Email as a Communication Tool in Business Essay
Computers have improved business communications substantially - Email as a Communication Tool in Business Essay introduction. Computers have improved human relations by way of effective communication; synchronized operations with sales ushering in techniques like ‘just in time’ and made financial controls more effective. Email as a communication tools has revolutionized business communication. It has enabled businesses to reach millions of customers using direct marketing techniques and has encouraged globalization of business through fast, quick and reliable communications. Email has been used in marketing for sending letters, promotion and advertising.
Computers have brought in a culture of communication in business. There is a number of directly used computers like desktops, laptops, notebooks, handheld computers and notebooks having internet connectivity that are used for communication in business. Computers have created a culture where communication is used to attract and retain talented personnel. In addition, communication is used as a tool for motivating and controlling personnel. On the other hand computers help businesses to reach out to the customer and promote their product or service.
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Online catalogues, website based sales and advertising through the internet has ushered in a culture of communication in business. One of the most versatile tools that computers and Internet have given businesses is the e-mail. E-mails can be used to reach large collections of information on the internet. The e-mail can be pasted in part or in whole on other computer documents. Businesses now have facilities for almost unlimited storage of e-mail messages and retrieve them with a click of the mouse. Most important, businesses can attach drawings, sounds, video clips or even other computer files to an e-mail.
Moreover, e-mails allow CAD files and software to be sent across the globe. Businesses have a distinct advantage when using e-mail. There is little need to establish the context of the communication as the reply button can be used and this includes the original message with the reply. This saves time and effort for the business (O’Brien, J 269). Most importantly, the e-mail allows businesses to send simultaneous messages to many addresses, mailings lists of thousands of addresses are common and different lists can be stored on the computer and accessed when required.
Truly, the e-mail has gone a long way in ushering a culture of communication in business. E-mail as a communication tool in business has several distinct benefits. It is easy to use and a large staff can be trained to use it very quickly. It is very cost effective. E-mails can replace and have replaced costly long distance phone calls and unreliable postal deliveries. The cost of transmission can be very low and what is most vital is that messages can be sent anywhere in an instant. Businesses have taken advantage of the e-mail by encouraging its use for communication.
References to previous communications can be made with ease and a series of messages may be exchanged within a few minutes leading to almost conversation like exchanges. E-mail is environmentally friendly; it has helped eliminate paperwork and demand for paper that is made from wood. E-mail in business allows proposals to be managed on screen. You can either send a proposal to your customer and he/she can revise it, store it, and send it to others. On the other hand you suppliers can send their quotations, terms of businesses or even pro forma invoices via email.
This facilitates doing business without tedious paper work and helps eliminate errors (Kahn, R. & Flynn. 57). Moreover, e-mails can be prioritized and filtered by identifying messages. Priority mails can be scanned and retrieved by the computer for immediate action. Subject wise sorting of e-mails is easy and can be done very quickly so that selective attention may be given to important issues. E-mail as a communication tool in business gets its most important advantage from the security it offers. Every day new technologies are discovered that ensure greater security for e-mails.
This makes e-mail communication confidential and trustworthy. Ordinary mail, telephone calls and even faxes can go astray but not e-mails. If the e-mail address is fixed correctly, it will reach the address with a high degree of consistency. What exactly makes e-mailing so sophisticated? It is a marketing tool that works. Advertising on the e-mail can be used by small businesses or even individuals (Lehman, C. & DuFrene, D 172). Businesses have started using e-mail as a powerful direct marketing channel. Businesses are increasingly using direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating messages to its target audience.
Every e-mail sent to a potential customer is a method of email marketing. A large number of successful businesses send e-mails for improving the relationship with its current or past customers and build customer loyalty and repeat business. To communicate with customers, emails are used by businesses to remain in touch with customers. Email is a tool that businesses use to guide its customers through the sales process. Email helps businesses to get their target audience’s attention, give the information they need, provide them with a promotion and given them a link that can provide them with more information.
Businesses have access to databases that help them focus on their target audience. Email communication has become so important that businesses use professional copy writers to compose their message. In addition, creative teams are used to design the emails. Businesses use marketing research tools for determining email strategies to communicate with their target audience . The research includes the use of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and surveys for determining email tactics that will communicate satisfactorily with their target audience.
