How Email Marketing Helps Small Businesses

Long time readers know I got into email marketing about a decade ago. But what you may not know is why I’ve stayed in this business for so long.

That’s the story I’d like to tell you today.

For those of you that don’t know, email marketing is the process of selling through email messages. It’s a lot like direct mail marketing but instead of sending advertisements through the postal system, messages go out via email.

In email marketing, an advertisement is created and sent out to a list of email addresses. The list is made by compiling users who have signed up to receive messages or promotions. Companies can also rent other company’s list for a fee to try to get them to sign up to their list.

When I first started out email marketing was not something most companies did. Only a few had caught on to the power this marketing tool provided. Now every business with a CEO that has at least half a brain uses it to add to their bottom line. Why the run up in popularity? Because email marketing is the easiest, most effective and affordable marketing tool that is available right now.

Why it’s so Easy to Use

When I got my first job I had to learn a lot of different marketing techniques; direct mail, internet advertising, radio, television, and email marketing. Know which one was the easiest? Email marketing.

The other techniques took months, sometimes years to become proficient at. But email marketing took me a day to pick up. It was simple and very straight forward. Everyone already uses email so there isn’t as much to learn. If you can open an email account and use a mouse you can master email marketing.

Why it’s More Effective than Anything Else

When you compare email marketing to other marketing tools you can see how much more effective it is. With TV you don’t know who is watching your ads and you can’t target to the degree you can with email marketing. It’s the same with print media. Not to mention you can’t track sales directly related to the advertisements. Even with direct mail you can’t be sure your message has been delivered to its intended recipient or that it was even read in the instances it does get delivered.

With email marketing you can track which users open your message and what they do after the message is opened. Email marketing uses software that tells marketers if a recipient classifies the message as spam. They can also tell which users open the email and delete it and which ones open it and clicks on links contained in the message. All of this information allows email marketers to go back and revise their messages to make them more effective. They can resend similar ads to those who opened the email and clicked on links, but did not buy as well as delete users who classified their email as spam.

Why it’s Cheaper than the Alternatives

Compared to other marketing tools, email marketing is extremely cheap. With TV not only is the ad spot expensive, but the production of the message costs thousands of dollars as well. Print ads are cheaper than TV, but still cost an arm and a leg. Newspapers and magazines live off of the money they get from advertisers so their spots aren’t cheap either. Direct mail can cost thousands of dollars just to produce, not to mention the other costs like postage, design, list rental and processing drive the final price up even further.

With email marketing, there are virtually no costs. It costs you a few bucks to send the message and a few bucks to craft the message. That’s it. Most email senders cost less than $20 a month.  And because it’s easy to use, it’s easy to create an ad that works online.

Email marketing is a great way to test new campaigns for all these reasons. You can then use the information you learn to revise your message, make it stronger and use the other media platforms to expand your reach. This is one reason email marketing is a growing field.

Additionally email marketing is a great launching pad for my other marketing efforts. For example, I use it to drive traffic to my website so I can command a higher price for the ad space I sell there. And I use surveys and polls I email out to my customers to improve my product line and improve my sales.

Entrepreneurs that don’t know how to get started or who are concerned they can’t afford it the answer is simple. Try email marketing first. Once you’ve tested your idea and found it to be viable you can expand and open up a retail shop or use the money you’ve made through internet sales to buy TV or print ad spots. In today’s climate of picky consumers, what could be better than an easy to do, effective marketing effort that doesn’t break the bank?

If you’d like to learn more about email marketing this is the best course I’ve ever found on the topic.  Plus it’s now selling at a major discount.

Good luck!

Mark Patricks

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