E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business,
sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately,
adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers, and
sending e-mails over the Internet, as e-mail did and does exist outside the Internet
Advantages E-mail marketing (on the Internet) is popular with companies for several reasons:
An exact return on investment can be tracked ("track to basket") and has proven to be high when done properly. E-mail marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic
Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted in (i.e., consented) to receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them.
Over half of Internet users check or send e-mail on a typical day.
E-mail is popular with digital marketers, rising an estimated 15% in 2009