Poor Ignorant Soul: What am I doing wrong? No matter what I try in the way of E-mail marketing, I’m still being flamed like a dirty, rotten spammer.
Ignoramus: Fear not, Ignorant Soul. It is time for you, too, to enter the electronic era of enlightement. Here, for your conspicuous consumption, Seattle24x7 proudly presents the “Ten Commandments for Direct Marketing in the Internet Age.” Take these tablets and call us back in the morning.
Intro: In recent years marketers discovered that email marketing campaigns, when done properly, offer many advantages over traditional direct mail campaigns. For example, email marketing offers a shorter prep time. Depending on the campaign creation tools used, email marketing programs can be quick to create. Email messages arrive in the customer&Mac226;s inbox immediately. Email campaigns also offer more flexibility. It is much easier and less expensive to create multiple offers and test various creative and copy schemes in electronic format rather than creating and printing multiple “snail mail” pieces. Beyond lower creation costs, email campaigns are also much less expensive to implement. Email messages are extremely cost effective because email campaigns don’t incur printing or postage costs. On average, email costs range from $.01 to $0.25 per message, compared about $1.70 to $2.00 for each item mailed in traditional direct snail mail.
And once the campaign has begun, responses usually begin to arrive within 48 hours rather than taking days or weeks via snail mail. This speed is coupled with higher response rates on average. That’s because it is easier for someone to respond to an email message than to pick up the phone or mail a response card. Clinching the advantage over traditional methods is more accurate reporting. Electronic forms of delivery and response make tracking and reporting fast and easy — often within days — versus weeks.
Ten Proven e-Marketing Techniques
In order to deploy the most effective campaigns and realize the highest response rates, marketers should do a certain amount of planning and consider a number of proven, results-oriented techniques. To improve marketing effectiveness, consider using the best practices:
Segment Lists & Target Offers. Prospects and customers will be more likely to respond to messages that match their interest set. Use historical data to apply what you know about the likes and dislikes of your target market segments. Chop your database into smaller, segmented slices based on customer or prospects preferences and past behavior. Surgical precision and careful segmentation will help you to focus your efforts and make your campaigns more relevant to the consumer.
Tailored to Fit. Personalizing email content will help to retain the consumer’s interest and will add relevance. In the world of direct emarketing, everyone is unique and one size does not fit all.
Quality Over Quantity. Boost response rates by creating offers for unique products, useful information, compelling content, special pricing or gifts. Again, match the offer to the segment. Every message in a customer’s inbox requires time and attention. If you don’t deliver valuable offers, your customers will opt out of your mailing list.
Call-To-Action. Your campaign’s primary objective should be to have prospects take action. Examples include: Click to a specific link to obtain more information; buy; join; communicate with a sales representative; participate in a survey; play in a contest; or refer a friend.
Text vs. HTML. Give your customers the option of receiving messages in text or HTML format. Some people prefer text to graphics. Give it to them their way.
Micro-Sites. Giving respondents a micro Web site to respond to rather than just an email address creates more interaction and measurement opportunities. Plus, a picture paints a thousand words.
Online Off-line Integration. Create a micro Web site as a response option for your off-line (direct mail, display ads) promotions. Again, you’ll create opportunities to interact with your customers.
No Spam M&Mac226;am. Don’t send unsolicited emails. Most spam messages are unwelcome. You’ll only damage your company’s reputation by sending unwanted emails.
Respect the Customer. Messages and offers that go to unresponsive consumers week after week are no better than spam. Also, make it easy for them to unsubscribe, access and change data.
Measure & Report. Tracking the actions of your customers and prospects is critical to your success. After deploying several campaigns you will have generated a mountain of response information. Analyze it and use it when creating new offers and new approaches. And remember that technology is a magical tool for marketing wizards to use — but it does not replace the wizard.
e-Marketing campaigns have inherent advantages over costlier and slower direct mail methods. But in order to reap the maximum benefits, marketers should carefully consider and employ these ten proven techniques.
Ten Commandments reprinted from NewWorld Commerce’s marketing newsletter e-Marketing Perspectives. Subscribe by emailing your name and organization to firstname.lastname@example.org