Direct and affiliate marketing are important for building a good customer base. Affiliate marketing is not as easy as it seems. Compared to affiliate marketing, direct marketing using email is much simpler. However, the efficacy of email marketing depends entirely on the target audience.
Unsolicited emails are never welcome, since people get annoyed on receiving spam mail. The email list, in this case, consists of people who have voluntarily chosen to receive mails on products that are of interest to them. Permission-based email marketing is a cost-effective way of promoting the products of a company.
The CAN SPAM Law came into effect on January 1, 2004. According to this law, it is not illegal to spam people in the US, provided certain guidelines are followed while sending out bulk emails.
However, in the UK, there are strict laws against spamming, and permission-based email marketing is mandatory since the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations came into effect in December 2003. Regardless of the legal issues, it would be a good idea to encourage people to opt-in rather than flood them with unsolicited mails.
- People read through the mail rather than ignoring it.
- The company builds a reputation for itself as a permission-based email advertiser.
- There is good response to advertising since information is sent to people who choose to receive the same.
- The company reaps the benefit of promotions and marketing at a very low cost.
- In countries where bulk mailing is illegal, this medium helps the company build its business without violating any laws.
- Even in countries where bulk mailing is allowed, it ensures that a company does not violate guidelines and gets sued in the bargain.
How to Build a Marketing List
Offering Free Stuff
People generally find it hard to resist getting something for nothing. An advertiser should try giving free stuff, like eBooks and software, in exchange for their mail ID. However, the advertiser should not force people to give their mail ID in order to download the eBook.
It may be a good idea to allow the user to download one eBook without making any demands. This may inspire trust and encourage the user to revisit the site. In case the viewer returns to the site and tries to download another eBook, it would indicate a sustained level of interest. The user may now be willing to supply his mail ID in exchange for the gift.
The advertiser now has the mail ID of a genuinely interested client. He can get in touch with the person and send him information on a number of products that would be of use to him.
Often, a user is interested in signing up, but finds the subscription process painstakingly difficult.
A company should keep this in mind while designing their subscription form. The form should not ask for too many details. After all, a mailing address is all the company needs. People who provide their mail ID are obviously interested in the product. The company can then take the relationship to the next level.
Studies have shown that contrary to popular belief, email marketing has been very successful in generating revenue. The success of an operation is measured in terms of Return on Investment (ROI). ROI is defined as the ratio between the cost of investment and the revenue generated.
There is enough evidence to prove that targeting the right audience with the aid of permission-based email marketing yields results. It is up to the firm to find innovative ways of encouraging people to sign up for information on the products being marketed.