Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
- Sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Sending emails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
- Adding advertisements to emails sent by other companies to their customers.
Email marketing has several key advantages over traditional mail marketing, including the following:
- An exact return on investment can be tracked and has proven to be high when done properly. Email marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in to receive email communications on subjects of interest to them.
- Over half of all Internet users check or send email on a typical day.
- Email allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalized, relevant, dynamic messages.
- Transactional emails allow businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events like purchases or shop-cart abandonment.