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In its broadest sense, every mail that is sent to any potential or existing customer can be termed as email marketing. It should be kept in mind that this is a form of direct communication with the consumers, so improper use might lead to a bad impression about the company.

There are many misconceptions about spam and other forms of online mailing communications, which are marked off as unwanted mails. The fact that there are many spams in such online companies, has given a bad name to the trend of email marketing. In fact email marketing, is a tool for direct marketing, which most companies use for sending periodic information or for any fund raising campaigns.

Research has been conducted to find out how much companies may spend in this kind of activity. Statistics show that in 2006 alone, USA based firms spent nearly $400 million on marketing via emails.

Companies are inclined to spend in email marketing as there are a number of benefits. One of the primary reasons for this type of marketing is to increase customer loyalty and also increase customer awareness about the various developments taking place in the company. The occasion might be the launching of a new merchandise or modification in the existing ones. In such cases it is typically, the current customer base, which is targeted.

A secondary objective is to acquire new customers and convince the old customers for buying a product. Advertisements from other companies may also feature in the advertisement of a particular company. They might collaborate with other companies in their campaigns or affiliate them in various target-oriented advertisements.

Internet is the cheapest form of media, hence its popularity is on a high when comes to marketing. For understanding the concept behind email marketing one does not need to be a rocket scientist, even an average person can be become proficient in this job. This is a major flexibility of the job, which is why there are many people taking to it. Everyday, thousands of potential customers can be reached through automated or a manual mailing system.

Email marketing is only second to 'search marketing' when it comes to a question of efficiency in online marketing. Its instant speed is a big advantage when compared to snail mails. Mails through post take ages, and the 'pushing' sale of products is far more effective when a nicely designed mail reaches the inbox of the customer.

A number of tracking methods are available for hunting down advertisement emails. Users can be trailed via bounce messages, web-bugs, read-receipts, click-through, and un-subscribe techniques. Positive or negative responses, on the part of the customers can be deduced via all the above-mentioned processes.

The advertisers also get a first hand knowledge about the likes and dislikes of a customer by tickling their taste buds and asking them to try out information that is in line of their interest. Generally, such information is obtained via a form which asks for the details of a customer. The form in turn is saved as a potential customer database.
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