The role of email is not limited to sending personal messages; it has wider application in business sector. Now, Email Marketing is playing a dominant role in establishing a bond with the customers. Now, many business houses are sending email messages to all customers (both present and past) for enhancing business relationship. In addition to this, this email marketing tool is being used to request the customers to introduce new customers. Thereby the business house tries to earn the goodwill of its present and past customers and encourage them to buy products from them and thereby build up a strong customer network. The contents of the email could be to secure business with the target potential customer or sending some advertisements or email messages or solicit donations; in short it is intended to enhance the business interests through higher customer base. The fact that about100 billion emails are sent every hour indicates the popularity of this method of marketing.

Types of email marketing transactions: The emails are broadly classified into two namely transactional email and direct email. Transactional emails may be for confirming the sale or receipt of goods or informing about the follow up actions on the particular business transaction that are already in pipeline. The direct emails are intended to promote the goods or services so as secure business from the target customers.

Advantage of Email marketing:
One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is its cost; it is considerably cheaper as compared to the traditional method of sending ads or soliciting business by post. If the method of email marketing is properly adopted then it gives extra return on investment because the response rate for emails is known to be higher. As you know, emails are very fast and within a matter of few seconds your message will reach hundreds of customers at a time. It is said that more than half of internet users in America send or receive emails everyday and ironically during 1 a.m.to 5 a.m.

Disadvantages of email marketing:
However, one of the greatest disadvantages of email marketing is the delivery rate of the emails sent. It is estimated that nearly half the emails remain undelivered because of incorrect email addresses and nearly 6% of the emails are rejected by the target customers.

Op-in advertising:
Further, the company sending the email should secure the consent of the target customer to add his mail address to their list of clients for sending emails. According to the law, emails cannot be sent without the consent of the target addressee. This is also called as opt in advertising because the receiver authorizes the business house to send the emails to his particular mail address.

How to make Email marketing effective:
In order to make the process of sending email user friendly and fool proof, you can consider adding a form for sign up in the home page of the website. As soon as the customer enters the sign up mode, request him to fill up a short form. That would help you get the necessary information about the customer. In the form add a column for indicating the email address and the date of birth of the customer. This information will help you to add the customer to your list of clients and also to send him/her the birthday wishes and if possible send a gift also. In the form you must mention the type of information you will be sending to the potential customer; it may be newsletters, advertisements, bulletins etc. However, you must make sure the form is short and it should not try to elicit any kind of unwanted information. Once the customer fills up the form, send him a welcome email. The customer would be very happy to receive such emails. When you send the emails, ensure that the product or the type of service and its utilities are abundantly highlighted. You must remember, the customer would be very much willing to read such informative emails.

Experts in online marketing are of the opinion email marketing is a very effective marketing tool. You must understand the technique of email marketing and use this tool effectively so as to enhance your business interest.