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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Web Marketing Is Email Marketing

I've always viewed advertising, even PPC advertising, as a kind of passive marketing. You put your ads in front of customers, most of whom choose to ignore them. It's not intrusive, and as such has a relatively low rate of effectiveness. (On the Web, click-through rates are typically in the low single digits.)

Email marketing, on the other hand, is both more intrusive and typically more effective. This is true "push" advertising; you push your message via email directly to consumers' inboxes. It's a lot harder to ignore a targeted email message than it is a web page ad.

Because of this, email marketing appeals to many types of companies, especially those with aggressive direct sales operations. Compared to other parts of the marketing mix, email marketing has several advantages, including

  • It's low-cost—It costs next to nothing to send 100,000 emails, compared to the tens of thousands of dollars it would take to send an equivalent number of traditional pieces of mail.
  • It's fast—You can get an email into the hands of a customer within seconds, compared to the days or weeks it might take to place an offer with traditional media.
  • It's easily trackable—All you have to do is create a distinct landing page for the URL in the email and then track traffic coming to that page.
  • It's proactive—Compared to search engine marketing, which waits for a user to find you, you're pushing your message to your customer base.
  • It's targeted—You can send email promotions to specified customers in your company's database.

So how do you use email marketing? It depends on the company. Some companies send out regular emails announcing weekly promotions; others send out emails only when new products or other important news is at hand. For example, I personally look forward to the weekly emails from Ticketmaster, which announce upcoming shows in my area; it's how I keep informed of artists I like who are coming to town. Other people I know like to receive the regular promotional emails from their favored airlines or hotel chains, announcing current deals they might like to take part in. If you send out emails with information that directly benefits your customer base, you have a winning proposition—and an important component of your web marketing plan.

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