April 05, 2011
Author: Barbara Ulmi
The launch of GraphicMail’s free iPhone app enabled email marketers to manage their campaigns on the run.
Post-recession business development has placed greater emphasis on micro-managed entrepreneurial and small business ventures. Branding has become an expensive affair, but for many such businesses, it is vital in gaining recognition in a crowded consumer-mind. With heavy-weight brand consultants furnishing their clients with the most professional viral campaigns, it's the downscale enterpriser who needs to understand how best to compete.
Global email marketing service provider GraphicMail gives insight into the branding benefits email marketing is providing their predominantly-small businesses client base with.
(PRWEB) April 6, 2011 -- The challenge for small business owners operating in the present-day market is establishing a solid brand. Online marketing, integrated with social and mobile features, provides an easily-accessible arena in which to do so.
Graphicmail is by far the most cost-effective online branding tool today; far less expensive to maintain than Facebook ads, PPC campaigns or websites. While social media profiles offer an affordable alternative (or complimentary tool), a Facebook page or Twitter profile does not offer the same branding possibilities and users are limited by the powers that be social networks. Email marketing integrates well within a 360 degree digital strategy and can often be used to enhance and support other digital channels.
The inbox is a trusted zone. Consumers are careful about handing out their contact details, and with rising spam rates very much so when it comes to handing over an email address. Once an email marketer has permission to enter this personal sphere, it opens the door for brand engagement. Very often customers don't make a purchase immediately upon viewing a website or product, however they indicate enough interest to sign up for a newsletter. These newsletters can help the brand nurture this new relationship, until the customer reaches the point where they make purchase. It's the follow through that can turn once-off visitors into lifelong brand ambassadors.
Email can be used to drive traffic to chosen landing pages, reinforce a particular call-to-action, communicate product offerings or promotions, build loyalty-based consumer programs, or educate subscribers on industry developments. It's simple for recipients to forward or share a marketing email that they think contains valuable content, and peer recommendations are a convincing and proven effective marketing tactic.
According to a branding survey conducted by Graphicmail, among their US and South African clients, most GraphicMail users see email marketing as a customer relationship building and communication tool, rather than a sales tool. Interestingly so, as email has proven to be the direct marketing channel that delivers the highest ROI of all direct marketing tools and many marketers attempt to utilize it as a sales tool rather than a brand building tool.
However, sales and branding practices used to achieve these relationships are subject to new developments in the conditions of the industry. With the new South African Consumer Protection Act that came into effect as of the 1st of April, consumers are now legally shielded from unsolicited direct marketing attempts, both electronically and via telephone. Marketers need to work harder than ever in order to massage their brand into the minds of buyers, which is why building a brand organically with the help of personalized communications and recommendations is now a vital undertaking.
Probably one of the greatest branding benefits of email, is that it gives a business top-of-mind with their customer - whether they're checking their email on the run, at home or at work, the business brand enters they're daily life. And for small businesses this can be done at an exceptionally low cost, especially in the current fiscal landscape where coinage is uncomfortably depleted.
Wikus Engelbrecht, marketing assistant at GraphicMail, suggests keeping the branding of marketing emails consistent with that of the business's site and overall brand strategy. "Recognition is key. Your email will be more effective when incorporated emphasize and communicate as part of an all-encompassing brand strategy."
GraphicMail's market assessment indicates that 82% of their US-based clients are, in fact, small businesses.
All about GraphicMail
Quattro Internet Solutions (Ltd) t/a GraphicMail’s hosted email marketing solution is used by customers Cosmopolitan, SA Airlink, Europcar and the American Medical Association since 2002. It is available in eight languages and is represented by over 16 offices globally. Follow GraphicMail on Twitter, Facebook and their email marketing blog. Contact: Barbara Ulmi, GraphicMail Marketing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
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