Targeted Email Advertising Mediums Computer Science Essay

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Advertising is the lifeblood of marketing. In order to sell any product, the information that is available must reach the potential buyers. The seller, who is able to convince more people to try his products, will have more sales and thereby more profits.

There are many mediums of advertising. Whatever the masses access most, becomes the most powerful medium. Newspapers, TV, radio and billboards have traditionally been the chosen media for advertisements. The Internet has emerged as the medium with the maximum impact over the last few years. The main reasons for this are the depth and width of its reach and cost-effectiveness.

Email advertising is a method of advertising in which the information lands directly in the mailbox of the person. As a result, an average user receives hundreds of promotional emails daily. Therefore, most of the Internet users now use email filters to avoid getting irrelevant emails in their mailboxes. These junk mail or spam filters, as they are called, simply redirect the mails in a different folder if they do not match the specifications set by the user. This means that the advantage of sending out mass mails is lost if it fails to reach many people.

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This is where targeted email advertising comes to the rescue. In this approach, a segment of people who are more likely to use a certain product are filtered. Now, instead of a mail with general information, specific information related to the common taste, habits or usage is sent out to these users. This is known as opt-in email service. The user has to click a link or subscribe to be sent mails from that particular service provider

There are many companies that sell or rent email address lists. It is possible to filter the database according to various specifications like age, preference for any particular product or brand, area and average money spent on last few purchases. These people can now be sent specific promotional emails that are more personal and have greater chances of response. For example, a shop in a particular area can send special discount coupons, to consumers who have spent more than $1,000 in last three months via email. Consumers can print these coupons and redeem them at the store. This helps in improving customer service, as well as, in retaining customers.

Free Email Advertising

Email advertising is the most cost effective and penetrating way of mass marketing. It is possible to send advertisements to a huge number of people at a time. These email addresses are available for a fee. Many websites sell as well as rent email address databases.

Email advertising follows the concept of, the more the number of people reached, the greater the response. So they bombard as many users as possible with attractive, enticing advertisements in their mail. Even if ten percent of the people buy the product, the cost is generally recovered. Sometimes, websites stand to gain even by the person clicking on the link to the website.

Free email advertising is offered by many websites. They have a list of email users, to whom they offer to send a seller’s advertisements without charging any monetary fee. They may do so in exchange of any service, such as displaying their advertisements on the seller’s website. According to a recent survey, email usage has the largest share of regular users. This makes free email advertising a very successful tool in reaching out to a large section of potential consumers.

These services also use automatically generated responses to reply to any query or mail sent in by a person. This helps build a rapport with the prospective customers as it acknowledges their feedback or response to the advertisement.

Another advantage that these sites offer is that they also bring together partner sites. They allow sellers to place their links on other sites that are also using the same service provider. Websites that may want to come together as partners can do so by registering as a group. They can display each other’s links on their own websites. Whenever a person signs up with any one of the websites, he or she is also shown the information of the partner websites. This increases exposure and helps in increasing the customer flow and registration on the website.

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Internet Email Advertising

The Internet is today the most preferred form of advertising not only for people who are in the Internet business, but also for non-web based businesses. Internet email advertising is far reaching and user friendly. All the user has to do is to click on a link to open the website of the advertiser. Also, it is quite inexpensive compared to other popular media. These reasons make Internet email advertising very popular among most manufacturers and service providers.

A web page with all the information regarding the product or service is created and sent to email users. It can be animated, plain text based or interactive. A hyperlink to the website that is being advertised is also sent in the mail. This enables the customer to immediately check out the details in the advertisement.

The effectiveness of email advertising has given rise to many Internet email advertisement based businesses. Today, many companies provide databases of email users, which is the main ingredient of this business. They either sell or rent out these databases. Such companies are generally known as hosting companies. There are even brokers available that can procure such databases. They are usually more expensive but also more effective.

Hosting companies also provide bulk-mailing options. They also have an automated response service to acknowledge any mail received from customers.

Some companies also use software to capture email addresses from the Internet. The practice of sending promotional mails to people who have not registered for it, or who have no established business link with the sender, is called spamming. But some companies still practice it as a means of boosting their sales.

There are quite a few software solutions available in the market that can perform all these functions. A seller has the option to either avail the services of a professional company or to buy the relevant software.

Mass Email Advertising

The most effective feature of email advertising is the number of people it can reach in an instant. It is possible to create one general email advertisement and send it across to people across the globe. The response generated by mass email advertising is also in proportion to the number of people it reaches.

Response to email advertising depends on a lot of factors. Many email users have spam or junk mail filters activated in their mailboxes. This means mails not relevant to the user will be directed to another folder and will not be delivered in their mailbox. Also, some users frequently change their email addresses, in which case emails do not reach them.

It is also possible that a prospective customer may request for more information, but due to a delay in receiving a reply, may go ahead and buy the same product or service from somewhere else. Responding promptly helps retain old customers by building a rapport with them.

All of these services are generally taken care of by the hosting companies that sell the email databases. They provide all the mass mailing solutions. They may manage it themselves or provide the business the appropriate software. The business may also opt to buy the software on its own to manage the required services.

Mass email advertising must comply with the anti-spamming rules. It prohibits sending mails to people who do not have any relationship with the business. Therefore, the opt-in method is an excellent option. Here, the user is required to register in order to receive any information from the website.

Some hosting companies or brokers that supply the user lists can also help create more personal and effective advertisement campaigns. The business can also target specific groups according to certain parameters and send customized email to them. This generates a more favorable response. Mass mail advertising can, therefore, be a great tool for boosting sales of any business.