When Email Marketing Yields Unexpectedly Great Results

The basic concept

Sometimes the benefits of email marketing are quite different than anticipated. Most Web marketers understand the basic concept of email marketing which is to email promotional materials to a large group of Internet users in an effort to promote interest in particular products or services. This concept is easy for many to understand, but we will attempt to describe and, perhaps, elaborate on a few of the more beneficial aspects of email marketing.

In the following paragraphs we discuss the basics of email marketing, but we will also explain how – sometimes – email marketing can encompass much more than originally planned. This additional reach can be either a positive or negative influence depending on the quality of original emails and the reactions of subscriber list recipients.

Simple & cost effective

Email marketing is a very simple concept which can also be extremely cost effective; but the general idea behind email marketing can be narrowed down to this simple characterization: An email is sent to an email subscription (or distribution) list with the single purpose of creating an interest in the products or services being offered by the originator of that email. In theory this concept could not be simpler but email marketing can get significantly more complicated when being implemented.

One of the biggest complicating factors is the potential for emails used in a marketing campaign occur when one or more of those emails are misinterpreted as spam, either recipient of such emails or a spam filter provided by the Internet service provider. This potential alone creates a major complication because Web marketers have to make a significant effort to ensure that their messages are not trapped by a spam filter or immediately deleted by the recipients for appearing to be spam.

After clearing initial hurdle

Once the misinterpretation hurdle is cleared and email messages get through to recipients, they have a small window of opportunity to make a positive impression on those recipients and influence them to make a purchase or at least visit the business owner’s website. One effective method of getting such a result is to provide quality content while keeping advertising subtle and at a minimum while making sure to feature a clear call to action. These are all factors which have been proven to help get the message across and entice potential customers to make a purchase or at least visit a website to get a closer look at those products and services.

As previously stated the goal of an email marketing campaign is to subtlely persuade email recipients to either make a purchase or visit a particular website for more detailed information; and when an email recipient performs either of these actions, it is considered a huge success. However, thanks to the power of a forward button, email marketing can actually be much more successful than even the business owner intended.

Better than word-of-mouth

One of the great aspects of email marketing becomes evident when email recipients receive an email that they think is worthwhile and are likely to make a purchase, but may also forward the same information on to a friend or family member they believe may also be interested in learning more about the particular product or service. This ability to forward email messages can be compared to satisfied customers in the offline world using word of mouth to tout the quality of products or services they have bought and like.

However, the ability to forward a worthwhile email message is exponentially more effective than using word of mouth to spread the word; because with just a few clicks of the mouse the original email recipient can forward any message to several of his/her friends simultaneously. This can result in significantly better results than the business owner had originally expected with no additional effort and time being exerted or money being spent.

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Email Marketing Evaluation: A Must!

A promotional method

Email marketing can be a very effective promotional method to reach target audiences around the world, despite the fact that in many cases, the marketing efforts of a business owner or promoter may not reach full potential unless s/he invests the necessary time, energy and money into evaluating the email marketing strategy which s/he has put into action.

It is during such an evaluation that a business owner can determine whether or not email marketing is a method that can enable him/her to reach stated marketing objectives. The same evaluation can be used to determine if email marketing as a strategy is having an adverse affect the business productivity.

Useful information

That having been said, there are a few ideas pertaining to the importance of evaluating email marketing that we’d like to discuss in this article, and will also offer what we consider useful information on how to initiate and complete the email marketing evaluation process. To say such a process, done on a regular basis, is important would be an obvious understatement since frequent evaluation of any email marketing strategy is not only important, it is crucial to the success of the business or individual that puts it into effect.

So it follows that one’s failure to evaluate his/her email marketing strategies can have adverse effects on finances and overall business objectives, including failure to produce results and loss of customers to his/her competitors.

Avoid shortcuts

Consider for a moment that an existing email marketing campaign is not effective because it does not reach members of the particular target audience. An evaluation will certainly reveal the reasons for this failure, one of which may very well be that the distribution list to which this campaign is being sent consists of recipients who have little or no interest in the products or services being offered via the emails.

Business owners who take shortcuts by purchasing large email lists, often find their shortcut did not pay off because the recipients of their marketing emails are simply not interested in any product(s) or service(s) they offer. In this scenario the email marketing is likely to generate very few sales or website visits. However, reevaluating the email distribution list to include recipients who are interested in the products or services being offered will likely result in significantly more sales and website visits.

Remove ALL semblances of spam!

Now consider a situation in which your email marketing is being construed as spam by recipients. If you have taken precautions to ensure your emails are reaching members of your target audience, but your emails seem like over the top sales pitches, the members of your email distribution list may view your emails as spam and not take your advertisements seriously. When this happens members of your email distribution list may be more likely to seek out a competitor when they are in need of products or services rather than making a purchase from you.

In fact, one of the subtle ways you could use to remind yourself that any likeness to spam must be avoided at all costs, is getting in the habit of refer to your list as an “opt-in subscriber” list and not a distribution list. Think of this excercise in these terms:

You can buy distribution lists. But you must create, build, and nurture subscriber listscreate, build, and nurture subscriber lists by offering interesting (compelling?), useful (valuable?) and free content on your website to attract and encourage visitors who become repeat readers and, ultimately valued subscribers. get the difference?

Evaluating your email marketing efforts may be formal or informal in nature. If you have specific business goals in mind you might want to consider the path to meet this goal as an indication of whether or not the email marketing is working. If you’re interested in reading more about email marketing take a look at this recently published post – Alternatively, you can evaluate your email marketing efforts by soliciting customer feedback.

The Easy Cash Phenomenon

Ask for customer feedback

Asking customers for their opinions about your email marketing campaign and whether or not they were compelled to make a purchase because of the content, the advertising or some other element is a simple and straightforward way of getting direct and unvarnished answers from your target audience.

Based on this information you should have a good indication of whether or not the email marketing strategy is effective. If it is not effective you should consider making changes to create more interest in your products or services. The changes you make should reflect any feedback you receive, and ensure you are not making changes that will cause even less interest from the members of your subscriber list.

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