Email marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of Internet advertising. This is because there are many distinct advantages to the concept of email marketing. However, email marketing does have some disadvantages as well. In this article we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing and will also provide some insight into how to plan and execute an effective email marketing campaign.
Email marketing certainly has a set of unique advantages over other types of marketing both online and offline. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to email marketing is the ability to reach a worldwide audience with minimal effort. It is certainly possible to reach a worldwide audience with other types of advertising but traditional types of advertising such as television, radio and the print media are not nearly as effective for reaching potential customers around the world all at once.
Another major advantage to email marketing is it is extremely affordable. This is significant because there are many other types of marketing, including Internet marketing, which are significantly more expensive than email marketing. The costs associated with email marketing are minimal. Ideally you will already have a list of email recipients who are interested in your products and services so there is no cost associated with obtaining a list of email addresses. Additionally the cost to send out emails is minimal and can be considered part of your regular operating costs. All of these factors already make email marketing extremely cost effective.
However, there is some cost involved in email marketing. Primarily this is the costs associated with writing the advertisements and creating any graphics which will accompany the email advertisements. This will require hiring a writer to write the copy for the advertisement and a designer to create and implements the graphics. The cost of these services will vary pretty widely but in general you will pay more for writers and designers with more experience. This is because these writers and designers are expected to be able to produce a higher quality of work than those with less experience could produce.
The most obvious disadvantage to email marketing is the possibility of having your email marketing viewed as spam. This is a very important problem because it could prove to be quite costly in terms of the profit margin for your business. Each day Internet users are bombarded with unsolicited emails serving as advertisements. This problem has reached epic proportions and the abundance of spam infiltrating the email boxes of innocent Internet users has to be cautious and suspicious about any email they receive which is unsolicited and appears to be promoting a particular product or service.
Emails which contain subject lines or content which appear to be similar to spam may be automatically transferred to a spam email folder by the email system. Emails which are not automatically deleted may be deleted without being opened simply because the recipient does not recognize the sender of the email. Both of these problems can result in essentially wasted time for the business owner because the recipients are not even viewing the emails advertising the products and services offered by the business. Additionally, they may result in complaints being lodged against the company for being a purveyor of spam.
Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing, you might wonder how you can maximize the advantages to use email marketing to your advantage. The most important factor to consider is your email distribution list. This should consist of former customers who have expressed a desire to receive emails with information and advertisements as well as potential customers who have also expressed interest in more information.
The content of the emails should also be carefully considered. They should certainly highlight the products and services you offer but should do so without appearing to be a hard sales pitch. A writer with experience in writing this type of copy should be able to assist you in providing insightful and accurate copy which also entices the reader to find out more about your products and services. Finally your emails should provide the readers with a call to action. This should be a statement urging the reader to take a specific action such as making a purchase or researching a product.
Japan is a densely populated country, and that makes the Japanese market more difficult compared with other markets. If we utilize the possibilities of near-shore installations or even offshore installations in the future, that will give us the possibility of continued use of wind energy. If we go offshore, it’s more expensive because the construction of foundations is expensive. But often the wind is stronger offshore, and that can offset the higher costs. We’re getting more and more competitive with our equipment. The price—if you measure it per kilowatt-hour produced—is going lower, due to the fact that turbines are getting more efficient. So we’re creating increased interest in wind energy. If you compare it to other renewable energy sources, wind is by far the most competitive today. If we’re able to utilize sites close to the sea or at sea with good wind machines, then the price per kilowatt-hour is competitive against other sources of energy, go the words of Svend Sigaard, who happens to be president and CEO of the world’s largest wind turbine maker, Vestas wind systems out of Denmark. Vestas is heavily involved in investments of capital into helping Japan expand its wind turbine power generating capacity. It is seeking to get offshore installations put into place in a nation that it says is ready for the fruits of investment into alternative energy research and development.
The Japanese know that they cannot become subservient to the energy supply dictates of foreign nations—World War II taught them that, as the US decimated their oil supply lines and crippled their military machine. They need to produce energy of their own, and they being an isolated island nation with few natural resources that are conducive to energy production as it is defined now are very open to foreign investment and foreign development as well as the prospect of technological innovation that can make them independent. Allowing corporations such as Vestas to get the nation running on more wind-produced energy is a step in the right direction for the Japanese people.
