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Email Marketing - The Advantage of Using a Subtle Approach
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to a targeted audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. There are a number of advantages to email marketing - compared to other marketing investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, it is less expensive. and the return on investment can be high when done properly.
Everyday Internet users receive tons of emails telling them to buy certain products or visit particular websites. While these emails arrive in the inboxes of unsuspecting Internet users each day, most of them pay very little attention to these emails. That is because emails which are blatant advertisements are often viewed as spam. Most Internet users have very little tolerance for spam. Reactions to spam tend to range from simply ignoring the emails and having the email addresses blocked from sending future emails to reporting the emails to their Internet service provider for further investigation. We realize many Internet marketers have difficulty keeping their email marketing subtle. Therefore this article will provide some useful information on how email marketing can be kept subtle so it is not viewed as spam.
One of the most important criteria for ensuring your email marketing is subtle and will not be viewed as spam is to provide something of quality to the recipients. This may include insightful articles, interesting quizzes or other useful facts which members of the target audience are likely to find useful. When email recipients realize an email they received is offering them something worthwhile such as knowledge or information about a particular niche subject they are much more likely to spend some time reviewing the email because they will not consider the email to be spam. In addition to using the creation of this copy to convince recipients that the email is not spam, the business owners can also take advantage of this copy by providing subtle advertising. This may include product references in the articles or links to your website throughout the email.
Make sure you're not blacklisted!
Companies considering an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' CAN-SPAM Act, the European Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 or their Internet provider's acceptable use policy. Even if a company follows the law, if Internet mail administrators find that it is sending spam it is likely to be listed in blacklists such as SPEWS.
Avoiding language which makes outrageous claims can also help to keep advertising quite subtle. Using superlatives and describing the greatness of specific products is likely to be viewed as blatant advertising. When this happens, it is not likely that website owners will believe there is validity in anything contained within the email because they will believe the entire email is simply one big advertisement for your products or services.
Another way to keep advertising subtle when running an email marketing campaign is to only send your email to those who are likely to be extremely interested in your products and services. This is important because when email recipients receive an email which does not reflect their interests at all, they are not likely to take the email serious and may view the email as a blatant advertisement. However, when the email is only sent to those who share a common interest the email seems more personalized. In this case the email recipients are not likely to view every product reference as a blatant advertisement because they understand there is sometimes a need to mention products or services.
Finally email marketing remains subtle when the content of the email is written as though it is not coming directly from the business owner. The copy may speak about the products and services as though they are being offered by a third party. This make the advertising seem more subtle because it does not appear to come directly from the business owner.
Finally, business owners can help to ensure their email marketing efforts are not viewed as blatant advertisements by keeping reference to your own website to an absolute minimum. Most Internet users often view links from one website to another strictly as an advertisement. For this reason it might be worthwhile for business owners who are marketing an email campaign to keep links to a minimum and to carefully weave these links into even the most quite benign copy. The links should be provided as though they were only included to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the products and not as a way to encourage you to purchase these products. It might be worthwhile to consider hiring a writer with this type of experience to ensure the copy conveys the desired message and has the desired effect on the email recipients.
About the Author: Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a site on Email Marketing Strategies and maintains the Internet Marketing Library.