As a method of direct marketing, email marketing is employing one of the most efficient means of communication nowadays : the Internet, and more specific, the email, that has become vital in our day to day life.
This method uses electronic mail services to promote new products, services or companies, to maintain relationships with customers and associates or place advertisements in usual correspondence.
There are many advantages of this wide-spread method:
The communication channel it uses is the best-selling of all, the Internet gaining more and more popularity each day.
The email is one of the main uses of Internet, and it's essential to a great percentage of Internet users.
A very wide target market can be reached using this method, and very specific too because only interested customers subscribe to newsletters or other advertisements.
It it much more comfortable for the customer, and a lot easier. They can purchase the products right away, from on-line stores or can reply to the mail instantly.
It provides the company more ways of presenting and promoting their products an services. The email can contain detailed descriptions, pictures, videos, links to on-line stores, testimonials.
Compared to common advertising, email marketing can provide the company a more vivid, personalized, pertinent advertising message.
Email marketing has a much lower cost that usual mail,involves much less resources and is a sustainable decision too.
The results and costs are quantifiable, so a more accurate return rate can be calculated.
There are also a couple disadvantages:
There are situations where the receiver of the email didn't consent to being provided those information and this is considered a violation of spam regulations.
Because advertisement through email is commonly mistaken for spam, it has a lower response rate than expected.
Several images or items attached to the email are hard or impossible to display in some email reading systems.
Even if delivering the emails is requires few resources, managing a email list of clients and their preferences may demand some extra effort from the marketing department.
Lately, in order to minimize email marketing's disadvantages, direct marketing providers developed Opt-in e-mail advertising, that helps companies deliver their message only to the customers or possible customers that are interested in their products and have opted to receive more information. This new method can generate a higher response rate and a more specific reach of the market.