Internet Marketing – Email Marketing
This is the fourth in a series of articles detailing my experiences in promoting and marketing websites online.
Some experts will say e-mail marketing is dead. Overtaken by social networking and feeds. Hampered by spam filters and isp blocking. The big question these days is whether your e-mail is even getting through, let alone read and responded to. This is most probably true. I wouldn’t base my marketing strategy with e-mail campaigning at the core.
However if done in the right way it can still be a good supplemental avenue.
First of all you must build a list of e-mails in an ethical way.
Personally I wouldn’t pay for a list but if you have the budget then do a search online and ensure the company who provides the list is bone fide. Any list must comprise of ‘opt-in’ subscribers. This means the individual has given permission to receive the e-mail.
These companies can take the form of sites which allow you to mass mail millions of users or simply send you a database of e-mails. Remember you are not the first person using this path. How many others have gone before you and limited the impact of your e-mail.
You will find a lot of companies try to sell you a list and at one stage they might have comprised of ‘opt-in’ subscribers.
But the recipient has received so many ‘opt-in’ e-mails that they no longer take any notice of them.
My conclusion is that purchasing ‘opt-in’ lists is only an option if you have cash to burn. Think of the response rates.
10,000 e-mails sent, 9,000 blocked or placed in spam folders, 900 deleted by the recipient. 100 e-mails read. How many of those are actually going to visit your website or buy a product? These are of course rough numbers but you get the idea of how tough e-mail marketing is.
Whether the e-mail is seen as ‘opt-in’ or not it’s seen as an intrusion into the time of the recipient.
E-mail marketing has two problems:
1, Getting the e-mail to the recipient.
2, Getting the recipient to act on the e-mail when it is very likely they are not looking for your purchase or product at that moment.
The best way is to build a list through from your existing customers. If someone makes a purchase from your website, subscribes to a newsletter, shares backlinks or joins a community, then give them the option to opt into your e-mail campaigns.
These lists will be recent and targeted to your product. They are already interest and you are simply keeping them informed of your services or products.
Make the e-mails regular. Send them on the same day of the week or month. The recipient will get used to their arrival.
Ensure the content is useful and informative. In fact only send out your e-mails when you have something new or useful to say.
Ensure spelling is correct. Do not include too many links. I would focus each e-mail on one topic, with a summary of what it is and how it would benefit the recipient. Link to a web page with further details and close with your name, company name, website url and perhaps even a physical address.
Give the recipient the option to ‘opt-out’.
Use the e-mail to build a relationship. Perhaps link to a blog page, skype, pms or social networking site where they can interact with you on a more personal level.
The key I think is to add humanity to an inhuman process.
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