Email marketing is the advertisement of a product, service, or brand through electronic mail. Email marketing can be used to improve the relationship between a business and its customers or to gain new customers. In order to gain the email addresses of potential customers, businesses must either pay a fee to an email broker, use a subscription service, or rely on referrals from existing customers. Many companies, of course, use a combination of these methods.
Email marketing is especially popular because it can be much cheaper than traditional mail marketing. After all, email does not incur printing or postage fees. This does not mean, however, that email is free. An email marketing campaign may actually incur a number of different kinds of fees. If the company hires someone to design, write copy for, or oversee the emailing in any way, or has a full-time staff member for this type of work, the salary or fee of this individual must be taken into account. Furthermore, there will be a fee if the email addresses are purchased through an email broker.
One of the great things about email marketing is that it can reach a wide audience in a short period of time. Furthermore, an email marking campaign can include a number of successive emails that build upon one another. One of the most common forms of a building email marking campaign is one that targets a specific upcoming date such as Christmas, Fathers Day, or Memorial Day.
If, for example, a furniture store is planning a large Veterans Day sale, they might send out an email to their customers a few weeks in advance announcing the sale. Additional emails the week before and days before the sale might also be sent as reminders to reinforce the first email. Some companies even include special promotion codes and coupons in their emails.
One of the disadvantages to email marketing is something called spam. Spam is the word for both a tinned meat and email that is sent out to a huge number of people with little discretion. Spam is the email marketing version of carpet bombing. In fact, most email services include spam filters that weed out such emails from the general inboxes of their customers.
If you are considering an email marketing campaign, make sure that your practices are in keeping with spam laws. Adult content spam, for example, has been addressed by legislation under the United States' CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act). Furthermore, if the administrator of your Internet service believes that you might be sending spam, your emailing service might be temporarily shut down.