Direct email marketing is a potentially lucrative way of pitching your product or services to customers. With its low cost and simple set up, it is one of the most affordable options available. However, this simplicity hides an intricate and complicated optimization process that is an essential part of maximizing potential and turning a profit in this competitive field.
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Direct Email Marketing Benefits
- Easy Preparation: If you can compose an email, you can create direct email campaigns. While HTML allows a little more flexibility, most mailing services provide plenty of templates and other tools to make the most of your newsletters or promotional mailings. After creating your mailing, all that is left is to pick a delivery date and time and let the system do the rest of the work.
- Targeted Delivery: Whether you are using a rented list or your own list of contacts, you can target campaigns with pinpoint precision. Simply choose demographics and assign different campaigns. This allows you to ensure that you are sending relevant content to your contacts. Most services allow multiple simultaneous campaigns to allow you to cover your contact lists completely with materials that are optimized for conversions and results.
- Low Cost: Most services offer mailing campaigns for just pennies an email. When compared to printed fliers, direct mailing campaigns or PPC campaigns, the savings can be substantial. Various pricing tiers and systems allow you to choose plans that make the most sense for your campaign. From pricing per contact to flat-rate systems, there are plenty of options.
- Fast Monitoring and Reporting: Emails campaigns are monitored from the moment the emails are sent. This means that you can gather important data, such as conversion rates and open rates, in real-time from the second you have launched your campaign. When used to optimize your campaign regularly, this is perhaps one of the most powerful benefits to direct email marketing.
Direct Email Marketing Disadvantages
- Delivery Rates: If your messages are not delivered properly, you could be paying for promotions with no chance of ROI. Delivery rates vary from provider to provider and can be affected by a number of variables. Always check a service’s reported delivery rate before agreeing to service. Monitoring your delivery and bounce reports can help to ensure that your contact lists are valid and reduce delivery errors further.
- Click Rates: With the sheer number of emails that many Internet users receive throughout the day, getting them to open your emails requires great headlines, a good reputation and optimized delivery times. Many companies report the best click rates when delivering email campaigns between 1AM and 5AM as most regular Internet users check their email at the start of their day.
- Email Filtering: Automated spam filters are available through most major email service providers. Many of these filters work based on your reputation and analytics pertaining to your mailing campaigns. High bounce rates, poor titles, duplicate mailings and mailing too frequently can influence these standings as well. To help reduce these chances, always remind users to add your campaign mailing address to their contact list and provide a clear option for all users to cancel their subscription in every mailing sent.
- Limited Design Options: While HTML and plain text emails do provide a basic level of customization, emails do not directly support animations, video and other common visual elements used in web design. This can limit your options for creating eye-catching visuals or using the same branding employed on your business materials.
- Requires a Robust Contact List: Perhaps the biggest weakness to direct email marketing is the requirement for a comprehensive contact list. While you can always rent or buy a list from contact list providers, there is no guarantee that these lists will produce targeted results. Gathering contacts through your website is one of the best ways to build your lists as you can choose the contact information that is important for targeting your campaigns.