Ever wonder why nearly every website you visit nowadays includes a pop-up message that asks for your email address? It is not because the owners of the site want to annoy their visitors or wish to distract from the content within – it is because they understand the importance of building and maintaining a large email list. They know that since you are obviously interested enough to visit the site, you may have enough interest in their business to receive updates, promotions, and other emails relating to their product, service or industry.
This is one of the simplest and most effective forms of digital marketing, and in this way, companies are able to direct their marketing efforts at a target audience who is likely to be receptive to them. If you are not interested, you simply close the window and move on, but if you do enter your email address, the company has gained an invaluable lead that could result in future business, purchases or referrals.
Modern Email Marketing
[pullquote]With the emergence of newer platforms– social media, in particular– many new entrepreneurs overlook the importance of traditional advertising methods.[/pullquote] Every small business wants to be innovative and on the forefront of the latest techniques for getting a leg up on the competition, but the potential effectiveness of new techniques does not diminish the proven efficiency of traditional methods.
Similar to how email marketing eventually overtook printed direct mail as the most efficient way of staying in contact with customers, social media or other methods may overtake email at some point. But that is not the case yet, and email marketing is still, by far, the most effective form of targeted marketing. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing sees an average 4,300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the US.
However, it is important to note that even though email is more effective, smart business owners still take advantage of proven techniques like direct mail. Depending on the industry, service, market, and individual, friendly letters in professional business envelopes may create a more positive response than an email campaign with similar information, and it is important to use email as part of an overall marketing strategy that is geared at reaching your target audience.
Building An Email List
[pullquote]For beginners in email marketing, an email list is exactly what it sounds like.[/pullquote] It is a list of names and email addresses of people who have given permission to be contacted. Because these individuals have shown enough interest to go this far and give their information, it usually means that they will be open to further updates, offers and campaigns going forward.
The most common method for building an email list is through the process mentioned above– subscribers will give permission to add them to your email list by entering their information directly on your website. This process is known as “opting in,” and it may be confirmed through a verification email which leads to a “double opt-in.”
Obviously, this is not the only technique for building an email list, and the ways of doing so are as limitless as ways of getting a person’s phone number. Some services sell email lists, and this can be a helpful way of starting out, but you should not rely fully on purchased lists. You will want to build your list more organically to have success, and you should be open to any number of techniques for adding to it.
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