Email marketing is one of the major types of digital marketing activities that involve using email both for outbound and inbound marketing purposes. To be specific, organizations use email marketing to build sales leads and maintain a relationship with their customers.
Despite the existence of newer digital communication platforms such as app-based messaging and social media, email remains a valuable tool for marketing due to its numerous advantages. However, it is also important to note that like any other platforms, it also has its fair share of disadvantages.
Pros: The Benefits and Advantages of Email Marketing
1. Cost Advantage Over Traditional Mail
When compared to traditional outbound and inbound marketing that involves the use of mail sent via conventional postal delivery, email marketing is considerably cheaper to maintain, as well as easier and faster to implement. It is also important to note that a significant portion of the population in most urbanized societies have email accounts, thus giving email marketing an existing target audience reach.
2. Useful for Feedbacks and After-Sales Support
One of the notable advantages of email marketing is that it is a cost-effective solution for inbound marketing. It helps build and maintain a customer base. As an example, a designated email address for sales allows probable customers to send inquiries, thus helping build a customer base, as well as respond to after-sales inquiries, thereby helping maintain a relationship with the customers.
3. Also Useful in Outbound Marketing
Another advantage of email marketing is that it also supports outbound marketing initiatives. Organizations use email marketing to entice a probable customer to purchase or encourage repeat sales by sending engaging messages containing announcements of new products or sales promotions such as sales discounts and other sales incentives.
4. Provides Further Depth than Chat-Based Messaging
When compared to chat-based messaging via app-based chat applications or social networking websites, email messaging allows lengthier messaging. For sales-related inquiries, this means that customers can send in-depth messages to help them express better their issues or concerns. For feedbacks or after-sales support, organizations can respond in great details, thus allowing them to give probable or existing customers with better explanations.
5. Integration with Automation and Information Systems
Some tools can help digital marketers automate and organize better their email marketing activities and campaigns through email management. To be specific, designated email systems of an organization can be integrated with a customer relationship management or CRM software for automated marketing messages, computer-generated responses, tracking of incoming and outgoing messages, and maintaining a database of email recipients.
Cons: The Limitations and Disadvantages of Email Marketing
1. A Need to Build and Maintain a Solid Mailing List
Unlike reaching online users via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the reachability of email marketing depends first and foremost on the database of email recipients. However, building the list of recipients is similar to traditional outbound marketing activities because it takes time to accumulate a large number of email addresses. Note that social networking site audience can be built through online advertising or consistent and effective audience engagement.
2. Special Considerations in Email Best Practices
Email marketing has several more specific disadvantages. Email systems automatically filter out emails from unfamiliar senders, thus placing them in the designated spam folders. Email marketers should also comply with spam laws in certain jurisdictions such as the United States and the European Union. To improve responses to marketing messages sent via email, marketers need to observe best practices such personalization, use of incentives, placement of links, and length and substance of the content.
3. Not Timely Unlike Chat-Based Messaging
Another limitation of email marketing, particularly when applied to feedbacks and after-sales support, is that it is not a messaging platform for immediate and real-time conversation. Some inquiries might require a continuous string of short conversations between a sales representative and a probable or existing customer. In these instances, chat-based messaging is more appropriate. Email marketing is better suited for lengthy and detailed messaging.
4. Costs Associated with Implementing Email Management
Although email is considerably cheaper than traditional mail, high-volume email activities require email management, particularly through the use of a CRM software or any other relevant information systems. Using these systems have costs associated from buying or subscribing the actual software, purchasing other needed IT resources, and paying specialized personnel to handle email management processes and activities.