Many business owners who opt to try email marketing make the mistake of believing any type of email marketing is beneficial. This is simply not true; there are a number of mistakes business owners can make when they organize an email marketing campaign. Examples of these types of mistakes may include allowing promotional materials to be tagged as spam, not following up with promotional emails, not being prepared for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort and not marketing specifically to the target audience.
We will begin our discussion on email marketing mistakes with spam. Spam is a problem which is reaching endemic proportions. Each day Internet users are bombarded with spam from around the world. This may include a host of unsolicited emails which are promoting products or services the recipients may or may not be interested in purchasing. A critical mistake business owners can make in email marketing is to issue emails which are likely to be construed to be spam. This may result in the emails never reaching the recipient or the emails being deleted, without being read, by the recipient. Avoiding the potential of falling into the spam category is not very difficult. It basically involves ensuring your promotional emails contain more useful copy than blatant advertising. This will make it more likely for your emails to be taken seriously.
Another email marketing mistake often made is failure to follow up on promotional emails. Sending out emails to interested parties can be very beneficial but it is even more beneficial to contact these email recipients by other methods such as mail or telephone to answer any questions they may have and offer any additional information they may require. This type of follow up can be much more effective than simply sending an email and allowing it to fall into the abyss of an overcrowded email inbox.
Business owners may also run into the mistake of not preparing themselves for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort. The express purpose of email marketing is to generate increased interest in your products or services. Therefore it is critical for business owners to anticipate an increase in business and be prepared to accommodate this increased demand for products and services. This is important because potential customers who have to wait for products or services may seek out your competitors who are better prepared to provide them with products or services immediately.
Finally a critical mistake made by business owners is to not tailor an email marketing campaign to their specific target audience. This can be a problem because it may result in the email marketing being less effective. Business owners typically make this mistake because they fall into the trap of believing that it is more important to reach a large audience than it is to reach a target audience. You may blindly send your email marketing materials to millions of recipients and only generate a few leads. However, you could send the same email marketing materials to a smaller group of only a thousand recipients who all have an interest in your products and services and will likely generate more leads from this smaller email distribution list. It is not only important to send your message to members of your target audience but to also tailor your message to suit this audience. Creating an email message which will appeal to a variety of individuals is not as important as creating a message which will appeal to members of your target audience.
Email marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of Internet advertising. This is because there are many distinct advantages to the concept of email marketing. However, email marketing does have some disadvantages as well. In this article we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing and will also provide some insight into how to plan and execute an effective email marketing campaign.
Email marketing certainly has a set of unique advantages over other types of marketing both online and offline. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to email marketing is the ability to reach a worldwide audience with minimal effort. It is certainly possible to reach a worldwide audience with other types of advertising but traditional types of advertising such as television, radio and the print media are not nearly as effective for reaching potential customers around the world all at once.
Another major advantage to email marketing is it is extremely affordable. This is significant because there are many other types of marketing, including Internet marketing, which are significantly more expensive than email marketing. The costs associated with email marketing are minimal. Ideally you will already have a list of email recipients who are interested in your products and services so there is no cost associated with obtaining a list of email addresses. Additionally the cost to send out emails is minimal and can be considered part of your regular operating costs. All of these factors already make email marketing extremely cost effective.
However, there is some cost involved in email marketing. Primarily this is the costs associated with writing the advertisements and creating any graphics which will accompany the email advertisements. This will require hiring a writer to write the copy for the advertisement and a designer to create and implements the graphics. The cost of these services will vary pretty widely but in general you will pay more for writers and designers with more experience. This is because these writers and designers are expected to be able to produce a higher quality of work than those with less experience could produce.
The most obvious disadvantage to email marketing is the possibility of having your email marketing viewed as spam. This is a very important problem because it could prove to be quite costly in terms of the profit margin for your business. Each day Internet users are bombarded with unsolicited emails serving as advertisements. This problem has reached epic proportions and the abundance of spam infiltrating the email boxes of innocent Internet users has to be cautious and suspicious about any email they receive which is unsolicited and appears to be promoting a particular product or service.
Emails which contain subject lines or content which appear to be similar to spam may be automatically transferred to a spam email folder by the email system. Emails which are not automatically deleted may be deleted without being opened simply because the recipient does not recognize the sender of the email. Both of these problems can result in essentially wasted time for the business owner because the recipients are not even viewing the emails advertising the products and services offered by the business. Additionally, they may result in complaints being lodged against the company for being a purveyor of spam.
Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing, you might wonder how you can maximize the advantages to use email marketing to your advantage. The most important factor to consider is your email distribution list. This should consist of former customers who have expressed a desire to receive emails with information and advertisements as well as potential customers who have also expressed interest in more information.
The content of the emails should also be carefully considered. They should certainly highlight the products and services you offer but should do so without appearing to be a hard sales pitch. A writer with experience in writing this type of copy should be able to assist you in providing insightful and accurate copy which also entices the reader to find out more about your products and services. Finally your emails should provide the readers with a call to action. This should be a statement urging the reader to take a specific action such as making a purchase or researching a product.
Advertisements of products, organizations, and services are generally aired on television. This is be done by buying slots on the airtime from a particular television channel. Price depends on the popularity of the channel, time the commercial is being aired, number of viewers and length of the commercial. Placing a commercial on local channels is more affordable than on national channel where the cost is almost double.
