Email Marketing is the door-to-door sales of cyberspace. And just like its counterpart in the real world (Forbes says door-to-door sales is dead), Email Marketing also has had its share of decline recently, or so they say. One thing that’s true, though, is that the basic functions of email have evolved in the last decade, swimming through waves of new technologies and trends.
These modern developments paved the way for strict competition for email marketing, especially with the explosion that is the social media. Some companies jump in the bandwagon and resort to Facebook, Twitter and several blog sites to uplift their marketing campaigns, while some remain faithful to good ‘ole email.
Before deciding whether to jump ship or not, it wouldn’t hurt to understand the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing.
Ready…aim…click! –Probably the greatest strength of email marketing is its efficiency. With a pre-structured content ready to be deployed, all that’s needed is a lot of email addresses, and that’s that. In some cases the company doesn’t even have to anything; once potential prospects are subscribed, they can opt to automatically receive updates. Companies can do away with the hassle of sending traditional mail, or hiring people to do cold-calling.
Money saved is money earned – Sending emails is free. Traditional mail necessitates more cost (paper, printing, manpower, mail service, etc). Ads on newspapers, social media sites require payment. Even having people to “like” or “retweet” a marketing post would oblige you to shell out an amount.
Easy monitoring and research – Email Marketing provides a means of tracking the emails being sent and as well as the responsiveness of the targets. A daily or weekly report could easily be generated to show quantity as well as quality by assessing the response behavior patterns. This makes it easy for companies to gauge their success and make improvements for future campaigns.
Personal, professional, creative touches –Depending on the target market, one can put a little dose of personality or stick to appropriate standards when communicating with potential clients. Emails are not limited to text – most companies go as far as sending videos, attaching presentations and footnoting links to other resources.
Spam – Email marketing once reached its peak popularity which in turn gave birth to what is called “spam”. Email services providers suddenly started integrating spam filters onto their systems and while it works for the most part, some emails still do get through. The problem is, some filters are extra-sensitive that they flag anything suspicious as spam, which obviously became an added burden for marketers.
Email address disclosure – As a by-product of the “spam” problem, business owners and executives became reluctant in giving out their email addresses (or sometimes they do give out one, but of the company’s official mailing address). Obviously, email marketing is pointless without an email address inventory.
Technical issues– Exploiting a technology-based marketing strategy is bound to have technology-based problems. These can be from failing email servers to ill-rendered emails and even dealing with recipients who require a certain degree of email know-how.
Companies that are on the fence with using this approach must first weigh things based on resources, urgency, and higher success rates. Email marketing may not be for everyone – but there are those who are still able to pull it off even when it’s been pronounced dead. And it’s very much alive.