The ubiquitous e-mail is, today, a very powerful marketing tool used extensively as a form of online direct marketing; examples being e-mail product mailing list promotion campaigns, e-newsletters, online surveys etc. Reasons for the burgeoning popularity of e-mail marketing are, among others, its wide market reach, easy operation, cost-effectiveness and speed.
Briefly, e-mail marketing may be broadly classified as sending e-mails (a) to current or previous customers to enhance relationships and encourage customer relationship; (b) to targeted individuals who may be potential customers; (c) to existing mailing list customers to persuade them to purchase something immediately; (d) sending out periodic e-newsletters; and (e) adding ads to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers and so on.
Successful e-mail marketing requires the promotional messages to be sent to a very large number of people (and a large number of queries responded to). This requires large opt-in lists (often rented), automated e-mail messaging systems (list servers) and auto-responders etc. While e-mail marketing is an attractive promotional option for most Internet marketers, there is an important.