Email marketing is a way of directly communicating with a target audience to market your website or increase awareness about an upcoming promotion connected with your site. In general, term "email marketing" is used to refer to any emails sent to customers or potential customers in relation to your website.
Email marketing can be a very effective tool to inform customers of future events, or attract new customers by increasing awareness about what your site offers.
Success in email marketing does not come from thoughtlessly blasting out email ads without working to build your own customer base. The basis of successful email marketing is to build existing in-house customer lists, augmenting them by outreach through outside mailing lists.
Your own email list allows you to develop a long-term relationship with your online audience -- to communicate with and market to them over and over.
Generally email marketing can be implemented with these 3 objectives in mind:
(1) Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again
(2) Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance customer relationship
(3) Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people
Of course, it seems easy to collect hundreds of thousands of email addresses and send everybody an email about your website. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple. Essentially, you require permission of email recipient to send them info about your site otherwise it may be regarded as "spam" which is unsolicited bulk email.
In marketing industry, spam is definitely a four letter word and something that should be avoided at all costs. If you are accused of spamming, there could be direct consequences such as damage to your reputation, your website may be shut down and your email accounts closed.
In conjunction with this, there is a strong argument from successful marketers that long-term email campaigns only work consistently when they are based on permission in first place. There are plenty of acceptable ways to market your website by email, don't be tempted to take shortcuts because chances are it could be your downfall.
It's important to stress that anyone considering email marketing must read up on subject of permission and spam. If you don't understand importance of permission and risks of ignoring it, then you could be heading for commercial disaster.
Don't panic, though. It's actually relatively easy to ensure that address lists you use or build yourself are permission-based.
Below are 3 possible ways to do that:
(1) New Content Notification
You've probably seen sites that offer to notify you whenever they have new information, products, or content.
To tell you truth, this is probably least effective kind of opt-in list, simply because most people won't sign-up. Instead, they'll bookmark your site thinking they'll just come back from time to time - but don't count it!
Of course, there are certain kinds of sites that CAN benefit from this form of opt-in list. For example, if you have a site that runs contests, you can offer to notify people whenever a new contest begins.