Identify your target market. Who will be receiving your mailing? Are you contacting past customers, current prospects or sending a cold mail from a bought mailing list? If you plan to buy a list, do your research before spending any money to make sure it's an updated and quality list. Further, follow the list owner's rules for mailing. For example, most only "rent" you the names for one one mailing. The only way to add list members to your permanent list is if they respond to your mailing.
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[24] http://www.clickalchemy.com/assets/images/email-marketing-flow-img.png
You want to have a single purpose for your direct mail piece. Often times the goal of a direct mail campaign is to get the recipient to buy a product or use a service. Other goals can be to send people to your website, get people to enter a contest, or let people know about an upcoming event. Knowing your goal will help you formulate what you want the direct mail piece to say. You also need to consider what the recipient stands to gain from the letter.
In 2002 the European Union (EU) introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Article 13 of the Directive prohibits the use of personal email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive establishes the opt-in regime, where unsolicited emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient; this does not apply to business email addresses. http://www.benchmarkemail.com/images/blog/targeted-email-campaign-archives.png
I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.
As a growing business, you may also be looking for a CRM solution, and you'll find that the more advanced email marketing services have begun to crossover into CRM. It makes sense: Both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers. A handful of these services are one-stop shops, either offering both email marketing and CRM out of the box or as add-on services.
This is why it’s so important to make the time to establish strong connections with other influencers in your niche, and to view them as collaborators and not competitors. It was because of the relationships that we’ve built with these other influencers that allowed us to have our lead magnets and content shared directly to their own community. Which in turn led to us growing our mailing list by 56,000 new subscribers in just 30 days.
This is a process described by Seth Godin known as permission marketing. The core concept of this idea is that you never market to someone that doesn’t want it, you first have to ask them for their permission. When someone signs up to your email not only do they become a warm lead but they give you their permission to send them offers and to market to them.
Once the direct mail campaign has gone out, and customers have responded, companies track results to determine the campaign's effect. Measuring the number of responses, increased traffic, and profit margin gives marketers important information about whether the direct mail piece produced the desired results, and what else (or instead) should be targeted in future campaigns.
Most people don't think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.

If you already have a pretty large database, you also likely have some contacts that have gone quite stale. If so, I recommend running a re-engagement campaign that can help you both scrub your list and prevent the kind of spam and IP issues I addressed earlier, as well as reawaken old contacts that might have forgotten about you, but would actually be great fits for sales.
In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.
“I am a big believer in the intersection of online and offline marketing and this can be a big win with direct mail marketing. If you can provide users with a strong enough incentive to visit your website then you can then integrate follow up strategies like remarketing and email nurturing. As marketers we have to try and break down the wall between traditional advertising and digital as often that intersection is where the best results are.”
In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[21] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[5] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[22] 
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