Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant's relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]

As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009.[109] European ad associations published a similar document in 2011.[110] Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.[109]:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.[111]
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]
Here are some of the most interesting email marketing stats around. The Radicati Group says we’ll send and receive around 281 billion emails this year. According to Adestra, 78% of teens use email. Statista reports that 85% of US adults use email. Consumers like getting emails from the brands they love. But email senders have to respect the inbox. Email too often, or include the wrong content, and Litmus says some people will report your email as spam instead of unsubscribing.

Watch the growth of your list. Is your email list growing or shrinking? If more people are unsubscribing than are registering to your list, it's a good sign that you need an entire strategic overhaul on your email policies. If there are a lot of people unsubscribing it could be because your content is not relevant to the people that you're sending it to. In this case, try to segment your list differently or change the type of content that's being delivered through your email blasts.
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feed back to the firm on a community based site or straight directly to the firm via email.[24] Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing.[24]
There are numerous ways that advertisers can be overcharged for their advertising. For example, click fraud occurs when a publisher or third parties click (manually or through automated means) on a CPC ad with no legitimate buying intent.[80] For example, click fraud can occur when a competitor clicks on ads to deplete its rival's advertising budget, or when publishers attempt to manufacture revenue.[80]
The term originated in the early days of email marketing when sending a mass mailing (read: blasting) was a new idea that contrasted with the more familiar way of using email as two-way correspondence. At the time, the internet was a lawless wasteland didn’t have many regulations, so once the wrong person got ahold of your email address, they could and would spam you with whatever they pleased. It was completely free advertising!
Internet service providers (GMail, Yahoo, etc.) and anti-spam organizations create the spam traps to prevent spam from reaching people’s inboxes. The important thing for everyone to remember is if you use a purchased list, you are technically spamming the people on that list. Spam is unsolicited email and those people did not request your information.
Advertisers may also deliver ads based on a user's suspected geography through geotargeting. A user's IP address communicates some geographic information (at minimum, the user's country or general region). The geographic information from an IP can be supplemented and refined with other proxies or information to narrow the range of possible locations.[28] For example, with mobile devices, advertisers can sometimes use a phone's GPS receiver or the location of nearby mobile towers.[29] Cookies and other persistent data on a user's machine may provide help narrowing a user's location further.[28]
Blast email and other forms of email marketing have grown increasingly popular for businesses, due to the relatively low cost and easy tracking abilities involved. In most cases, individuals must opt-in, or subscribe, to an email list to receive blast email from a particular company. Newsletters, for example, are a common form of email marketing. The company, in turn, must create and manage a large mailing list that identifies all the individuals who have subscribed to the email marketing service. Depending on the size of the company and the amount of recipients, managing this list can be quite daunting. As a result, most companies hire a third-party vendor or use software to manage mailing lists.
Maggie Aland is a staff writer for Fit Small Business and editor of the Marketing and Reviews sections. She writes on a variety of marketing topics, ranging from newspaper ads to how to market your business on Facebook. Before joining Fit Small Business, Maggie worked as a marketing associate at a niche publishing company. There she was responsible for determining the marketing plan and keeping up with the budget of 10+ B2B products. Her experience includes email, direct mail, social media, events, and more. When not editing or writing, you can find Maggie looking for the best brunch spots in NYC.
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One hundred years ago, companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penny Co. used customer data to send out catalogs and mailers. Back then, the companies possessed small sets of data, mainly names and addresses of customers. Now, marketers have mountains of complex data and are faced with a modern conundrum: How much personal data is too much to incorporate into the content?
Considering that most marketing involves some form of published media, it is almost (though not entirely) redundant to call 'content marketing' anything other than simply 'marketing'. There are, of course, other forms of marketing (in-person marketing, telephone-based marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc.) where the label is more useful for identifying the type of marketing. However, even these are usually merely presenting content that they are marketing as information in a way that is different from traditional print, radio, TV, film, email, or web media.
As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user's online activity, they can create a detailed profile of the user's interests to deliver even more targeted advertising. This aggregation of data is called behavioral targeting.[26] Advertisers can also target their audience by using contextual to deliver display ads related to the content of the web page where the ads appear.[19]:118 Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual advertising all are designed to increase an advertiser's return on investment, or ROI, over untargeted ads.[27]
Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
Email marketing has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels available when it’s done well. Email today needs to feel like one-on-one conversations with each audience member, but it also needs to scale. Make sure your strategies are up-to-date so your emails are getting delivered and cutting through the noise.