Email Marketing – What it is and How it Can Benefit Your Business

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Quite simply, email marketing is reaching your target audience through the medium of email. This is in contrast to using direct mail, telephone marketing, face to face selling, websites, radio, and television. Of course, email can work in conjunction with any of these methods and is often complementary to many of them.

Marketing using email is merely writing directly to a particular group of your target audience, to be specific, those who have provided you with specific permission to communicate with them via email. By specific permission, to be clear, we are talking about the action of clicking on a link that identifies the reader's intention to receive future information from you. In the case of a double optin list, the reader also must confirm his or her subscription by clicking on the link in a confirmation email sent their email address for that purpose.

It should be clear that email marketing should not automatically be labeled "spam"; ie unwanted commercial email. When email lists are managed as they should be, the recipient requests to be added to the email list, and in addition, every email that they receive contains a mechanism for unsubscribing.

What are the contents of email marketing communications?

In general, email marketing messages will include:

News relevant to your industry or subject area. If you are marketing to professional dog trainers, you may want to inform your readers about lawsuits, new techniques, and the like. By providing relevant information and helpful interpretation of it, you will eventually become a trusted advisor to your readers.

Helpful tips and hints. This is often done by marketers: offering basic level training. A good illustration of this is preparing a free course on how to begin training your dog. Or alternatively, you may decide to touch on a few problems that plague new dog owners.

Sales messages. Of course, this is why marketers maintain email lists … to sell something! What exactly you are encouraging your reader to do is going to vary depending on your circumstances. You may not always be asking your reader to part with their money, but you will normally be asking them to move farther down the sales funnel.

Actions encouraged by your email sales messages may include:

* Checking out a sales page

* Calling a phone number for a free package of information

* Sign up for free teleseminar

Email marketing messages can either be "broadcast" message or "sequential" messages. The sequential messages are often called "autoresponders" because the process for adding a reader is automatic, and the system keeps track of which messages get sent when.

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