Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Email Marketing – What is it?

In an obvious sense it’s really using the electronic mail to do email marketing in the same way that Direct Marketers use to send snail mail ( regular mail ) to your home years ago. They still do? Yes, they do, don’t they. Direct mail is popular because it works and sending email to unsuspecting potential customers always works.

Email marketing – Unsolicited email – But isn’t that called spam?

Good eye! Of course it is. And if you are asking why people continue to send spam ( and call it email marketing ) then the only answer that we can give you is that unfortunately this kind of email marketing is really still working. According to can-spam rules, one is actually allowed to send one email out to an unknown ( lets be fair and call them unsuspecting, unwilling recipients ) group of people. If the individuals do not opt-in or respond positively, can-spam rules say you can’t send them another message.

Obviously, this really didn’t work. This was the letter of the *law* but it was largely disregarded by most spammers and even some ignorant marketing groups within fortune 5000 companies.

Email marketing – Google to the rescue

So Microsoft ( Hotmail ) and Yahoo decided to implement email filters to help people out ( yes about 400 million people ) who couldn’t seem to either get rid of email marketing spam or who were innocently signing up to sites that were selling the email addresses to others ( yes, that’s quite naughty, especially when their policy provisions say they won’t ) The spammers say that in “email marketing” naughty simply doesn’t count if they are able to sell your fresh legitimate email address for up to $16 or more.

However, both Microsoft and Yahoo failed ( some might say miserably ) and it was left to Google to seriously tighten up the algorithms and crosschecking and using aggregate social acceptance to help them instantly flag spam emails.

Email marketing – What marketers should know

Why should this effect you, the legitimate retailer? It will and should effect you because you should be sending messages ( email marketing ) to both potential customers and existing clients.

You should be, but it’s a pretty good bet that you’re not.

I am not going to go into reasons why some companies don’t talk to their potential customer base

Email marketing

Nor can I understand why some firms done communicate with their existing  client base but to some degree it has to do with senior management or marketing personalities and not wanting to *bother* others.

We are all sick of getting v1agra based emails so naturally we don’t want to do that others to the point that even when we have  a hungry customer base waiting to hear from us, we don’t bother to collect their emails because we are nice and don’t want to bother them.

Again, I am not going to go into the details of how wrong this is and how many third party statistical reports show that a company can be leaving in excess of 500% of their revenue on the table ( or in someone else’s pocket ) by not nurturing relationships with their client base.

If you want to argue this point there are good forums out there for doing so.

What we want to discuss here is the fact that the increasing amount of spam and unsolicited email has created a situation wherein legitimate businesses are having email problems.

Email Marketing – Legitimate Email – Legitimate problems

It was or is difficult enough to

  • collect emails in the first place,
  • then it was hard ( some would say QUITE hard ) for most of us to write messages
  • and when we reviewed the email marketing messages they “came out” sounding like hard core sales messages all the time.
  • And if that wasn’t hard enough, when, if I may be so bold in asking, was the last time that you sent out an email to your customer base? Ahhh, I thought so, some of your are quietly saying NEVER and others of you are saying 2-3 months ago. How do you maintain strong credibility and possible friendships by talking to your legitimate customer base 3 times a year?

Hint: They need to read “value add”, non sales messages from you and or your team several times monthly.

Email Marketing – Why Your Email may be getting stuck

So, what are the biggest problems with email here in 2010 ?

Because of the prevalence of spam, your legitimate email may not be getting opened.

In 2002, DoubleClick was reporting open rates on html email of approximately 10%. Text only email was 7.1%

Now, in the 2010 – 2011 time period, these rates have dropped to less than halfor about 3-5%  for many groups.

Pushy Electronic Sales is not email marketing

So, how does one go about getting stronger open rates? ( Try mobile marketing – Ok we are getting ahead of ourselves here, lol )

Build trust. Build this trust with your potential client right from the point in time that they give you their email address. The first step is directly telling them that you wont spam and showing them that you have a privacy policy. Next, in your first email to them DO NOT try to SELL them on your product. Build the relationship first as you continue to talk with them about the state of the area of discussion, each time offering helpful hints and tips that they can use to get more out of the relationship that you are building with them.

During this time, there is nothing wrong with putting a link in the email to products ( called a soft sell ) but please don’t try to SELL them on anything during the first week of email marketing

During the second week, one email should talk more strongly about getting them to get the product or service from a particular place ( hopefully yours ) but subsequent email marketing efforts should back right off of the SALES messages and continue to give value add while also ( most importantly ) spacing out the time periods that you send them messages – you don’t want to deluge them – that comes awful close to spam even if you think its legitimate.

If you wish, contact us for more information on how to effectively do email marketing.

Thanks

Warm Regards

Trevor Weir