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Effective Marketing Campaigns - Developing High Performing Email Lists
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.
If you plan to do some Internet marketing to promote your business endeavor, you should seriously consider email marketing as at least one tier of your Internet marketing campaign. Many business owners shy away from email marketing because they believe all email marketing campaigns are purely spam. However, this is not true and not partaking in this type of marketing can cause your business to lose out on a great deal of business. By not appealing to potential customers via email, your business may lose a great deal of business to competitors who are using email marketing campaigns to reach customers around the world. However, the first step of an email marketing campaign should be creating an email distribution list. This article will discuss some popular options for doing this and should help to the reader to learn more about what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to email marketing.
Once you have made the decision to start using email marketing to promote your business you are likely facing the dilemma of compiling an email distribution list. This is essentially a list of email addresses to which you will email your advertising and promotional materials. One common way to gain a list of email addresses is to purchase a list from distributors. However, this method is not very effective at all and we do not recommend it. The problem with purchasing an email list if you have no way of knowing whether or not the members of the list would have any interest at all in your products or services. This is very important because while you want to reach a large audience with your email marketing you also want this audience to be members of your overall target audience.
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.
When you purchase an email list you may be sending your email messages to some users who might be interested but this is largely coincidental and is not likely to be well received because the message was not solicited. Internet users are very quick to delete materials they believe to be spam without even opening or reading the emails. In fact some Internet service providers include spam filters which may automatically delete your emails if your messages are deemed to be spam. These filters run complex algorithms on the subject heading and content of the message to determine whether or not it is spam and are quite adept at weeding out spam. Therefore you run the risk of having your email marketing effort turn out to be a complete waste if the majority of recipients never even read or receive the message.
A far better way to create an email distribution list for your email marketing campaign is to ask current customers as well as interested potential customers to register with your website to receive additional information and periodic updates about your products and services as well as other information which might be of interest to them. This provides you with a database of email addresses from current customers as well as potential customers who have a genuine interest in your products and services and who are interested in learning more about these products and services.
Once you have a list of interested customers or potential customers you can send emails or create e-newsletter for distribution to the members of your email list. These documents should contain a wealth of valuable information as well as a soft sell pitch for your products and services. This information will be valued by the readers and may help to persuade them to try your products and services. You might also want to include useful links to either your website as well as other websites which may be of interest to your readers. Your content should also contain a portion which urges the reader to take a specific action such as making a purchase or at least investigating a product further.
About the Author: Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a site on Email Marketing and Web Hosting Services and maintains the Internet Marketing Waht site.