Email is the most used – and misused – aspect of the Internet
Email is also perhaps the most crucial communication tool at a company’s disposal. It is an important part of your ongoing marketing and communications tool kit. Use emails to keep clients and prospects informed with a newsletter, gather information from a survey, or inform your clients and prospects about new items or services being offered. We can guide you through the planning and implementation of your email marketing programs.
Direct email campaigns are undoubtedly the most cost-effective directed form of marketing to anyone, anywhere, ever. Because it is so powerful and so cheap, direct email marketing is seriously overused for UCE – Unsolicited Commercial Email, aka Spam. Permission Marketing, often called “Opt-In Marketing” is the use of direct email marketing with the permission of the recipient. Permission marketing is fantastic (and would be much more so if email weren’t so terribly abused by spammers). After all, people are giving you permission – indeed, requesting – that you put your message on their desktop, and that you do so on a regular basis.
To accomplish this, to gain permission to put your message on the desktops of scores, hundreds, even thousands and tens of thousands of people, you have to have something to offer them besides commercials.
Your permission-based direct email campaign should have regular features that are useful to your audience.
These might include:
- White papers, technical articles, application bulletins and other how-to information, including tutorials and demos
- Notice of material changes and additions to your web presence
- Endorsements by professional associations, underwriting laboratories and the like
- Surveys to get input from the audience
- New Product Bulletins
- Notices of Events
- Case studies. For sales channels, highlight successful sales techniques and awards and buyer case histories showing the success of customers who’ve purchased
- Deals, your best deals
- Images and collateral materials, including literature and price sheets
- Limited time offers, including free samples
- Offer free advice, analysis, testing, etc.
- Relate industry news that impacts the audience, provide resource links for follow-up
- Personnel announcements and recognition, particularly for staff that support the audience you’re reaching out to
- Newsworthy notes on your company’s and staffs participation in professional, community and humanitarian service projects
- Humor, in good taste, is always a good draw
All of the above should be brief, say headlines and one to three-line synopses, with the possible exception of a “feature article.” The goal is to present worthwhile information to maintain the interest of the audience, and to generate traffic back to your site where complete information exists. Keep an archive of your newsletters on your website. You benefit by expanding site content, showing potential subscribers what they can expect and by giving search engines more content to the index to bring searchers to your site.
Visit our iContact information page for some of the capabilities of this online tool for such campaigns. Sign up for a free trial of iContact to give it a try.