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.”
Further, today's consumer is connected 24/7 and attention spans are divided across multiple mediums -- web, email, mobile apps, texts, TV, radio, etc. Direct mail pieces received directly to homes or businesses break through marketing silos and require a dedicated pause to consider compared to the many thousands of on-screen messages we receive any given hour. Consider how unaffected you are as a consumer when you receive spam emails -- it's a quick click to delete without a second thought. But we're receiving less physical mail than before, and are therefore less likely to dismiss mail as quickly as we used to.
Email marketing is a simple and proven strategy to promote your business. It attracts new customers and helps maintain close relationships with loyal customers. There's a long list of email marketing services available today and most operate at relatively low prices, with packages to fit every business size and need. It's just a matter of determining which features and tools you need and how much you're willing to spend.
Another key aspect of any email blast is the target audience. Make sure you’re hitting inboxes where the probability response, purchase or interaction is high. If you’re shooting emails like a loose cannon on a rolling deck, you could put off prospects and customers (if you make it to their inboxes!), tarnish your image and end up wasting a lot of time, money and effort.
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Most of the article really talks about how to successfully get an email of a person who has already landed on your landing page/podcast page/affiliate/blog etc. but how to get those people there in the first place is a bigger challenge. Also, one of the ways you can include in your list is by offering free tools/widgets. For example, OpenSiteExplorer by Moz is a great example. Evergreen and very useful for the target audience.
Companies considering the use of an email marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy.
The first is just common sense. Do you really think that hundreds of random people will be interested in what you are promoting? Probably not. Most will instantly delete the email, unsubscribe, or mark your email as spam. Plus, if you buy the list from a company that gathered the names in less-than-ethical ways, you risk being labeled a spammer. And if that happens, having a small database is the least of your worries.
If you haven’t yet started building an email list (but know you need to), this article is for you. You may have heard that a strong email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have, but when you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is partly because many business owners have a hard time envisioning the long-term payoff for the hard work they need to do now.
First, you will need a computer with internet connection. Then, you can choose from a variety of email servers such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail etc. I recommend Gmail because it's free and has and excellent spam blocker. If you go to gmail.com, and click a link that will say something like "create an account". Fill out the information and use your new login and password to enter your new account.
Direct mail is a type of direct marketing in which businesses send letters, postcards or other promotional materials to past, current or potential customers or clients. Direct mail campaigns may be targeted to either a consumer or business or both. In many cases, the mailing is directed to a target demographic (i.e. home owners) or geographic market (i.e. a specific neighborhood). In most cases, it's mass or bulk mailing, but you can send direct mail in smaller quantities as well.
As a marketing strategy the email blast is divisive, to put it mildly. In fact, it’s somewhat akin to using cilantro in your cooking: either you love it or you hate it (and if you hate it, you really hate it). Some marketers have written off the email blast completely as an outdated strategy, some swear by it, and others find it cringe-worthy but still use it because it gets results.
You don’t have to worry about Google or Facebook suddenly changing their algorithms, because once you have someone’s email you have the ability to communicate with them one on one. Even if all of Foundr’s search rankings and social media presence disappeared tomorrow, we’d still be able to promote our brand and our products to the thousands of people on our mailing list.
Julie Ewald recommends moving away from sending generic content to your whole email list via e-blast entirely. With a little elbow grease, you can utilize segmentation and start sending off tailored messages to each of your lists with content that’s relevant, valuable, and designed to resonate with the kind of recipients that make up each segment.