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Email Marketing Basics Part Introduction to Email Marketing

The phenomenon of emarketing is, of course, the age-old practice of direct marketing/advertising remade in modern dress. “Direct marketing” is often used interchangeably with “direct mail.” But it can range from the catalog that arrives along with your letters and the advertisement inside your billing statement to the flyer slipped under your windshield and even to the salesman knocking at your door. There was a time when marketing directly to customers and potential customers was considered the poor stepchild of more sophisticated forms of advertising, and upscale businesses did not regard it as a viable, elegant solution to their marketing problems. Savvy marketers soon realized, however, that mass direct marketing could provide immediate sales results, create a personal connection with customers, was more cost effective than billboard or display advertising when the object is to get immediate results, not just to create awareness.

Perhaps most importantly, direct marketing lends itself to greater measurability and to testing variations in form and content to determine the best approach. Today it is universally regarded as one of the most effective forms of advertising. Direct marketing can be any marketing method that takes the initiative aims to establish or maintain an immediate, one-to-one relationship with customers and prospective customers, rather than waiting for them to discover you in more general, impersonal forms of advertising. Direct marketing is most powerful when it is used as part of a direct response strategy – that is, asks the recipient to take some immediate action – order a product, get a free gift, enter a contest, give a donation. Perhaps since the advent of the Sears catalog in 1893, the most popular and powerful form of direct response marketing has been via U.

S. postal service. Advent of eMarketing But times have changed. Digital delivery is rewriting business rules and redefining direct marketing. The advent of electronic forms of communication such as email and the Internet have given marketers new and even more cost effective ways to become more focused and granular in their marketing efforts.

The rise of the Internet produced a gold rush not only in commerce, but in new expectations for online marketing. Many of those expectations were inflated: not all Internet marketing has proven to be created equal. Although successful while still a novelty, Internet advertising response rates are quickly eroding. Users are inundated with banner ads everywhere they go on the Internet.

While it is true that advertising on vertically targeted portals can produce better than average click-through rates, banner ads can be a difficult medium to achieve marketing goals. Marketers looking for an effective way to reach customers online are turning to email. Email has quickly become a communication standard and the Internet’s most popular application. Both the number of email users and the usage rates are continuing to grow exponentially. According to eMarketer, by the end of 2000, there were 96.6 million email users in the U.

S. representing 43.8% of the total population of adults and teens. In an effort to realize the commercial potential of this powerful communication medium, U.S. companies spent $496 million on email advertising in 2000, a 177% increase from 1999.

Email is by far the dominant digital delivery application and is already used much more than traditional “snail mail”. Over 395 billion messages were delivered in the U.S. in 1999 as compared to 202 billion pieces of mail delivered by the U.

S. Postal Service. Just one year later, in 2001, over 536 billion email messages were delivered – an increase of 35 percent in a single year – versus a growth in postal deliveries of less than 3%. In 2000, some 22 percent of email messages were commercial.

Mischelle (Schelly) Weedman-Davis has over 15 years of marketing experience with high tech and internet businesses such as Microsoft, Primus, Summit Software, Qpass, and others. She recently left the high tech world behind to focus her energy and attention on being a mother and supporting her husband’s Seattle law firm. To learn more about Davis Law Group visit or

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