Email marketing is one of the fastest-growing segments of the modern marketing industry. Compared with older forms of marketing, it is quite flexible and promising, and for several reasons. For instance: * Newspapers are read by a majority of adults in industrialized countries and have the advantage of timeliness, but they are normally thrown away after a few days. * Magazines are read in a more leisurely manner than newspapers and kept for longer, and they use color reproduction. * Direct mail offers a variety of sizes and form, but it costs more
per person. * A radio can be enjoyed by persons engaged in other activities, but in the absence of time limits it is difficult for one ad to make an impression. * TV allows for special effects, but it costs more overall, though the cost per person is low. Besides, people can mute commercials (I prefer to do so myself). * Billboards are passed repeatedly and attract attention, but people rarely see them for more than a few seconds. All, or at least many, of these limitations disappear when you use email advertising. Here, you know that people are receiving your ads because they want to do so. They are not having things “shoved down their throats” against their will. ## The basics ### Mailing lists An email marketing campaign, like a direct mail campaign, depends for its effectiveness almost exclusively on the mailing list. As with direct mail, so there are companies that specialize in preparing lists of persons according to such categories as occupation, age, income and interests. For instance, a firm might put together a mailing list of 20,000 new mothers or 10,000 lawyers. You can buy a mailing list, in which case you pay a certain amount per person, or you can compile one of your own. Either way, when you have such a list at your fingertips, you know that you are reaching people who have a good chance of becoming customers. ### Some good email marketing practices Although, as mentioned above, you can purchase a list, it is best to compile your own. Another good practice is to make your campaign opt in rather than opt out. That is, when you send the email to a customer, you give him or her the option of choosing to receive your messages, rather than adding him to the list and telling him he will remain there unless he opts out. If you choose the latter, they may feel obliged to stay on the list “just to be nice,” but they may not really want to do so. ### The ease of email marketing An email marketing campaign is very easy to set up and track. That is why it is so popular.