E-mail as a communication tool in business is important because a large amount of marketing activity begins with the development or purchase of database. The businesses then segment the database on the basis of specific traits that the potential customers have. These might be on the bases of purchase history, job function, hobbies, gender or even age. The businesses often add information about the targets to their database enhancing it substantially. They then communicate with the potential customers in their database and tailor emails specifically to the needs of the customers.
Finally, the businesses keep account of the results of their campaign. This helps businesses understand the effectiveness of their email campaigns and fine tune their campaigns. What are the ways in which e-mail has been used by businesses? Retailers increase their sales and profits by using e-mails to support their stores, sales and marketing programs help companies increase their sales and marketing. There are professional email service providers that do excellent business for larger clients. There are several e-mail related tools that can be used by businesses.
For instance there are query tools that allow businesses to create new large email lists, automatically attach data direct into a letter and compile mailing lists of every size, within short period of times and send back reports back to the retailer so that businesses can check campaign response. The businesses can quickly check the percentages of emails that have been opened, click through, bounced and unsubscribed (Lindsell-Roberts 321). What is the extent of E-mail use as a communication tool in business? In 2006 it is estimated that US businesses alone spent on e-mail related marketing (DMA).
The objective of sending e-mails is to improving the relationship with its present customers and to increase customer loyalty. The businesses send e-mails mainly with the purpose of increasing their customer base or persuading old customers to buy products without delay(Smith, L 126). Finally, businesses add advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers. This use of e-mail by businesses is increasing because more than 50% of internet users check emails or send emails on daily basis. Email customers that have opted for a topic of interest can easily be reached by advertisers.
The great advantage of using emails is that the message can be tracked through read-receipts, un-subscribes, bounce messages, or web bugs. The use of e-mail by businesses to communicate has led to some problems. There is the pernicious problem of companies sending unsolicited e-mails called spam. Initially intenet did not allow commercial activity and yet business emails were sent. The net result is that legitimate direct marketers have great difficulty in establishing their credibility (Flynn. N 16). In addition, the volume of spam induces many users to mark legitmate mail as spam.
This is because spammers make efforts to disguise their mail similar to legitimate mail. Similarly, a lot of commercial mail get caught by mail filters and gets hidden and finally, there are seral direct marketing groups with political clout have made some classes of spamming legal. Businesses that would like to use e-mail as a direct marketing tools need to comply with the laws like the European Privacy & Electronic communications Regulations 2003 or the US”CAN-SPAM Act. That apart there are several internet administrators that decide that the company is sending SPAM and black list these companies.
The use of e-mail by business has led to opt in email advertising or permission marketing. In this case the receiver of the advertisment has given his consent to receive e-mails. It is expected that permission e-mail will develop into a handshake agreeemtn between the sender and the receiver. This is expected that this form of communication will lead to a greter safisfaction between the business and consumers (Chaffey, D 187). The reason is that if opt in e-mailing is used, the e-mails sent by businesses will be expected e-mails.
This will be different from spam. Consider this situation: a consumer is making a purhcase and at the time of purchase the business may ask its customer if it would like to receive a newsletter. If the customer says he wants the news letter, he would be sent a newletter by email that would let him know of the new products, promotions, or upcoming events. Once a company builds a database of opted in consumers, businesses can send materials and promotions through e-mail improving its communication with its consumers (Macpherson, K 134).
Customers prefer the use of email as a tool of communication for several reasons. First, e-mail enables communication with several parties at the same time. Second, the communication creates a series of written messages. Third, e-mail creates fast communication. It has been found that several customers prefer e-mail as a means of communication to phone messages. Globalization has brought with it a changing business environemtn in which workgroups are distributed all over the world. In addition there is fast mobility and the requirement of fast exchange of information.
Add to this the need to have electronically stored business records and e-mails is a very appropriate and popular means of communication. The downside of email based business communication is that email users are inundated with messages and have to spend serveral hours every day going through their mail. There is a need to develop more efficient inbox management tools. That apart, business communication through email gets a bad name because of the flood of spam, mail bombs, malicious attacks and destructive viruses.
To sum, email as a communication tools in business has become very important if not indespensable. It brings several benefits to business communication. It is fast, cheap and can reach thousands of people in a short period of time. Email has revolutionized direct marketing, enabling businesses to tap consuers they could never have hoped to reach. In fact email has played an important role in globalization of business. However, emial has suffered from some drawbacks especially those related to spam and malicious mail.