Effective Email Marketing for Home-Based Businesses

As internet access proliferated throughout the early nineties, Fortune 500 companies invested millions into email marketing campaigns. After all, what was not to love about email? It was cheap, it arrived quickly, and people were generally happy to receive it – initially, at least. Then came the hordes of spam that rendered email marketing almost completely ineffective for a number of years. But now email marketing is making a comeback. Innovative techniques and new technology is sparking a resurgence, and it is important for home-based business owners to be ahead of the curve.

Why Use Email Marketing?
One primary reason to use email marketing in 2006 is the same as it was in 1996 – it's cheap. Although mass mailings tend not to be 100 percent free, they're close. And with postal rates continually rising, the benefits of email become more apparent each year.

But perhaps even more important is the ability of marketers to measure the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. When you create a TV, radio, or print media ad, it is often difficult to judge the response. With email, though, you know exactly who is receiving your message, and you can usually tie a later purchase to an email recipient.

How to Make Your Email Messages Effective
Of course, the inexpensiveness and measurability of email marketing are of no use if you're unable to construct effective messages. A recent study by OgilvyOne, a direct-marketing firm, yielded the following results: Emails that use clickable graphics, as opposed to text-based links, are 60 percent more effective. Email recipients who owned small businesses were particularly responsive to the words "solutions" and "service," and everyone was immune to the word "free." Customers typically only read 35 percent of an email, so it is imperative that you make your point in the first one-third of your message. Another tip is to include graphical content at the end of your message, which pulls the reader's attention to the bottom of the screen and encourages a more thorough examination of your email.

Armed with this knowledge, your only major hurdle is developing an email marketing mailing list. It is best to use previous customers and others who have opted-in to receiving messages in order to avoid spam filters and the like. If you have not begun cultivating an email list, it's probably a good idea to start, because the future of email marketing is very promising.

The Future of Email Marketing
According to New York-based Jupiter Research, the money spent by businesses on email marketing is expected to reach $950 million this year – a 7.33 percent increase from a year ago – and email marketing spending is expected to increase to a staggering $1.1 billion by 2010. Big companies like IBM and Cisco are investing millions of dollars developing new strategies and technology to enhance email marketing, so it is important that you stay ahead of the curve. The internet has leveled the playing field in the game of marketing, so long as you're creative, ambitious, and vigilant – which are exactly the same characteristics you need in order to be a successful home-based entrepreneur.

Anthony Samuel is a successful entrepreneur with 10 years experience in the home based business industry. He reviews home business opportunities and shares his industry views at http://www.find-a-home-based-business-opportunity.com

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