Rhino Marketing

Email Marketing

If you think that email is yesterday’s marketing technology, think again. Email is considered an indispensable technology by over 80 percent of North Americans, and is accessed on a daily basis by 57 percent of people. Despite the introduction of other communication media like Facebook, Twitter, and SMS text messaging, email still offers users the only platform by which to channel private, personalized messages with multiple attachments anywhere in the world. A marketing campaign that does not include email marketing is missing out on one of the most widely used tools of business and social communication.

Generally speaking, email marketing can be thought of as any email communication from a business to an existing or potential customer. But of course email marketing is much more involved than that. Typically, email marketing includes sending emails in an attempt to foster a relationship with the sending company, and to develop brand loyalty and repeat business. In addition, it may be used to encourage current customers to purchase something immediately. Sometimes, email marketing may also involve the inclusion of ads in a separate company’s emails.

Experts have been debating, recently, whether or not the new media has meant that email-at least as a marketing tool-is now dead. Well, if we look at numbers from the people using it, email isn’t just alive, it’s a racehorse. Nearly three times as many users employ email (1.4 billion) for communication as Facebook (500 million), and over 10 times as many as Twitter (110 million). What’s more, a recent survey by Epsilon revealed the following:

  • 71% of people said that, while purchasing from the sending company’s website, they remembered an earlier email.
  • 84% said they liked receiving emails from companies with whom they had registered; even if they did not open the emails, they liked being able to read the information or promotion at a later time. This was up 15% from a similar study in 2005.
  • 50% of respondents said that they would be more likely to make a purchase from a company who sent them an email, even if the purchase didn’t happen online. This, too, was up (13%) from the 2005 survey.
  • 67% say that they have made an offline purchase as a direct result of an email correspondence by a retail outlet.

It is easy to see that email is still a mainstay of the marketing environment.

How Can Rhino Marketing Help My Business?

A recent survey by Direct Marketing Association found that 38% of consumers plan to spend more online this year than they have in the past, a 9% increase over last year, and this at a time of economic hardship for many. In addition, many consumers say they will be avoiding traditional retail buying events like “Black Friday” in favour of online sales like “Cyber Monday.” An email campaign run by Rhino Marketing can help yours be the business these customers click to.

Some businesses are rightly concerned about some of the problems associated with email marketing. The main problem many people see with email is deliverability. Many permissioned emails do not make it to the recipient’s inbox. In fact, as many as 14% of permissioned emails are misdirected as spam, even though they have been requested by the recipient. Another problem is email images not displaying properly. Even worse, only 28% of people aged 18-24 say that they are presently receiving emails that are relevant for them. But these problems all have one thing in common: they all represent a misunderstanding of the systems used to read and filter emails. Rhino Marketing has the solution.

At Rhino Marketing, we understand email deliverabilty. We configure email servers correctly, so they don’t end up classified as illegitimate. We filter out unknown users to keep your emails from being blocked by other servers. We use double opt-ins to make sure that your emails are going to a real inbox. And when they get there, we make sure that the message is relevant, appropriately targeted, and interactive, so that the recipient clicks into your website. Call us today for a consultation, and start maximizing your ROI through our expert team of email marketers.

What Email Marketing Offers

Email marketing offers many advantages over traditional paper-based lettermail marketing. For one thing, cost efficiencies in email marketing means you can expect to save 78% in costs associated with the design, execution, delivery, and response assessment over direct mail, not to mention the hours of labour saved that could be applied elsewhere to benefit your business. (This is based on a typical mail-out of 5000 letters.) It is also infinitely more personal, helping to foster and maintain brand-customer relationships better than lettermail. Email is more interactive, and has the ability to include links to websites, games, music, and videos which more effectively grab your prospective customer’s attention and offer them a chance to respond immediately. Various statistics are also available with email marketing; with lettermail, the effectiveness of the campaign can only be measured in how many responses come back, either through the mail, by phone, or via the internet. With email marketing, however, specific emails can be tracked and compared for their effectiveness, for the click-through and conversion rates, and the ways in which customers access your website. Finally, a web-based email marketing campaign means a faster response time, usually one to three days, as compared to paper-based mail campaigns that take at least seven to twelve days to get a response.

But email has advantages over many other forms of internet marketing as well. First and foremost, email has a global reach. For example, several countries have either banned YouTube entirely, or ban it in irregular intervals, depending on whether or not some group has offended the government. This list includes Iran, UAE, Morocco, Brazil, Turkey, Iraq, Thailand, India, and China. The same can be said of Facebook, which has seen its social media site blocked in Pakistan, Syria, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, Iran, Uzbekistan and North Korea, not to mention the countless workplaces which block it from their employees’ or patrons’ use. A valid email address, however, can’t be blocked by a country unless it bans the site to which that address is attached. That means that workplace and/or personal emails are always open.

Furthermore, email lists with opt-in and opt-out options allow businesses to tailor their marketing to a shortlist of people who have already requested more information. Such lists can be created to target consumers according to age, ethnicity, geographic location, purchasing habits, interests, income, and so on. This is much more effective than sending to someone based on other marketers’ lists, or simply because of a customer’s past affinity with a product, service, or brand. This is very specific targeting, and yields significant ROI when it’s done effectively.

Current Applications and the Email of the Future

What makes email so appealing as a marketing tool is its flexibility. Of course, the main thing emails provide is information on products, services, and promotions, and offer direct links to the sending company’s website. In addition, emails can be used for viral marketing campaigns; promotions that direct customers to forward the message to a friend are effective because the sender ends up acting as a reference for the company. If your company is able to gather personal information during registration, sending a personalized greeting on special occasions such as birthdays is also an excellent way to make customers feel connected to the company, and helps to foster brand loyalty-especially when it is accompanied by an exclusive offer.

Future projections for growth are impressive. It is expected that by 2013 the number of email users will rise to 1.9 billion. That is more than 25% of the world’s entire population.

At the same time, the nature of email will see a shift, as technology develops to embed interactive video, audio, and other applications directly into the email itself, just as images are now.

In the second quarter of 2010, smartphones represented 19% of all phones, a trend that doesn’t see any sign of ending soon. As more and more people adopt smartphones and other mobile media, email is going to become not a competitor but a complement to other forms of social media, so that email and Facebook (and others) will be connected in terms of sharing documents and linking between one another. Some marketing forecasters predict an increase in the use of barcodes in emails, particularly in the preheader. Customers accessing their emails via smartphones will be able to present the barcode via the screen on their phone.

Security will also increase, as emails taken on various types of digital signatures and the kind of security we see today on many secure websites.

Email technology is expected to evolve to include a whole host of variables, including offerings based on past purchases, interests, and so on. It will also be able to embed dynamic, real time content, updated not to the date of sending the email, but current to the time of opening the email! As you can see, the future of email is going to offer fresh new marketing tools for businesses to take advantage of.