Categories of Email Marketing: A Brief Description

We often find that when mentioning or discussing email marketing, there exists a perception that this only relates to bulk email, such as promotional mails or newsletters. This is in fact not the case.

Email can be divided into three distinct categories, being

Although different in purpose, all three of these categories can and should be optimized to assist in your marketing efforts.

Everyday Business Email

These are the daily emails we send to customers, prospects, suppliers and partners every day using our email clients such as Outlook, Gmail, Macmail etc. Typically this communication would be directed to a single recipient or possibly a few recipients and the content would be very personalized.

It has been proven that users place a very high priority on business email communication (trusted sender / trusted recipient) and as such deliverability and open rates are just about 100%. Often overlooked by companies in their marketing budgets and channel selection, everyday email ticks all the boxes required to achieve marketing success and a superior ROI. Not only does every company own and control this medium, it is also relatively inexpensive to optimize this channel.

Bulk Email

Bulk email is when one email is sent to multiple recipients, typically by the hundreds to thousands at a time. The bulk of the content would be very generic in nature, with only certain portions being personalized, such as the greeting line etc. The recipient must agree to receive such emails; opt-in is mandatory. Unsolicited bulk email is known as SPAM.

Examples of bulk emails would include newsletters, promotions and surveys. Bulk emails stimulate your clients and leads and if used correctly it is a great way to deliver your value propositions to clients and prospects alike.

Transactional Email

This is usually an email which contains information in relation to an action (or inaction) that a customer or subscriber has performed. Examples of transactional emails would include order or booking confirmations, invoices, statements and various other forms of notifications.

Obviously these types of emails can be critical to the recipient (think of an order confirmation or proof of purchase) and as such a very high priority is placed on deliverability. Precisely because of this, companies are aware that optimizing this channel to include marketing messages, ensures a very high engagement rate from recipients.

The two categories of email marketing that is most relevant and most used by SME businesses are Bulk Email and Everyday Business Email. Both of these categories deliver a very high ROI and if used in conjunction with each other are even more effective.

Business Email Bulk Email
Average Open Rate 90 – 100% 15 – 25%
Brand Impressions 90 – 100% 15 – 25%
Trigger Sender Sender
Relation One to one or one to few (limited recipients) communication One to many (unlimited recipients) communication
Dynamic Advertising Real-time Monthly Push
Lead Generation Real-time & immediate Monthly Pull
Reach Only limited by number of emails sent by company staff as part of normal business communication Delivery and open rate dependent on content, subject line, recipient interest, filters and timing
Cost Limited Unlimited
Low monthly or annual license fee for use of technology that enables medium. No cost per email. Cost per email sent.
Message Personal and targeted. Generic. Endeavoring to be relevant to all recipients.
Effortless and at no additional cost. What staff does daily in any event. Needs to be conceptualized, created and managed on a per campaign basis.
Versatility Advertising campaigns Newsletters
News & PR Promotions
Social Networking Surveys
Service rating
Corporate ID
Case Studies & Testimonials
Lead Generation
List Building
Cross and upsell
Measurability Real-time click-through notifications Real-time response data
Multi-level report extraction Opens, click-through rates, shares and more
Google Analytics integration
Brand and Campaign Impressions
Recipient Interests
Targeting Can apply and schedule targeted marketing message and/or banner to: Segmentation of recipient data
•  Individual senders & recipients Filtering across all recipients data according to specific criteria
•  Domains
•  Departments
•  Date and timeslots
ROI 85% of all business correspondence takes place via email. Recipients place higher priority on business email communication, ensuring superior deliverability of your marketing message. Arguably the most effective, cost effective and measurable marketing channel available. Very high ROI in comparison to other channels. Recipients welcome email from companies and brands that they trust and which supply relevant content. Used correctly, bulk email can and will add significantly to any companies bottom line. A regular pattern of relevant bulk email will help insure that your brand name and product offering stays at the front of your potential customers' minds.

Please get in touch if you require any further information or clarification on any of the above. We are always available to assist and advise.

Hermanus Huisamen | director of business development

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