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Friday, August 28, 2009

Email Marketing (Tool 3)

It is one of the most effective tool of direct marketing, which uses electronic mail for communicating commercial message to an audience. Every email sent to a current or potential customer could be considered as email marketing in its approach.

The purpose behind sending email to the customers is to enhance the relationship between the merchant and customers, as well to gain the customer's loyalty by adding some special discounts within the email convincing customer to buy something immediately.

Sending email messages based on the points, could help you in maximizing your investments:

• Introduce new products,
• Customized emails with their particulars,
• Share free tips with them based on your area of expertise,
• Announcement of events such as conferences etc.
• Offer discount coupons,
• Promote contests,
• Send out reminders regarding offers or contests etc.,
• Breaking News in your industry,
• Broadcast urgent issues and provide advises over them,
• Create a contact form and email newsletter sign up form on your website
• Send newsletters to customers and contacts based on their interests or demographics
• Start a fee-based or advertising-sponsored newsletter

What usually happens after sending the messages?

If you think that after sending the email messages you are done with your email marketing campaign, you are wrong. There are a lot of things you need to monitor and take action accordingly, such as:

• Email messages bounce, due to technical issues e.g. address no longer exist or the mailbox of the user was full or maybe the server was down at that moment.

• Some recipients, opens your message, read the content and click on the offers or link given inside whereas the rest delete it or leave it unopened.

• The recipients could ask you to remove them from your emailing list and by law if such thing happens, you must unsubscribe them within 10 days of their request. Mostly this doesn’t happen as the people who don’t wish to receive the emails in future, gets unsubscribed by clicking on the unsubscribe link included at the bottom of your message, provided by your email service provider.

How often are you sending this audience any type of messages?

There is no limit of sending messages, it could be as often or as infrequently as you would like but be careful of the consequences of your messages frequency:

Avoid sending any content which is not relevant because when people get emails which are not of their interest or irrelevant they get conditioned to automatically delete such messages. This practice could also lead them to put your email in to a spam folder and unsubscribe.

If you send messages few times a year, the bounce rate will be much higher due to the reason that many of the addresses would no longer exist, people might forget you and delete your message without opening or marking a spam.

It is good to send frequent messages such as twice or thrice a week, but with relevant content only. Irrelevant contents are mostly annoying to the subscriber and if they get annoyed by your messages result will be increase in your list attrition rate.

Tips on improving your Email Campaign

The fundamental and most important factor of email marketing is never trade, borrow or purchase an email list because the people who have not requested for receiving your email messages are most likely to mark it as spam.

If you are making signing up visible for newsletter then you should make unsubscribing easy and visible too. While unsubscribing you may ask the subscriber for their email address, first and last name interests or demographics.

Try to use double opt-in registration, with single opt-in, a subscriber enters his or her email address and is then automatically registered. Whereas double opt-in is the preferred method for email newsletter subscriptions because it requires confirmation, usually a verification code or link is send to your email address.

Always place link to privacy policy near the sign up form on your website. The policy should illustrate that how will you be handling the information and how people can contact you in case of any concerns. Subscribers always wants to be assured that the information they are providing you will kept secret and will not use for selling or trading purpose.

Remember! Don’t forget to send a welcome message to the subscriber as they sign up for the email newsletter. Tell them that how often they will receive the email, what they will receive and how they can unsubscribe with the service.

In order to avoid spam complaints, you should keep a proper record of your subscribers, such as website address from which they signup, the date etc. keeping record can help you in making the recall about their action of subscribing for your email messages.

If you think that you have not sent a mailing to your subscribers in a while, you may need to ask them that if they wish to continue receiving the message they need to provide acceptance by clicking a URL provided within the mail or by visiting a web page. Asking your subscriber to opt-in will help you in identifying the subscribers interested in your mailing messages.

Including a reminder that you have subscribed with our email messages works quiet well such as “Thank you for subscribing with us - Latest Issue:” it recalls the subscribers that the messages they are receiving are not spam and they have requested for it.

Avoid using such words which sounds spam or misleading within your email subject line. Send your messages regularly; insert your contact number and postal address too. This will help you in building credibility; the readers will get another method of contacting you as well it is compulsory now according to the new federal legislation.

Last and the most important factor of email marketing is interaction with your subscribers, so don’t forget to reply promptly the inquiries or spam complaints you receive from your readers. If you receive spam complaints, include person’s subscription details with your response.

I hope you will find this tool of online marketing every effective for your business and stay tuned for the next tool # 4