeting your audience and sending mails to those who are interested in your content and are likely to open and read your mails. People will connect more with you if you address all of them with their names and display only the subjects they are interested in.
Also, for a lucrative campaign, avoid customising your email too much and comply with all the rules, laws and template limits.