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Email marketing has to be one of the most rewarding of all advertising mediums. It's so measurable, so trackable, so testable and, the best part, so CHEAP! But it's not like the "old days" anymore. You can't just email to a bunch of names. Nope. Over the last few years there's new Federal and State laws with threats of $10,000 per unsolicited email penalties. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and recipients have become a lot more aggressive about blocking your email. But the biggest threat is getting blacklisted. That's where, at the sole discretion of a blacklisting listing service or ISP, all of your emails are blocked from being received for hours, days or even months - with little that you can do to get the mail flowing again.
The fastest way to get blacklisted is to send irrelevant emails. When I say irrelevant, I mean irrelevant as judged by the receiver. It doesn't matter that they've double-opted into your list. If they view your email as a waste of their time, they may opt-out of your list and, more seriously, may report the email as spam.
As you can see, most importantly, the email needs to be relevant to the recipient. Forget the penalties for a minute, and just look at the basic fact that if the email is not relevant to the person, they're not going to buy from you anyway. So why risk it?
How do you ensure relevance? Know your personas! Make sure that your email addresses every one of your website's personas' needs, goals, etc. If you can target a single persona and send it only to that person, all the better!
But don’t let all this scare you off emails. Done right, it costs almost nothing and can produce thousands of leads, sales or dollars. If you're not currently doing email marketing here's some ideas we can help you with:
- Sales of overstock items: this could be a product, or time if you have a service. Do you have a slow time of the year that you'd like to fill?
- Information tips: Are you a service provider, do you have info people could use? Give some away, become a resource. Like we do.
- New schedules: Do you run classes, hold special events, open houses?
- Useful announcements: New products or services.
- Promote other relevant products/businesses: Do you operate a hotel near a theme park? Maybe an email about how great the park is, and how convenient it is to stay at your place.
- Keep in touch with your customers: solicit feedback for new products, services. Keep them involved. Build loyalty.
- Support direct mail or traditional advertising: "Check your mailbox for..." or "See our ad in this Sunday's paper for the $5 off coupon."
Like one of these? Have some of your own? Want to brainstorm what might work for your company? There's so much more to talk about. Drop us an email and we can talk about landing pages, subject lines, open rates, clicks, delivery timing, whatever!