Email Marketing Affiliate Programs
E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. Email marketing has been receiving bad press in recent years due to poorly run campaigns, desperate companies paying spammers to get immediate results and the selling of email directories by some big name web addresses. Email Marketing does not have to be considered taboo, if done correctly, marketing to your customer base who wants to receive your correspondance can only help your business. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
To enhance the relationship with current or old customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
Sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing old customers to buy something immediately.
Adding advertisements in e-mails sent by other companies to their customers.
Emails that are being sent on the Internet (Email did and does exist outside the Internet, Network Email, FIDO etc.)
Researchers estimate that US firms alone spent $400 million on e-mail marketing in 2006.
E-mail marketing (on the Internet) is popular with companies because:
Compared to other media investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, it is less expensive.
Return on investment has proven to be high when done properly and e-mail marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
It is instant, as opposed to a mailed advertisement, an e-mail arrives in a few seconds or minutes.
It lets the advertiser "push" the message to its audience, as opposed to a website that waits for customers to come in.
It is easy to track. An advertiser can track users via web bugs, bounce messages, un-subscribes, read-receipts, click-throughs, etc. These can be used to measure open rates, positive or negative responses, corrolate sales with marketing.
Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted in (consented) to receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them
Over half of Internet users check or send email on a typical day.
Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger other messages to be automatically delivered.
Many companies use e-mail marketing to communicate with existing customers, but many other companies send unsolicited bulk e-mail, also known as spam.
Illicit e-mail marketing antedates legitimate e-mail marketing, since on the early Internet (see Arpanet) it was not permitted to use the medium for commercial purposes. As a result, marketers attempting to establish themselves as legitimate businesses in e-mail marketing have had an uphill battle, hampered also by criminal spam operations billing themselves as legitimate.
It is frequently difficult for observers to distinguish between legitimate and spam e-mail marketing. First off, spammers attempt to represent themselves as legitimate operators, obfuscating the issue. Second, direct-marketing political groups such as the U.S. Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have pressured legislatures to legalize activities which many Internet operators consider to be spamming, such as the sending of "opt-out" unsolicited commercial e-mail. Third, the sheer volume of spam e-mail has led some users to mistake legitimate commercial e-mail (for instance, a mailing list to which the user subscribed) for spam especially when the two have a similar appearance, as when messages include HTML and flashy graphics.
Due to the volume of spam e-mail on the Internet, spam filters are essential to most users. Some marketers report that legitimate commercial e-mails frequently get caught by filters, and hidden; however, it is somewhat less common for e-mail users to complain that spam filters block legitimate mail.
Companies considering an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act), the European Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 or their Internet provider's acceptable use policy. Even if a company follows the law, if Internet mail administrators find that it is sending spam it is likely to be listed in blacklists such as SPEWS.
Because the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 authorizes an USD 11,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient, many commercial e-mail marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software that helps ensure compliance with the Act. A variety of older systems exist which do not ensure compliance with the Act. To comply with the Act's regulation of commercial e-mail, services typically: require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses which may not have given valid permission.
In addition to satisfying legal requirements, service providers stepped in to help customers to set up and manage their own e-mail marketing campaigns. The services provide e-mail templates, automatically handle subscriptions and removals, and generate statistics on how many messages were received and openned, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.
Email Marketing after CAN-SPAM: Opt-in Email Advertising
Opt-in e-mail advertising or permission marketing is a method of advertising by electronic mail wherein the recipient of the advertisement has consented to receive it. It is one of several ways developed by marketers to eliminate the disadvantages of e-mail marketing.
E-mail has become a very popular mode of communication across the world. It has also become extremely popular to advertise through . Some of the many advantages of advertising through e-mail are the direct contact with the consumer and is inexpensive, flexible, and simple to implement (Fairhead, 2003). There are also disadvantages attached to e-mail advertising such as, alienating the consumer because of overload to messages or the advertisement getting deleted without getting read.
Permission e-mail marketing may evolve into a technology that uses a handshake protocol between sender and receiver (Fairhaed, 2003). This system is intended to eventually result in a high degree of satisfaction between consumers and marketers. If opt-in e-mail advertising is used, the material that is emailed to consumers will be anticipated. It is assumed that the consumer wants to receive it, which makes it unlike unsolicited advertisements sent to the consumer (often referred to as spam). Ideally, opt-in e-mail advertisements will be more personal and relevant to the consumer than untargetted advertisements.
A common example of permission marketing is a newsletter sent to a firmís customers. Newsletters like this are a way to let customers know about upcoming events or promotions, or new products. In this type of advertising, a company that wants to send a newsletter to their customers may ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to receive this newsletter.
With a foundation of opted-in contact information stored in a database, marketers can automatically send out promotional materials. The marketers can also segment their promotions to specific market segments