Email Marketing: A primer

There are a large number of people who equate email marketing to spam and thus many smaller companies restrain themselves from using it but ...

There are a large number of people who equate email marketing to spam and thus many smaller companies restrain themselves from using it but every major company from Facebook to Amazon has used permission based E-mail marketing to retain as well as gain new customers. In fact E-mail marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.Over half of Internet users check or send e-mail on a typical day and thus form a large target market.For Email marketing An exact return on investment(ROI) can be tracked ("track to basket") and has proven to be high when done properly.
Gaining permission to send emails to a person is an important prerequisite to this technique and all emails sent to a user should include a easy unsubscribe link or else this tactic can easily backfire.The most critical part of email marketing is the subject line which should entice user to open the email and ensure that it is not marked as spam by email filters and so should avoid words like "free" , "win" and "buy now".There are two major kinds of commercial emails
Promotional Emails:These are direct in nature and entice users to take an immediate action
Retention Based Emails:Also referred to as news letters these may include promotional messages but should be focused on providing information of value of users in order to build a long term relationship with a user. 
In Indian context bollywood hungama's newsletter shown in the image above is a good example of a newsletter.The most critical Performance indicators in this tactics include
  1. Email Open rate 
  2. Email Click-through rate
  3. Number of emails forwarded
  4. Email conversions
In fact all email providers like google and yahoo charge a small rate for sending promotional emails to their subscribed customers  and is usually charged at the email open rate and thus should be the first marketing technique to be used for a small company or startup however because of the fine line between spam and email marketing this tool should be heavily tested before being utilized.
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