Email Marketing has been around for ages, even before using the internet became this rampant, so, in this article, I am going to answer the question: what is email marketing and how does it work to your perfect understanding?
What is email marketing?
Email marketing occurs when you are able to send commercial messages via email to online customers; who are subscribed to your mailing list and have given you permission to be communicating with them.
Thus, you can use email marketing to inform or update your online customers, generate sales as well as advance your brand or business.
A brief history of email marketing.
According to history, the first ever email was sent by a computer engineer known as Ray Tomlinson in the year 1971. 6 years later, that is in 1978, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp known as Gary Thuerk adopted this new method of communication to send out a commercial email that informed people about a new product.
By the early 90s, a lot of people had begun to use the internet for commercial purposes. And email marketing was one of the ways they adapted to advertise their businesses.
But then, as every other thing else in life, email marketing came with its own headache; which was predominantly people sending spam (unwanted) emails to people’s inboxes.
And this act gave rise to the U.K’s Data Protection Act; which required an \”opt-out\’ option to be set for all marketing emails.
How email marketing works.
To use and succeed in email marketing, you must use what we call an Email Service Provider (ESP); which will enable you to send multiple emails at the same time.
An ESP is software that enables its users to send and manage email marketing campaigns.
You may also call it an email marketing platform, tool or service, etc.
ESP, however, does not provide its services for free; and if it does, you will have limits to the number of emails you send.
But for the best and fast experience, you need to opt-in for the premium service.
Another thing you’d want to know is if it’s possible to do an email campaign with your regular email provider like Yahoomail or Gmail.
Yes, it’s possible, but you need to learn how to send a massive email with Gmail.
But then, using the latter service has limitations; because of the bandwidth, design, and above all, the deliverability they will provide you.
Regular email services, also known as internet service providers; for example, Gmail, Yahoomail, etc. are only designed for personal use.
And for this reason, they are not eligible for email blasts.
So when you attempt to send mass emails using them, be careful so as to avoid flagging spam filters.
And this can cause your account to be suspended or disabled for suspicious activities.
On the other hand, ESPs are built with the necessary infrastructure. And this helps to enable the emails to get to their designated target.
So if you want to succeed in email marketing, then buy a dedicated email marketing service.
Now let us move on to see some of the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing.
Advantages of email marketing
Some of the advantages of email marketing are:
- Email marketing will help you to establish a lasting relationship with your prospects or customers.
- You can use email marketing to drive traffic to your blog or website.
- With email marketing, you can use segmentation to target users based on their demography, and in the snd succeed in sending the right message to the right people.
- Email marketing software will allow you to run A/B tests of a particular subject or call-to-action that will help you to identify which of your emails are performing better than others.
Disadvantages of email marketing
With every advantage always comes to a disadvantage, and email marketing is never the less. So let us look at a few of the disadvantages of email marketing.
- One of the most disturbing acts that accompany email marketing is called \”spam\”. Spam is those unwanted messages you have not subscribed to or don\’t want to see. When you check a folder on your email provider, you will always see this section.
- There is so much competition when it comes to email marketing. Think about thousands of companies in your niche stuffing people\’s inboxes with the same product you are also trying to sell. This then calls for the need to do something that will make your own email stand out from the lot.
- The length and size of your email also matter. If you make your email too long it is likely going to be heavy and take time to load or even not load at all. Longer emails even have the tendency of turning the reader off. So always focus on what\’s more important when sending a particular email.
- The inability to engage your audience is another disadvantage that accompanies email marketing. Every time a customer sees an email, there will always be two options: that is whether to open it or not. And for this reason, you must establish a kind of authority and popularity in your niche to be able to make the audience open your email.
- Your email design and layout also play a very vital role in achieving a successful email marketing campaign. As a matter of fact, people will be accessing your email on several devices, so, therefore, the challenge of having that one design display well across all devices is a disadvantage of email marketing.
- Email software is usually expensive or cost-effective. Most of them are very expensive. Even the ones that promise free usage will always have a hidden charge that might soon drive you away. So you must be ready to invest in email marketing software if you want to succeed in email marketing.
Things you need for email marketing.
Generally, there are 2 things you need for email marketing and they are:
- An email marketing software that will allow you to send unlimited emails at the same time.
- An email list of all the subscribers you receive their emails.
Now that you\’ve learned a lot about email marketing, are you ready to start your first email marketing campaign? If yes, then read my next article on How I Launched My First Email Marketing Campaign In 10 Steps.