The production of energy through what is known as microhydoelectric power plants has also been catching on in Japan. Japan has a myriad rivers and mountain streams, and these are ideally suited places for the putting up of microhydroelectric power plants, which are defined by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization as power plants run by water which have a maximum output of 100 kilowatts or less. By comparison, “minihydroelectric” power plants can put out up to 1000 kilowatts of electrical energy.
In Japan, the small-scaled mini- and micro-hydroelectric power plants have been regarded for a considerable time as being suitable for creating electricity in mountainous regions, but they have through refinement come to be regarded as excellent for Japanese cities as well. Kawasaki City Waterworks, Japan Natural Energy Company, and Tokyo Electric Power Company have all been involved in the development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants within Japanese cities.
The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).
As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one’s home’s energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.
Carbon Free’s analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install. However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.
Advertisements of products, organizations, and services are generally aired on television. This is be done by buying slots on the airtime from a particular television channel. Price depends on the popularity of the channel, time the commercial is being aired, number of viewers and length of the commercial. Placing a commercial on local channels is more affordable than on national channel where the cost is almost double.
When thinking of placing a commercial on television it is advised that you first understand what audience needs to be reached. Different audiences have different taste, which can be determined by their choice of television show like celebrity talk, cartoons, sports, reality, news, movies, soaps, prime time etc. Prime time is usually from 6 to 7 pm and is the most expensive slot. Following it is the news time at noon or 10-11 pm slots, which are proven to be the most effective time slots for the success of a commercial. More affordable is the 12-4 pm soap time. Always check out with the sales representative for the prices. When advertising on national level, check out an ad agency that usually works on commission basis. It’s highly recommended to negotiate during a re-run of the advertisement and stay away from paying the complete amount.
Compare the prices of different networks and different programs before you place an ad. Another money saving trick is to buy a thirty seconds slot and air commercials of ten to fifteen seconds of length one after the other. This increases the possibility of target viewers seeing the commercial without the cost of re-runs. But this is risky as the pressure of conveying critical information in a short period of time increases. So the commercials should not be so short that the actual message couldn’t be delivered correctly to the audience. Usually a reminder commercial can be of a shorter duration.
Look out for the people who would like to buy a slot that has already been purchased. This can be very tricky as it will be more like a bid for which they will be ready to pay a larger amount sometimes even double because they badly need a slot. This usually happens during the holiday season, which comes in the last quarter of the year around New Years Eve, Thanksgiving holidays and Christmas holidays. Best time of the year to buy slots for commercial is the first and second quarter of the year. Price is usually negotiable during the first quarter as the sales representatives give discounts to advertisers who have spend a lot of money advertising during the holiday season and are trying to recover from it.
If planning to pay for advertising commercials for the whole year check out the discounts that are being offered for advertising round the year. Usually a five percent discount is offered when signing for a six-month time period and ten percent when signing for a twelve-month time period. But do keep in mind to check out exactly when the commercials are being aired because these discounts are usually offered to distract people from this point and the commercials are aired during odd hours and also not during the holiday season.
The very first commercial to go on air was of Bulova Watch Company on WNBC, United States of America on July 1, 1941. And ever since then there have been no stopping and now commercials sell anything that one can ever imagine.
The best method of educating young people about alternative energy production that this writer has ever witnessed is the use of the PicoTurbine Company’s kits, books, and projects. The PicoTurbine Company produces these things for the purpose of advancing the cause of renewable (alternative) energy and getting young people to look into the future and see that the environment that’s being seeded now is the one they will inherit then. As the late, great Gerry Ford said, “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.” If we are to change the future world for the better, then it starts right here and now with the advent of “green” energy systems.
