The golden question: is email marketing still effective? Are droves of prospective customers (both opt-in and solicited) reading your emails at a high rate and at high speeds? Well, this depends on what type of email you send. First, take a look at where email marketing is headed. It is a billion dollar a year industry, with about 65% companies of all types using 5-10% of their budget on email campaigns. Marketing with email is expected to yield more than 7 billion dollars this year. Companies are looking into buying ad space on widely circulated newsletters with tons of subscribers and email list vendors are earning big business. Lets look at the response rate of Marketing with email – the ultimate way to judge effectiveness!

Sadly enough, tons of unsolicited spam emails go unread. Through statistics, we’ve discovered that 5 to 15 percent of all e-mails are answered. Like the click through rates of banner advertisements at popular websites, spam emails are discarded like yesterday’s trash. A quick browse at the subject line Free Viagra and people are quick to press the delete button. Advertising is a very tricky medium – if your email campaign is not specifically targeted or if it does not employ creative and original strategies that lure customers, there will be a dead-end.

That said, unsolicited email (generic and commercial in nature) is usually not received by anyone. The likelihood of a person clicking on unsolicited mail is extremely low. In addition to the fact customers might not be interested in your offers in the first place, the margin for success is small!

If you have a relationship with the customer beforehand, email marketing can exceed boundaries. In order for email campaigns to work effectively, it must be solicited in the form of opt-in lists and permission. Adding a checkbox to your online store that says something along the lines of send me periodic updates about your incoming shipments for a customer to tick off fares better off in the marketing with email game. If you have customer permission to send them updates and newsletters with additional information, it will be well received!

Marketing with email is most effective with two-way communication. Unsolicited spam mail is considered a one-way message because it is chock full of advertisements that ask customers to visit websites and purchase products. It takes up their time without receiving any sort of compensation. Email marketing campaigns through opt-in lists are different – they are tailored towards the customer’s interest and garner higher response rates. Your email list is paramount as well. Back up your campaign by purchasing a list from a list vendor who offers email addresses that are willing to receive your advertisement. Each email address usually costs between 20 and 40 cents.

Newsletters and promotions combined together make for explosive campaigns. A well written, HTML formatted newsletter can boost traffic and generate sales. Promotions can initiate customers to buy a product that they are interested in. You see, the secret to an effective promotionb is the interaction between the customer and the business.

Notice the trend: unsolicited email appearing out of no where flooding your Inbox will not generate the same response as a newsletter an opt-in list member subscribed to. By exercising business/customer relations and gauging your customer’s needs, your email marketing will become more fruitful and lead to the dollars.

How do we determine whether an email marketing campaign is effective?

The bread & butter of a campaign is its’ ability to be opened and read. Unlike print material, email provides tracking tools to gauge visitor statistics and click through rates. A true email campaign will strive to seek as much customer data as possible. Add a response form to your emails or invite newsletter subscribers to join an online message board. Droves of customers registering to your online community can highlight your emails ability to attract. Add links to your newsletter and observe its click through rate with tracking software.

The savvy email marketer will investigate trends and tricks for time tested email campaigns. For instance, HTML format emails are more visually pleasing than plain text emails – run a campaign using both formats and see which gets the most click rates! Will offering discount couples for opt-in list subscribers do the trick? If you own an online store, run a promotion where subscribers can receive a code via email to use for discount purchases on your site! For example, a site selling pheromones, is currently offering 20% off anything on their product list for newsletter readers only. Not only does this encourage customers to purchase off your site, but also you’ll know who your loyal customers are.

Another way to determine whether your email campaign is off the charts or not is to compare what you’ve received from a special campaign with the amount of money you’ve spent. Is your discount sunglasses newsletter generating $100 a month off click throughs and on-the-spot purchases versus spending $12 on paying a freelance writer for article writing and $3 on target email addresses? If so, your email campaign is paying off! Are members of your opt-in list clicking more on Discount Coupons for All Purchases than the title The History of Sunglasses? Discount coupons lead to big purchases, so try to launch promotional opportunities more often! A successful email campaign is measured by its personal interaction with customers. If customers are not responding well to your emails, try other strategies. Read and respond to consumer needs using trial & error and use tracking tools after every mailing to see how well you do.