When thinking of placing a commercial on television it is advised that you first understand what audience needs to be reached. Different audiences have different taste, which can be determined by their choice of television show like celebrity talk, cartoons, sports, reality, news, movies, soaps, prime time etc. Prime time is usually from 6 to 7 pm and is the most expensive slot. Following it is the news time at noon or 10-11 pm slots, which are proven to be the most effective time slots for the success of a commercial. More affordable is the 12-4 pm soap time. Always check out with the sales representative for the prices. When advertising on national level, check out an ad agency that usually works on commission basis. It’s highly recommended to negotiate during a re-run of the advertisement and stay away from paying the complete amount.
Compare the prices of different networks and different programs before you place an ad. Another money saving trick is to buy a thirty seconds slot and air commercials of ten to fifteen seconds of length one after the other. This increases the possibility of target viewers seeing the commercial without the cost of re-runs. But this is risky as the pressure of conveying critical information in a short period of time increases. So the commercials should not be so short that the actual message couldn’t be delivered correctly to the audience. Usually a reminder commercial can be of a shorter duration.
Look out for the people who would like to buy a slot that has already been purchased. This can be very tricky as it will be more like a bid for which they will be ready to pay a larger amount sometimes even double because they badly need a slot. This usually happens during the holiday season, which comes in the last quarter of the year around New Years Eve, Thanksgiving holidays and Christmas holidays. Best time of the year to buy slots for commercial is the first and second quarter of the year. Price is usually negotiable during the first quarter as the sales representatives give discounts to advertisers who have spend a lot of money advertising during the holiday season and are trying to recover from it.
If planning to pay for advertising commercials for the whole year check out the discounts that are being offered for advertising round the year. Usually a five percent discount is offered when signing for a six-month time period and ten percent when signing for a twelve-month time period. But do keep in mind to check out exactly when the commercials are being aired because these discounts are usually offered to distract people from this point and the commercials are aired during odd hours and also not during the holiday season.
The very first commercial to go on air was of Bulova Watch Company on WNBC, United States of America on July 1, 1941. And ever since then there have been no stopping and now commercials sell anything that one can ever imagine.
Biofuels are produced by converting organic matter into fuel for powering our society. These biofuels are an alternative energy source to the fossil fuels that we currently depend upon. The biofuels umbrella includes under its aegis ethanol and derivatives of plants such as sugar cane, as well aS vegetable and corn oils. However, not all ethanol products are designed to be used as a kind of gasoline. The International Energy Agency (IEA) tells us that ethanol could comprise up to 10 percent of the world’s usable gasoline by 2025, and up to 30 percent by 2050. Today, the percentage figure is two percent.
However, we have a long way to go to refine and make economic and practical these biofuels that we are researching. A study by Oregon State University proves this. We have yet to develop biofuels that are as energy efficient as gasoline made from petroleum. Energy efficiency is the measure of how much usable energy for our needed purposes is derived from a certain amount of input energy. (Nothing that mankind has ever used has derived more energy from output than from what the needed input was. What has always been important is the conversion—the end-product energy is what is useful for our needs, while the input energy is just the effort it takes to produce the end-product.) The OSU study found corn-derived ethanol to be only 20% energy efficient (gasoline made from petroleum is 75% energy efficient). Biodiesel fuel was recorded at 69% energy efficiency. However, the study did turn up one positive: cellulose-derived ethanol was charted at 85% efficiency, which is even higher than that of the fantastically efficient nuclear energy.
Recently, oil futures have been down on the New York Stock Exchange, as analysts from several different countries are predicting a surge in biofuel availability which would offset the value of oil, dropping crude oil prices on the international market to $40 per barrel or thereabouts. The Chicago Stock Exchange has a grain futures market which is starting to “steal” investment activity away from the oil futures in NY, as investors are definitely expecting better profitability to start coming from biofuels. Indeed, it is predicted by a consensus of analysts that biofuels shall be supplying seven percent of the entire world’s transportation fuels by the year 2030. One certain energy markets analyst has said, growth in demand for diesel and gasoline may slow down dramatically, if the government subsidizes firms distributing biofuels and further pushes to promote the use of eco-friendly fuel.
There are several nations which are seriously involved in the development of biofuels.
There is Brazil, which happens to be the world’s biggest producer of ethanols derived from sugars. It produces approximately three and a half billion gallons of ethanol per year.
The United States, while being the world’s greatest oil-guzzler, is already the second largest producer of biofuels behind Brazil.
The European Union’s biodiesel production capacity is now in excess of four million (British) tonnes. 80 percent of the EU’s biodiesel fuels are derived from rapeseed oil; soybean oil and a marginal quantity of palm oil comprise the other 20 percent.
The alternative energy consultants tell us that the transition from the petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole. The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed and built is staggering—even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments’ tax breaks and rebate incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission. We have lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to being a thing of the past.
Consultants on alternative energy also tell us that we need multilateral, international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting away from the heavy—almost total—dependence on fossil fuels. They are poised to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of reasonably cheap oil and gas—and consultants say that within 20 years beyond that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them. Unfortunately, at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The thirst for oil is growing, not slaking, and it is growing faster now than it did even in the 1970s.
One of the major problems of transition, the consultants point out, is that higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what many energy so-called “experts” and many members of the public believe, but the fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street.). Alternative, or “green” energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is resistance to this much-needed economic transition. It is because of this that many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black ashes of the fossil fuel economy phoenix.
It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US, Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get off of the fossil fuel dependence. Smaller, poorer nations are very simply never going to achieve the level of energy production through coal and oil that these nations have—for by the time they would be ready to, the cheap access to the fossil fuels will be gone, and they will never be able to sustain their newly-risen civilizations at that time as we have been able to do. The time for transition from black to green is now.