The principles of advertising haven’t changed much, in over 200 years or so. Business needs to make persuasive arguments to convince a customer to purchase certain goods or services. The basic technique businesses used to communicate with their customer are still same, as far back in 18th century when Pennsylvania Gazette of Benjamin Franklin started including drawings, headlines and other advertising techniques for products along with its usual editorial articles.
Ways of delivering messages from business to customers has changed dramatically and continues to change. The universality of television for instance allowed advertisers to market their product to a large volume of audience during commercial breaks, whether they liked it or not. Then telephone eventually gave way to telemarketing.
Direct mail is another common form of marketing communication. When you open your mail box hopping to find letters and postcards, instead you see a handful of flyers of local school, restaurant, coaching class that informs you about their sale or any kind of promotional activity. Most of the people throw these flyers in trash, after a quick look. Not only lots of money is wasted in this by the businesses, but lots of paper also gets wasted in this process.
A new technique introduced by internet gave businesses another chance to reach people, a new twist in direct mail marketing known as email marketing. It is economic, fast enough to reach a large volume of targeted customers, and unlike direct mail it is easy to track results of an email campaign electronically. On the top of that, it helps in saving tons of paper, so it is environment friendly. If done right it can generate revenue no one ever thought of.
In the early years of its evolution, email marketing was seriously damaged by the explosion of spam. However, recently after the introduction of CAN-SPAM law and opt-in emails list, it received a growing acceptance as a marketing channel. It is now used to attract new customers, as well as used to maintain the existing ones. There are two main purpose of it:
??? To attract and acquire potential customers.
??? To maintain the relationship of a company with its existing customers and to enhance loyalty and repeat sales in future.
It is similar to direct mail marketing, bulk emails are sending out to a list of customers or potential customers in the database via email marketing software provided by your email service provider. In order to make it effective, make sure that you have right email service provider and you have a cleaned opt-in email list. If you purchased your list from any broker then most your emails are going in to spam and it is not good for your business. To get an opt-in email list you should put an opt-in form on your blog or website, or you should participate in various online events. There are many other ways to get an opt-in list.
Few rules to make email campaigns effective:
??? Don’t spam
??? Be personal
??? Know your customer’s need
??? Create attractive stuff
??? Test and measure
Brand matters in the world of small business just like it does for large corporation. Paired with offline strategies, email marketing is the most likely the least expensive way to reinforce small business and it help to them move it towards the mind of prospective customers.