Junk or Gems?

March 27, 2003
Which will your e-mail marketing efforts be?

About the author: Brad Linden is the EVP of marketing for Xpedite, which helps companies manage information distribution to and from their customers through multimedia messaging solutions including fax, e-mail, voice and wireless services. Xpedite offers customers an integrated approach to efficiently and effectively reach their target audiences. For more information, visit www.xpedite.com.


With more and more marketing and sales professionals using e-mail to communicate with their target audiences and prospects, it has become increasingly important for this group to learn how to use this new medium effectively.Basically, marketers and sales professionals need to learn how to make their point quickly and effectively, without alienating their recipients.

Following are some quick tips to ensure that your mass e-mail communications will be received well.

*What you see is not always what you get. Not all recipients are on the same system or configure their PCs in the same way. Therefore, it can be difficult to utilize the potential of HTML messages.Some outsourced e-mail service providers have remedied this situation by enabling sales and marketing pros to send e-mail messages that can be read by all recipients, regardless of how the recipient's software is configured to display messages.The technology can combine messages comprised of text, HTML and the subset of HTML used by America Online, and deliver them to any e-mail recipient in a readable format.

*Be on target. Consumers are viewing spam in the same manner as telemarketing, which could result in negative feelings toward your business. Instead, encourage your current and potential customers to register on your website to receive your company's information.Also, you can insert a section on your customer information forms that asks for their e-mail address and if they would like to receive e-mail updates on your company's offerings.

*Let them leave. While it may be difficult to take people off your list, this could make the difference between an unhappy customer and an irate consumer.All e-mails should have an opt-out option at the end of the message, in case a member of your list no longer wants to receive your company's information.Making it easy to opt-out can keep your list strong and vital and ensure communications stays focused and targeted.

*Link it up. Another tool that can make e-mail marketing successful is by placing relevant links within the messages.Make it easier for your e-mail recipients to find more information about your company by including a hyperlink in your message to your company's website.Your recipients will appreciate the value-added service.

*Take measure. What's the point of sending messages if you don't know if people are doing anything with them?For example, if you are focusing your efforts on a marketing campaign that offers special promotions, you should make sure you can measure the performance of your e-mail campaign by tracking the results.Tracking results can be difficult to do on your own. However, many outsourced providers can follow your campaign from beginning to end through traceable links in the e-mail messages. By being able to track results, you can see which messages work, which information the recipients are reading and how you can design a more effective campaign in the future.

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