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Email Reigns as One of the Single Most Effective Advertising Tools, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Marketing and advertising managers have determined that email may not only be their most effective ad tool, but is also likely to be the most cost effective.  The challenges include attracting consumers and capturing their email addresses, properly maintaining databases of those email addresses, and publishing relevant, useful emails that will maintain the interest of those consumers.
Ads in the form of emails are not new.  Advertisers have been emailing existing as well as potential customers for years.  What is a growing phenomenon, however, is the use of automated series of emails based on a customer’s behavior, triggered by such actions as subscribing to a site, browsing through merchandise online or searching for particular items or keywords.  Email series can include a string of welcome emails, teasers relating to browsed merchandise or reminders that items were placed in an online shopping cart but not purchased.
For example, a user wanting to receive e-newsletters clicks a “Subscribe” link on a web site and is prompted to enter a first name, last name and an email address.  The site responds with a first message, welcoming the user to the subscription list and possibly offering a first-time discount offer good for several days.  That first “welcome” email is followed by a second a few days later, which may encourage the user to connect to the site via social media or to recommend the site to friends.  Another email follows shortly before the discount offer expires as a reminder to shop the site and enjoy the discount.  The automated series builds a relationship and sets the stage for further emails based on the user’s behavior (such as a thank you email for a purchase, or a message prompting a return to the site if the user has not visited again).
A growing number of companies now offer advanced email technology platforms and support automated email series, with services such as data collection and analysis, email design and response tracking.  Companies like Oracle Bronto, Constant Contact and MailChimp provide marketing platforms for companies to run email marketing campaigns.  In many cases, sophisticated marketers use these email services to support multi-channel (such as online, physical location and catalog) marketing campaigns.  These firms typically charge a base monthly fee plus a modest fee per thousand emails sent.  Key features include the ability for email recipients to opt-out if they no longer want to receive emails, along with other tools that assist email marketers in keeping their campaigns within the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law that governs commercial use of email within the U.S.
A prime strategy of sophisticated email marketers is the segmentation of their consumer email lists, based on past purchases, geography, responses to online surveys and other methods.  This enables them to provide the most relevant and timely email messages, tailored specifically to the recipient.

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