One of the core concepts of PicoTurbine can be stated: Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember some of it. Involve me, and I will master it. Based on this old tried and true adage, the kits that the company produces come with activity suggestions to get the young people into hands-on learning situations. One suggestion of the company is to demonstrate how heat can be produced by wind energy (the company’s specialty) through using a “picture wire” for the heating element. PicoTurbine has found that people typically think of wind energy as being “cold” energy, and are pleasantly surprised to see how wind can be used for generating heat in the home. Another project suggestion that the company offers is to have different groups split off in the classroom and then compare their respective wind turbines that they have built. They can see which ones produce the most or least electricity; which ones start up with need of the least amount of wind power; and for very young children, which ones have the most aesthetic appeal.
There is a core curriculum that PicoTurbine has in mind for teachers to instill in their pupils. Renewable, alternative sources of energy include solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass in addition to wind-produced energy. When we use more alternative sources of energy, we decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil supplies, which often come from nations who cannot really be called our “allies”. Alternative energy is already becoming cost effective when set against the fossil fuels that we are so reliant on currently.
PicoTurbine points out that wind farms and solar arrays are already letting their makers enjoy commercial success. In the last two decades, the cost of photovoltaic cells expressed in terms of per-watt has gone from nearly $1000 to just $4! It has been predicted by analysts that by the year 2015, the cost per watt should only be about $1 (in today’s dollars). Students also need to be taught about the hidden cost of fossil fuels: pollution and environmental degradation. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels has been shown through studies to increase incidences of asthma attacks, heighten the effects of allergies, and even cause cancer. Switching over to clean, green energy found in the alternative forms would prevent air pollution and help bolster the environment.
Whether you choose to do your marketing online or offline, one thing does not change. This is the concept that no single marketing strategy will be as effective as a combination of two or more marketing strategies. This does not mean it is necessary for you to implement every known marketing strategy to promote your business but rather it implies that it is worthwhile to market from a few different perspectives to help you achieve your business related goals. This article will examine the importance of combining email marketing with other types of marketing to create a successful; multi tiered marketing strategy and will also offer some advice on managing more than one marketing strategy at once.
As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one,” and this is certainly true when it comes to marketing. You may enjoy a great deal of success with email marketing but this does not mean you should not try other types of online marketing such as website creation, participation in industry related message boards, placing banner ads, orchestrating an affiliate marketing campaign and generating inbound links to your website. While it is possible that not all of these strategies will be effective for your business, you are likely to find at least one other option which complements your email marketing and helps you to achieve your business related goals.
Alternately you may even wish to combine your email marketing campaign with more traditional marketing strategies such as radio ads, television ads and the print media. Just because these types of advertising do not take place online, does not mean they will not be able to help you generate more business. In fact advertising both online and offline can allow you to reach a larger target audience. This is because you will likely reach Internet users around the world but can also reach potential customers who do not utilize the Internet for purchasing or researching products or services similar to the ones you offer.
Popular marketing strategies to combine with email marketing include banner ads and message board participation. These are all online activities and each one individually is fairly simple. However, in combination these simple activities can create a powerful statement. You may send out emails offering useful information about your products or services, purchase banner ad space on websites which may be of interest to your potential customers and participate in industry related message boards where you can earn the respect and pique the interest of potential customers. Even if your potential customers are not currently in need of the products and services you offer, seeing your business name so often can have a branding effect. Branding is essentially a process in which consumers see a company name so often that they are more likely to select a product from this company when they are in need of an item the company offers.
If you are planning to combine multiple forms of advertising, you should be aware that this can make it difficult for you to evaluate the effectiveness of each marketing strategy. This is especially true of the marketing strategies are implemented concurrently. When you are only using one type of marketing strategy, you can generally attribute increases in sales or website traffic to changes in the marketing strategy. However, when more than one type of marketing strategy is in effect, determining which strategy is producing the desired effect can be quite difficult. This situation can be handled by not making changes to more than one marketing strategy at a time. This will help to pinpoint which changes produce an increase in sales or website traffic. It can also help you to determine when changes to your marketing strategy have a detrimental effect on your sales and website traffic. However, if you are having difficulty determining which marketing strategy is most effective you can consider asking customers to answer survey questions and provide information such as how they learned about the products or services your business offers.