The Top 5 Email Marketing Uses In 2007 | WebReference

The Top 5 Email Marketing Uses In 2007

The Top 5 Email Marketing Uses In 2007

By Robert Burko

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Email marketing experienced another year of explosive growth as more and more businesses around the globe have discovered how easy, affordable and effective email marketing software can be. With so many new businesses putting email marketing software to work as a key component of their marketing mix, there's been increased activity in almost every vertical market imaginable. From small ‘mom and pop' stores to large multinational organizations, email marketing appears to be filling a void that has long restricted effective targeted communication.

While each different business finds its own way to harness email marketing to yield the greatest results, a few trends were clear in 2007. Even though most email marketing software solutions can be adapted to suit a variety of needs, after analyzing millions upon millions of emails in 2007, the following five tactics, approaches or uses led the pack.

1. Newsletters

The top use of email marketing by leaps and bounds in 2007 was newsletters. The frequency varied greatly from some organizations opting for a monthly newsletter and others using weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or even the very ambitious (for content rich organizations) daily. It remains very clear that sending out an email newsletter to your customers is an effective communication tool. Many businesses use their email newsletter as an important brand building exercise. The more the business can keep its name (or logo) in front of customers, the more that company will be the top choice when the customer needs to make a purchase. Furthermore, by providing good quality content in these newsletters, companies can establish themselves as a leading authority on the topic.

2007 also made it very obvious that the success of an email newsletter is based on the quality of the content. Businesses who tried to send out an email newsletter without really having much to say saw increased unsubscribe requests, while those businesses that provided high quality content experienced rapid viral growth.

Most email marketing software solutions offer a wide variety of newsletter templates. By choosing the right email marketing software for your newsletter, your business can find a template that fits perfectly with your brand's look, feel, and color scheme.

2. Special Promotions / eCoupons

Email marketing acted as a key driver of new sales in 2007, as companies offered special promotions or eCoupons to their mailing list subscribers. By sending out an email marketing campaign to all past customers, businesses found that special deals (whether it was a discount, free shipping, etc.) tended to cause an instant spike in sales.

Since eCoupons have proven time and time again to be highly effective, most email marketing software solutions offer customizable eCoupon templates that can easily be adapted to suit any specific offer.

Offering exclusive coupons to mailing list subscribers has statistically been proven to increase the size of any businesses mailing list. Many offline companies have started putting signup forms near their cash registers to prompt people to sign up to receive special eCoupons. Since these consumers are already interacting with your business, and since consumer behavior studies tell us that people love ‘savings' or ‘discounts', this really is the perfect way to help put your mailing list growth on turbo.

3. Event Announcements

Another area of growth for email marketing in 2007 was the use of email marketing software to announce company events. These events range from open houses, to town hall meetings, and anything in between. In the past year, many companies and organizations discovered that email marketing software provides a quick, easy and cost-effective way to spread the word about your event, then track responses and attendees.

Another popular category of events was concerts and entertainment shows. This type of email marketing campaign was especially popular among MySpace artists and bands. These artists usually place an email marketing mailing list signup box on their pages, so that they can gather the email addresses of fans who visit their MySpace pages and keep them up to date on shows, new releases, etc. To make this process easier, many email marketing software providers offer a free MySpace mailing list to all users. (And, of course, if the artist or company has a regular Web page instead of a MySpace page, the free mailing list can be placed on the company Web page as well).

4. eCards

eCards were immensely popular in 2007 for several reasons. First, many consumers are becoming environmentally conscious and making the switch to eCards instead of paper cards. These consumers realize that, in addition to the trees they're saving by cutting out paper, they're also eliminating the fuel and gas emissions that would be used in physically mailing these cards. Secondly, companies and consumers alike are figuring out how much money they can save by switching from paper cards to eCards. While a box of ten holiday cards can cost upwards of $20 (plus stamps and shipping fees), most email marketing software will allow you to send up to 1,000 eCards absolutely free – no stamps and no shipping fees. Lastly, there's the speed factor. While companies sending out paper cards have to hand write or individually print each one, the smart companies sending eCards only have to write their message once. The best email marketing software programs will automatically insert the names of recipients in each message, so the company doesn't even have to do anything.

The trend toward eCards was especially prevalent in the Winter holiday season, as companies sent out warm wishes to their customers, at virtually no cost. However, there are many other holidays throughout the year, and customers love to feel appreciated. Companies can tap into this benefit by sending out cards for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween, Birthdays and many other celebrations, as the best email marketing software programs offer special templates for each occasion. To get the best bang for their buck, businesses can even combine eCards with specially-themed promotions.

5. Business Updates / Press Releases

Email marketing is not only a great way to send out newsletters, promotions, and eCards, it's also an excellent way to expand the reach of business announcements. For example, if you're sending out a press release, you might only think about using a press release distribution site to do so. However, you can expand the distribution of your release, and increase its impact, by also using email marketing software for the distribution. This way, you can reach people you already know (for example, reporters you have been in contact with in the past, or current customers), and track their interest in your press release.

Businesses have also realized that email marketing is a great medium for making business announcements. For example, you may be moving or opening a new store, you may be re-launching your website, or you may start carrying a new line of products. Either way, you can use email marketing software to tell your customers about that.

In 2007, countless companies discovered the many uses of email marketing. They saved money, improved efficiency and effectively tracked their results simply by getting on board with email marketing software. For some, the key advantage of email marketing software is that the best ones are really easy to use. That is, there is no need to fret if you don't have an IT guy, because as long as you can check and write emails, you'll be able to look like a pro with the right email marketing software.

About the Author

Robert Burko is President of EliteEmail.com, the easy to use email marketing software used by businesses around the globe. You can try the complete email marketing solution for your business absolutely free.

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Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: December 31, 2007

URL: http://webreference.com/promotion/email_marketing/1