Email marketing is sending a group of chosen people a commercial message using electronic mail. Really every email you send to a current client or potential new customer could be considered as email marketing.

What is Email Marketing?
Learn how businesses & individuals reach out to others via their inboxes

An email marketing project is commonly referred to as a campaign. Each campaign generally has an individual use, whether you are sending out some sort of advertising, requesting business or simply updating your contact list on your current business activity in a newsletter.

The aims of email marketing campaigns are to enhance customer relationships, increase customer loyalty and to raise awareness of a company or individual’s brand.

There are some legal requirements to consider when using email marketing. In 2002 the European Union (EU) introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. One of the articles in the Directive prohibits the use of personal email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive mentions the opt-in regime, where emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient, however this does not apply to business email addresses.

During business networking, people may have collected hundreds if not thousands of business contacts that they would like to send a message to, after the mundane job of inputting all the email addresses into an electronic format such as an Excel spreadsheet. Business people can then upload these to an Email Service Provider so you can send a mass email campaign as apposed to sending out individual emails.

Mailchimp is quickly becoming a leader in the email marketing industry because of their fun, quirky attitude, and their dedication to maintaining a positive image. They have a strong policy against spam and prefer to cater to small business and entrepreneur types more than Internet Marketers and bulk-emailers.

Mailchimp has a strong analytics package, full auto-responder functionality, and makes it easy to build, track, and segment campaigns. Accounts are free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 email per month.

Other providers include AWeber, which is loved by Bloggers and Internet Marketers. Flowtown is trying to offer even more services including social media as their tagline “Social Media Marketing Made Profitable” suggests. These other providers come at price, only offering a free trial or free up to 50 subscribers.

Businesses may have uploaded their collected business contacts into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool such as HubSpot. Some of these CRM tools have a built in email marketing service but again this comes at an extra cost.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using email marketing in comparison to traditional advertising mail, often referred to as ‘snail mail.’

Email marketing is a vital component in many industries, especially for creating those important customer-firm relationships. Learn to use it well and it will definitely bump up a company’s success.

Marketers should not just try to send out another email that goes straight through to their contacts’ spam folder. And, if the email does manage to make it through to their inbox, marketers should make the e-mail a worthwhile to read.

Nick Lewis Communications have partners that can provide Email Marketing training and management. To find out, please e-mail info@nicklewiscommunications.com or call 07970 839137.