Ideas for Sale
In this economy-oriented world with an explosion of information, the email is appearing as an important marketing tool. Email marketing is increasing considered as an effective way to attract and contact more potential customers while bringing a huge amount of profit to businesses (Rettie). I am interested in what effective strategies for email marketing are. Not all forms of email can gain the profit or draw customers’ attention, so companies should develop some strategies to enhance the likelihood of improving sales performance. Apart from providing useful skills for businessmen, the successful methods of communicating provide us with the opportunity to learn how to persuade others by email. People in daily life cannot avoid recommending products or services as well as trying to make others to accept your opinions. The process that you persuade others to accept your opinion is just like how salesmen sell their products to you.
Before figuring out the relationship between email marketing and daily communication, I wanted to find what the effective strategies for email marketing were. I found an article written by Ruth Rettie called “Email Marketing: Success Factors”. Rettie explained why we concentrated on email marketing. Email marketing depends on its high response rate and low cost to be one the most effective online marketing tools (Rettie). She compared direct mail, telemarketing, SMS, internet advertising with email through the sources provided by other authors and created a table with various materials. I could easily conclude from this table that email had a high respond rate, low cost, quickest organization and response. The most interesting element in the article was her research study that analyzed 30 email marketing campaign to find the success factors. There were two stages in this research. First, they test demographic and lifestyle that consists 16 attributes like gender and material status. They recorded the specific data, and showed the results with tables. Second, they mainly focused on characters, which got more clicks such as subject line, length of email, number of images and number of click-throughs. “Higher response rates correlate with more attractive email subject lines, […] more attractive incentives, […] more images and […] inversely related to the length of the email” (Rettie). In the end, his hypothesis was supported by the results of her analysis.
I researched about more success factors of email marketing and our communication through email in daily life. Nagaraju and Manish explained “Establishing and maintaining an enduring relationship with customers is not an easy task. A major barrier is cultural distance and variations” (46). They used Volvo as an example to demonstrate the connection between culture and email marketing in India. The reason Volvo succeeded in India was that they knew more about the culture. They knew Indians were sensitive towards the price. The high price car was a symbol of high status in the society. They behaved in a formal manner in business; although, they were friendly in the daily life. Thus, Volvo sent formal emails and showed the high quality of the car by inviting customer to watch the testing process. They also recommended luxury product lines as Veblen goods by email to satisfy the Indian drivers. Veblen goods means products people demanded because they are expensive although the quality and price do not match. This cultural barrier could found in many other countries and in daily life.
When I was in the internship in China, I thought the most probable reason I did better than my colleagues was that I tried to understand each customer’s culture. Once customers replied to me, I would ask what the country they were from. Then, I did not just recommend the products of our company, but would choose to ask some interesting questions about their countries and avoid cultural taboos. Everyone was proud of discussing their own country and willing to talk more with me. I have a friend called Fay who once unintentionally offended her friend’s Islam beliefs when she sent email to her. Because Fay said she believed there were many gods in the world like Buddha and Jesus not only Alla. They parted on bad terms because her friend thought there is only one god (Xie, personal communication). To some extent, mutually understanding between cultures establishes harmonious associations with each other through electronic communication.
Then, continuing my research, I found another method to make our electronic communication effectively. Viral marketing is the process where one customer recommends the product or services to the other customer (Subramani& Rajagopalan 300). Amazon.com and eBay often encourage users to email the details of products to their friends (303). People tend to trust their friends or relatives more than the strange company. The companies use viral marketing to show their ethos to make customers feel more credible (Clark 13). Sixty percent of visitors will download the content, which their friends or other people recommend (Subramani, Rajagopalan 303). If they want to hold a party, they will email to our friends to invite their friends to come. The process is just like the viral marketing just without transactions.
After searching on the Internet, I interviewed about ten freshmen in different majors in Drexel University. I interviewed them face to face to guarantee to get all replies. I asked them some questions. Have you sent emails to let other people help you to gather more supports? Have you violate someone’s culture when you send emails? Have you ever use images, attractive email subject lines，attractive incentives and proper length when you persuade others? Have you gotten satisfactory reply with these issues? Then, I organized the answers and found out every question has average eight “ Yes”. Obviously, we can use these strategies to help communicate better by email.
One interviewees whose major is business called Yanhua Dou talked about images in emails influenced her altitudes much on 4 March, 2014. She said when she organized an event or received an invitation to a workshop or a party, the first thing that caught her eye was images. Once she saw the delicious food in the poster, she stopped clicking the “delete” as usual. After reading the text carefully, she found she could get free snacks if she attended the event. She began to consider whether she would participate in this event or not. Only when reader’s attention is first caught by visual images can they then focus on the written text (Clark 66). As long as recipients take the event into consideration, the organizer is successful. Some people also will use photos of not just food but also celebrities, events to attract the people’s first eye, which shows your ethos to enhance your credibility (Clark 13). I have to say visual images are always an essential ingredient of our emails.
Another interviewee told me tailoring incentives to the individual was an effective method gets more response (Angela) on 4 March. When she persuaded her classmate to fly with her, she told him the fight was cheaper and he could get more fun with her. She just persuaded her classmate to accept her idea from what he needed. He of course liked cheaper flight and wanted someone experienced the 18-hour trip with him.
The most common incentive in business is something on sale. When we open the email, we will see the large red or yellow “SALE” to attract customer’s attention. You can see the percentage you save, which extremely simulate the desire to buy. When we persuade someone, we could find out what they need first. And then, we choose this incentive to make them stand on our side. The logos, which means the reasoning and evidence Angela used are just like the sale strategy the company used.
I believe there are various vital factors for email marketing: attractive email subject lines, incentives, images, appropriate length, cultures and viral marketing. These success factors can also apply to our daily emails. When I sent email to my friends, I persuaded them to accept my ideas like a sales person would recommend product for sale.
Agastyaraju, Aravind Nagaraju, and Manish Mahato. “Adaptation of Controllable Variables
in the Marketing Mix in Relation to Local Culture: A Case Study of Volvo Cars India
Limited.” (2011): 54-58. Academic Archive On-line. Web. 4 Mar. 2014
Amazon.com. “Yinan Hong: 25% Off Select Kraft Products.” Message to Yinan Hong.
4 Mar. 2014. E-mail.
Clark, Carol Lea. Praxis: A Brief Rhetoric (2nd ed). El Paso.University of Texas.
Hong Yinan. Email Marketing and Daily Communication. 4. Mar. 2014. Raw data.
Rettie, Ruth. “Email Marketing: Success Factors.” Southern Cross University. 2002. Web. 4
Mar. 2014. < http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk>.
Subramani, Mani R., and Balaji Rajagopalan. “Knowledge-sharing and Influence in Online
Social Networks via Viral Marketing.” Communications of the ACM 46.12 (2003):
300-07. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. <http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/>.