Email Marketing Tips Mistakes to Avoid
Email Marketing is a derivative of Database Marketing, but it has its own peculiarities and regulations.
Offline businesses have been using Database Marketing for decades. Hotels, travel agencies, and even local bookstores started paying attention to their customer base and marketing to them via post and telephone.
Database Marketing became so popular, that businesses started selling their leads to other business. Some people concentrated exclusively on capturing and selling leads.
The postal service did little to regulate mass mailings, except when complaints were made, as in the case of chain letters. Later, when telemarketing became popular, people felt that their privacy was being invaded. It was easier to filter junk mail than to get rid of telemarketers. Soon regulations appeared and you could opt out of receiving phone calls.
When email first became popular, everyone was glad to get correspondence using the new technology, but soon everyones email was getting flooded and anti-spam regulations appeared to protect consumers.
Dont Email Without Permission
Having a persons email address doesnt mean it is ok for you to send marketing email to that person. You must have a previous relationship with that person. If the person has bough something from you in the past, or if they opted into one of your ezines, or if you collected the email directly from the person with the understanding that they would be added to your mailing list.
It gets a bit confusing because we all get a lot of mail that is pure junk, and it is totally unrequested, and from people with whome we have no relationship. Those people are mailing illegally, and usually from other countries.
There are also programs that we all can buy that scrap email addresses from the internet. If you have your email address on your website, there is a good chance someone has already scraped it and is sending you mail.
Scrapers can be used legally to find leads. You can send a personalized email request to someone whos email you captured somehow; but what you can not do is just load him up to your auto responder series and start blasting emails to them.
In the first case, you are requesting a relationship. In the second case, you are spamming them.
Email Marketing Problems Beyond Regulations
Once you have developed a relationship with your subscribers, the next problem is that service providers, in order to protect their customers from spam, filter emails based on algorithms that are imperfect. The scripts that filter emails cannot determine whether someone opted into your list or not.
If you use one of the better email broadcasting services, they usually negotiate with companies like hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc to make sure that their emails get through the filters, but in order to do that, they request that all your customers double opt-in. That protects you from being acused of spam, but it also reduces the number of people that complete the process of opting into your list.
Think Like a Consumer Act Like a Marketer
Spam is already invading our cell phones. We understand that some measures are needed to protect the consumers, but we are also marketers.
I used to work for a newspaper that was in the process of closing its entire telemarketing department. It was sad to see all those friends without jobs. A whole section of the brand new building was vacated. Telemarketing was outsourced for a while and eventually dissappeared.
We have to adapt to new trends and new technologies. Marketing cannot stop. Email Marketing is Database Marketing adapting to new technologies.
Marketers are even now trying to find new technologies to reach their customer base without sending their messages through the known filters. Perhaps some attractive variation of an RSS feed can pave the way, but just like the regular marketing messages received via postal mail, the consumer will always have the final say about whether or not he will see or hear your message.
Let us strive to make our messages and our products as useful and attention grabbing as possible.
25 Email Marketing Tips And Tricks For Beginners
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