Email Advertising

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The field of email advertising is continually plagued with controversy. On the one hand, there's no denying that email advertising is one of the most effective means of reaching large audiences for next to nothing. On the other hand, advertisers who do so keep pushing the boundaries of privacy infringement, which has led to legislation meant to curb such practices.

The reason email advertising has sparked such debate is that there are legitimate ways to sell products through the email channel. At the same time, the mammoth volume of spam that makes its way over the transom is not only annoying, but crippling to businesses as well. Advertisers have a right to market their products--no one would dispute that. What they don't have the right to do, however, is interfere with the legitimate business of others.

Embedded Email Advertising

In the email advertising game, context is everything. Imagine reading through your business inbox, which is stuffed with requests for price quotes, questions about your shop's services, and so on, then encountering ads for supplements, "enhancement" drugs, and refinancing plans. If you're like most users, you'd simply ignore or delete these intrusions.

Now imagine that you're reading through your weekly sports newsletter when you chance upon an embedded ad for a new cable sports show. Because the spot fits the context of your letter, you're not only unlikely to see it as an imposition, you may even take an interest in the product. Bottom line: email marketers who can successfully embed their messages have much higher conversion rates than do "cold" emailers.

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