Email marketing is a kind of direct marketing used by marketers to communicate with potential or existing customers directly by means of email. In email marketing, sales letters are never sent in an unsolicited way, and every person on an email marketing list, gives permission and agrees to receive email messages from time to time.
To conduct email marketing, you should use good and reliable email marketing solutions, because email marketing is much trickier than it seems from the first look. You may think you can use any email program to do it, but as a matter of fact, you can’t, and I’ll tell you why.
You cannot force people to willfully subscribe to your email list, therefore you have to offer your website visitors a free useful newsletter, e-course, e-book or software, and in exchange for that, they will agree to receive sales letters from you. To achieve that, you have to create a subscription web form on your website, and you have to add people that subscribe to your email list using this form.
That’s where email marketing software comes in. Most of email marketing solutions automate subscription, and can work with all sorts of web forms and subscription mechanisms. If you use a regular email program, you will have to manually add new subscribers to your address book, which is very inconvenient.
Another thing you have to provide your recipients with, is a way to unsubscribe from your email list at any moment. If someone doesn’t like whatever you deliver, the person can just click on an unsubscribe link in the received message and instantly remove himself from the list. Good email marketing solutions also automate this. If you use a regular email program, you’ll have to remove such recipients from your address book manually, which is a nightmare.
The last but very important thing is removal of recipients with bad email addresses. If you send newsletters to an address and receive bounce backs (error messages sent by mailer daemon), it means this address is dead and have to be removed from your email list. If you don’t remove dead addresses from your list, your email provider may block your account.
Email marketing solutions remove dead addresses automatically based on bounce backs, so you don’t even touch anything. Bad recipients just disappear from your list by themselves. However if you use a regular email program, you have to read bounce backs, find the matching addresses in your address book, and remove them by hand. It’s extremely hard and time-consuming, I can tell.
Here is what you should expect from email marketing solutions:
- Automatic subscribe and unsubscribe.
- Automatic removal of bad email addresses.
- Automatic message delivery.
- Message sending speed and flow control.
- Message personalization.
By the way, message personalization is extremely important, and all good email marketing solutions support it. With message personalization, you can use recipient names in the To field of your messages, you can create personalized salutations, and you can mention other personal details such as order numbers, birthdays and so on in your messages.
Without message personalization, you cannot send certain types of mass messages such as invoices and sales letters that offer products that complement original purchase. In other words, any messages where you need to mention personal details.