As the name implies, direct email marketing is among the higher echelons of electronic advertising. It is one of many electronic tools used by manufacturers and sales forces to break into new markets, maintain regular customer contact, and increase overall sales.
Unlike the lowly spam, a direct email campaign often takes its cues from user data to ensure that a succinct cross segment of the population receives the email. By drawing on a client’s previous buying habits or personal interests, this laser-like focus increases the probability that someone viewing a direct email will actually buy the proposed items or at least click on the suggested material, thereby increasing web traffic for the seller. This increased traffic often helps to raise the standings and improve the position of a website in search engines. Improved position in search engine results increase the likelihood of unique and new client relationships being formed.
Another aspect of direct marketing is the use of HTML and other advanced technologies that go beyond simple text. Through the use of streaming video or dynamic and interactive applets, those that use direct marketing email can draw their potential clients into a sales conversation as opposed to simply presenting a one sided sales pitch. By creating a unique experience for the client through direct email a company can entrench itself in the psyche of the client. Doing so not only encourages repeat sales; it often leads to new “word of mouth” opportunities.
Over all, metaphorically speaking, spam is someone with a megaphone standing on the street corner; while direct email marketing is the well dressed individual shaking a hand, looking someone in the eye, and offering his business card. As such, direct email is usually much more successful and has a higher return on investment.