Digital email puts the direct in direct mail

It may not be signed, sealed or delivered by a postal carrier, but digital direct marketing is yours. As the nation becomes paperless and depends less on the post office, digital media advertising has taken over traditional direct mail, replacing it with quicker, more efficient, less costly yet equally inviting emails.

More than a trend, the 2013 National DMA Email Report states that nearly 90 percent of marketers consider email key to achieving their goals. Since reaching one’s target via email is a given, the real question is what company to use when promoting your events, workshops, seminars, trade shows, special offers, gatherings, parties or other occasions.

One of the oldest online marketing providers is Constant Contact, Inc., which was initially founded as Roving Software in 1995. Since then, the company has grown with more than half a million customers in 2012. These customers are primarily small businesses and nonprofit organizations who use Constant Contact’s digital marketing services for email, social media, online surveys, digital storefronts, and more.

Another digital provider that dates back to the 20th century is the award-winning AWeber Communications. A service provider of email marketing software, the company provides more than 100,000 customers with services including email newsletters, autoresponders, and RSS-to-email conversions.

In addition to developing and providing digital marketing automation and analytics software and services, ExactTarget offers consulting and implementation services on a multi-year subscription basis. Launched in 2001, a year after ExactTarget, VerticalResponse, Inc. provides software for spam, email marketing, online surveys and direct mail.

In 2007, CakeMail entered the scene with web-based email marketing software designed for digital marketing agencies while MailerMailer provided email marketing and newsletter services to more than 70,000 small to medium-sized businesses.

Making the biggest impact in email marketing is MailChimp. Founded in 2001, the company now has 3.5 million users who collectively send more than four billion emails a month! Perhaps that’s because the company offers a “freemium” option which is ideal for small businesses and startups.