Semantics in Email Marketing

Semantics, the study of words, phrases, signs and symbols, can be just as important in email marketing as the actual message itself.

Understanding Semantics

Semantics, the study of words, phrases, signs and symbols, can be just as important in email marketing as the actual message itself. The term for applying this concept to marketing is semantic advertising. It is different from traditional contextual advertising in that the meaning of the content of an email is considered. Semantics encompasses the meaning and sentiment of words and phrases, not just the words themselves. In other words, semantics is not about keywords or search engine optimization.

Using Semantics to Connect with Consumers

Email marketing using semantics matches content to better target a consumer. It is one thing to say Scarves on Sale in an email headline and another to say Stay Warm This Winter with a Cozy Scarf, on Sale Now. The second email headline uses semantics by adding some emotion to the meaning by creating the image of keeping warm with a scarf as opposed to simply buying one because it is on sale. Semantic advertising increases the chance that a person will actual read a particular email by adding relevance to the words.

Benefits of Semantics­

Making use of semantics increases the return on advertising for a retailer. In today's tough economic climate, it is harder to get a consumer to make the decision to purchase something, let alone even read an email before deleting it. Semantics can be useful in generating email lists by keeping track of which emails go unread and which are, at least, read by the recipient. Those who simply delete a marketing email should be removed from the marketing list to increase efficiency of advertising dollars. The focus should, instead, be centered on those who actually read an email since careful use of semantics may get them to act and buy.

Semantics in Action

Let's say that two florists are trying to generate some extra business for the holidays. Florist A sends out an email with the headline Free Shipping on Every Order. The email itself describes attractive holiday displays, providing specific details of each arrangement. Florist B sends out an email with the headline Still Have Some Christmas Shopping to Do? Order a Holiday Arrangement Now and Save 10%. The email itself starts off by relating easy it is to forget someone special on your Christmas list and how flowers can mean so much to that special person on your list. Which email is likely to generate more responses? Florist B is tapping into a consumer's emotions by emphasizing the significance of receiving a special gift of flowers, making it the more effective of the two.

Current Advertising Trend

Advertisers do not like to waste money on efforts that do not produce results. This is why incorporating semantics into email marketing and other forms of marketing is an emerging trend. If a retailer can make a personal connection with a consumer, it is more likely they will react in a positive way. Semantics provides context that traditional advertising lacks. Advertising experts and economists agree that it is a trend that is likely to continue since it is a technique that generally produces better results.­

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