You have probably heard before that “print is dead”. However, the data proves otherwise. Not only are people almost 4x more likely to open direct mail versus email (Epsilon), the direct mail response rate has actually increased since 2010 (DMA). This means that when done strategically, direct mail is a great way to increase revenue for your small business.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Perhaps you're a new company and don't have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you're sure that people will love... if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!
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I would wager that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. Having grown up in an increasingly paperless world, the mere concept of spending precious marketing dollars on printing up thousands of pieces of paper to stuff into mailboxes across a large swath of people seems pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not a baseless feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the quicker, more efficient, much cheaper, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But does direct mail marketing actually work?
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam.
I am a scientist. My e-mail has been drawn from publicly-available sites related to science. My name and e-mail is being sold as part of a 7 Million+ e-mail list to biomedical companies and anyone who wants to buy targeted lists. I NEVER gave permission to use my name and e-mail and in fact requested that my name be removed. The company continues to make profits by selling my name + 6.999 million others. I don’t care what country you are from, this is UNETHICAL and ILLEGAL (in my eyes). Of course, who as the money to try and persecute such crooks? Worse yet, if I live in South Africa and the company is selling from India, how can US laws affect or cover me? These guys work across transnational borders because they know that they can operate across international borders online, without any regulation (unless they operate from the US, perhaps). So no fear, no penalties, no recrimination, no fines, just sickening profits from unjust and unfair and illegal marketing methods. Because frauds all abuse innocents.
To have success with your email blast marketing, it requires much more than putting some content together and sending it to a bunch of people. You need to have the right content and it needs to be sent to the right group of potential consumers. In addition to that, you also need to include the right elements in the newsletters to increase the chances of action on the part of the reader. With a little bit of effort and a thoughtful approach, just about any business can manage an effective eblast campaign.
“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.”
To do this, you need to have a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) installed on your site. If you do, and you’ve enabled our Google Analytics integration, then you’ll be able to see details of any visits to your website from your email campaigns, including how long they spent on your site, what pages they visited, what campaigns they’re coming from and more.
Pam Neely has been marketing online for 15 years. She's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a New York Press Award. Her book "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List" is available on Amazon.com. Pam holds a Master's Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University. Follow her on Twitter @pamellaneely.
What's the difference between them? One-off communications versus prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, email marketing tools are excellent for one-off communications. You can use these tools for the one time you'd like to send someone an automated email response when they join a subscriber list, on their birthday, or when you promote a new product. But marketing automation tools are better suited for prolonged, email-based interactions. For example, you can use marketing automation tools whenever you want to guide someone from a subscriber list to a product purchase. Or you can send thank you emails or send new product promotions—all without having to lift a finger after the workflow is designed.
To do an email blast, start by finding an email blasting software or website you can use, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. Then, upload your email blast and all of the contacts you want to send the email to. When you're writing your email blast, include a compelling subject line, like "Act Today, 25 percent off all shirts," so people are more likely to open it. Also, try to use actionable language throughout your email, like "Buy now" or "Call today," to encourage people to act when they read your email blast.
As mentioned earlier, technology and the internet allows for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service for customers as well as enabling them to shop online at any hour of that day or night, not just when the shops are over and across the whole world. This is a huge advantage for retailers to use it and direct customers from the store to its online store. It has also opened up an opportunity for companies to only be online based rather than having an outlet or store due to the popularity and capabilities of digital marketing.
It’s important to note how a number of growing trends revolve around content of value – not promotional content. Things like personalization and subscriber lifetime value, bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, stronger narratives and storytelling, richer experiences… that’s all key to crafting highly engaging emails that will grow your open and engagement rates.
GoDaddy Email Marketing provides great statistics to show you how many people are opening, engaging with and sharing your email. There’s no mystery or guesswork. You can even compare different emails side-by-side to quickly see which emails get the best response. Once you know what appeals to your readers, you can refine your emails for even better results.
For the design element, odds are that unless you have an artistic background, you’ll be either using a pre-existing template from your printer or having it designed by a graphics designer. The templates from your printer will more than likely have an effective eye flow and a solid ratio of graphics to text – if you go the designer route, be sure to get several mock ups and again seek the opinions of those around you whose opinion you value. And finally, print quality should be self-explanatory – be sure to go with a printer that offers some sort of guarantee on quality, or at the very least one that will offer you a refund or reprint if you’re not 100% satisfied. The last thing you’d want to do is have to settle on a poorly printed mailer to save costs.
A wide variety of organizations and companies employ some form of direct mail marketing. For example, you might already receive an envelope from ValPak, a direct mail company that sells space in its envelopes to a variety of local businesses offering coupons and discounts. Additionally, they entice consumers to look through these coupons by promising that $100 has been inserted into 10 random envelopes.
"Why aren't millennials moving?" The subject line of this email campaign reads before citing interesting data about relocation trends in the U.S. Trulia doesn't benefit from people who choose not to move, but the company does benefit from having its fingers on the pulse of the industry -- and showing it cares which way the real estate winds are blowing.
Target Corp. inadvertently drew an early line in the sand between good data use and data use that was too personal for customer comfort. In 2012, Charles Duhigg reported in The New York Times that Target addressed a mailer, which featured coupons for cribs and baby clothes, to a high school girl. When her father complained to the company, yelling that his daughter was not pregnant, the company apologized; when the father called back a few days later, he was contrite. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of,” the father said, according to Duhigg. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it infinitely more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization is so much more than inserting your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
Thanks for the warning re ESPs, spam traps & spam treatments Crystal. That’s a shame. Who puts the Spam trap in there & I wonder what they’re trying to achieve? The clients I have already picked up with this purchased list may save our business. As mentioned, at $250-$500 per lead through our SEO campaign, this lead acquisition rate was unsustainable. In brief, this would not be a business. But at $13.75 per lead through the purchased cold email list, those are metrics which make a profitable business. I wonder why anyone would try to block this efficiency with Spam traps? Thanks for your time to help.
Kate – The problem many marketers will face is that most reputable ESPs will not accept purchased lists, targeted or not. That’s because they can wreak havoc on your deliverability in the long run. Purchased lists often contain “spam traps,” email addresses created specifically to catch people using these lists, and once you’re flagged with them most email clients will put your emails straight to the “Spam” folder.
This one really ruffles our feathers because it implies that you are shoving a bunch of spammy emails down your unsuspecting audiences throats. Blast away! In reality, we want email to be strategic, targeted, personalized, and properly segmented. Additionally, we want the content to be simple, direct, to the point, and useful. With this in mind, the word "blast" seems a bit too intense.
While almost all reputable email service providers work very hard to make sure that your emails are not blocked by major ISP’s, they can’t control whether or not your emails hit the inbox or the spam box. Although most will help you by providing a quality score to help you determine availability, getting whitelisted is the most effective way to ensure that your emails get delivered properly.
The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.
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