Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Email Marketing
There are advantages and disadvantages to using traditional advertising mail in comparison to direct email marketing.
Advantages of Direct Email Marketing
Direct email marketing (on the Internet) is popular with companies for several reasons:
- An email list provides the ability to distribute information to a wide range of specific, potential customers at a very low cost.
- An advertiser is able to "push" the message to its audience, as compare to website-based advertising, which depend on a customer to visit the website.
Compared to other media investments such as printed newsletter and direct mail, email is most cost effective.
- The delivery time for an email message (newsletter or promotional email) is short (in a seconds or minutes) as compared to a mailed advertisement (one or more days).
- An exact return on investment can be tracked and has proven to be high when done properly. Direct email marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing strategy.
- Email messages are easy to track and analyze. An advertiser can track and analyze users via autoresponders, web bugs, bounce messages, unsubscribe requests, read receipts, click-throughs etc. These mechanisms can be used to measure open rates, positive or negative responses, and to correlate sales with marketing.
- Advertisers can generate repeat business automatically and affordably.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in (agreed) to receive email communications on subjects of interest to them.
- Direct email marketing is paper-free, environmental friendly.
- Tracking and response metrics enables tuning and optimisation of the direct email marketing channel by a process of testing different variants and calculation of statistically significant results.
Disadvantages of Direct Email Marketing
- Generating of Spam email - Many companies use email marketing to communicate with existing customers, but many other companies send unsolicited bulk e-mail, also known as spam. Most internet administrators possess a passionate dislike for spam, which they define as any unsolicited e-mail.
- It is frequently difficult for observers to different between legitimate and spam email marketing. Spammers attempt to represent themselves as legitimate operators. The sheer volume of spam has led some users to mistake legitimate commercial e-mail for spam. This situation arises when a user receives e-mail from a mailing list to which he/she subscribes. Additional confusion arises when both legitimate and spam messages have a similar appearance, as when messages include HTML and graphics.
- One effective technique used by established email marketing companies is to require what is known as the "double opt-in" method of requiring a potential recipient to manually confirm their request for information by clicking a unique link which includes a unique identification code to confirm that the owner of the recipient email address has indeed requested the information. Responsible email marketing and autoresponder companies use this double opt-in method to confirm each request before any information is sent out.
- Due to the volume of spam email on the Internet, spam filters are essential to most users. Some marketers report that legitimate commercial email messages frequently get caught and hidden by filters; however, it is somewhat less common for email users to complain that spam filters block legitimate mail.
- For USA companies, companies considering the use of an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy. Even if a company adheres to the applicable laws, it can be blacklisted if Internet email administrators determine that the company is sending spam.