Email Marketing is a process of sending out commercial messages to a group of people through email. It involves acquisition of email addresses of potential customers, and is generally done through an opt-in process. Once the list of email addresses is obtained, it can be used to send out targeted campaigns or newsletters to the subscribers. The main purpose of email marketing is usually to build relationships with customers, promote products or services, or drive sales.
Email marketing has been around almost as long as the internet itself, and is one of the most popular means of marketing today. It’s estimated that there are over 3 billion email users worldwide, and that number is only expected to grow.
Despite its popularity, there are still many misconceptions about what email marketing is and how it works. In this article, we’ll dispel some of those myths and give you a crash course in everything you need to know about email marketing.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the process of sending out commercial messages via email. This can include things like promoting a new product or service, running a sale or special offer, or simply staying in touch with your customers and subscribers.
Email marketing has been around since the early days of the internet. In 1978, Gary Thuerk sent out the first mass-email advertising campaign to 400 computer users on ARPANET, which later became the internet. The first recorded instance of commercial email being sent was in 1982 by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which sent out invitations to a computer trade show using their newly developed DECnet network.
The first real mass-emailing system wasn’t developed until 1996, when software developer Brad Templeton created ListServ. This allowed users to subscribe and unsubscribe from various email lists, making it much easier to manage large groups of recipients. Today, there are dozens of different email marketing platforms available, each with their own unique features and capabilities.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
The basic premise behind email marketing is pretty simple: you collect a list of email addresses from potential customers or subscribers, then send them periodic messages promoting your products or services. These messages can take many different forms, from traditional text-based emails to more modern HTML emails with images and videos embedded into them.
In order for someone to receive your emails, they must first “opt-in” or subscribe to your list. This means they’ve given you permission to send them promotional material on behalf of your business. There are many different ways to collect opt-ins, but the most common method is through an online form on your website or blog (you can see an example of this at the bottom of this article). Once somebody subscribes to your list, they’ll start receiving your emails on a regular basis.
Of course, simply having a list of email addresses isn’t enough – you need to actually send out these messages using an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These platforms allow you to create beautiful HTML emails and track things like open rates and click-through rates (more on that later). They also make it easy to manage large lists of subscribers and segment them into different groups for more targeted messaging.