One hundred years ago, companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penny Co. used customer data to send out catalogs and mailers. Back then, the companies possessed small sets of data, mainly names and addresses of customers. Now, marketers have mountains of complex data and are faced with a modern conundrum: How much personal data is too much to incorporate into the content?

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]

The call to action doesn’t have to be a sale or discount – it could be advertising a contest or promotion, or incentivizing people to conduct an online survey. Regardless of the nature of the call to action, there must at least BE a call to action. Direct mailing is most certainly not the avenue to send out a blank postcard or flyer that simply informs people of your presence – it’s too expensive, too time consuming, and too hard to efficiently track metrics to garner simple impressions.


Short for e lectronic mail , the transmission of messages over communications networks . The messages can be notes entered from the keyboard or electronic files stored on disk . Most mainframes , minicomputers , and computer networks have an e-mail system . Some electronic-mail systems are confined to a single computer system or network, but others have gateways to other computer systems, enabling users to send electronic mail anywhere in the world. Companies that are fully computerized make extensive use of e-mail because it is fast, flexible, and reliable.. Most e-mail systems include a rudimentary text editor for composing messages, but many allow you to edit your messages using any editor you want. You then send the message to the recipient by specifying the recipient's address. You can also send the same message to several users at once. This is called broadcasting .. Sent messages are stored in electronic mailboxes until the recipient fetches them. To see if you have any mail, you may have to check your electronic mailbox periodically, although many systems alert you when mail is received. After reading your mail, you can store it in a text file , forward it to other users, or delete it. Copies of memos can be printed out on a printer if you want a paper copy .. All online services and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer e-mail, and most also support gateways so that you can exchange mail with users of other systems. Usually, it takes only a few seconds or minutes for mail to arrive at its destination. This is a particularly effective way to communicate with a group because you can broadcast a message or document to everyone in the group at once.. Although different e-mail systems use different formats , there are some emerging standards that are making it possible for users on all systems to exchange messages. In the PC world, an important e-mail standard is MAPI . The CCITT standards organization has developed the X.400 standard, which attempts to provide a universal way of addressing messages. To date, though, the de facto addressing standard is the one used by the Internet system because almost all e-mail systems have an Internet gateway.. Another common spelling for e-mail is email .. Also see Why E-Mails Bounce and Getting Rid of Spam in the Did You Know section of Webopedia..
Hint: Using the Advanced tab, you can float the image so text can wrap around it. The vertical and horizontal spaces are the amount of space (measured in pixels) you want between the image and anything else on the page. This is usually used to provide space between text in a surrounding article and an image. Copy and paste this: float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 10px; into the Style box under Advanced for a quick and easy image float, as you can see here:

Just like with any other form of advertising, you will need to hit people with your message more than once in order to maximize effectiveness. Your first send might pique their interest, but people are receiving mail at the same time they are getting home, and are facing many distractions. By consistently sending marketing messages, you increase the chance that they will convert.
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.
Build your audience and manage your contact groups. Install our opt-in widget on your website to capture email addresses and automatically sync to contact lists in your account. Upload your own contact lists as either a CSV, TXT or XLS files. Our system will seamlessly integrate into your CRM acting as your second pair of eyes, filtering out unsubscribes and possible errors. 

Buying email lists doesn't just damage your deliverability and brand reputation -- it can also put your email account at risk. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook don't want to be associated with accounts that recipients repeatedly flag as spam. Email service providers like AWeber go as far as immediately closing your account if it suspects you're sending unwanted content.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
Update your website and continuously offer useful and updated content. Think of your website as a storefront but in the virtual world. In the same way that you do not leave your physical store unattended for a month, you would not do the same to your website. Always update your website and keep it fresh by having a blog, announcing sales, special offers, and new products. Think that you are a customer yourself, so give them the information that they want.
While perhaps not as splashy as other forms of marketing, direct mail marketing is one of the most cost-effective, minimally intrusive form of advertising. By using the proper research tools, companies can send their messages directly to specific demographics, targeting the most likely customers. Using creative strategies, direct mail companies can grab the attention of their ideal consumers and entice them to do purchase goods or services.
Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,[6] e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.[7] In essence, this extension to non-Internet channels helps to differentiate digital marketing from online marketing, another catch-all term for the marketing methods mentioned above, which strictly occur online.
Third-party companies also compile and sell contact information to companies and organizations. Customer surveys, public records, retail reports, and data software can all be used to collect demographic trends; other companies use only permission-based lists. These companies can usually narrow their mailing lists by demographic—for instance, to only working mothers who have children under three, with at least a bachelor’s degree, who own their own homes, have at least one credit card, a credit score of more than 560, and make $50,000 or more a year. Companies purchase these demographic lisst, and send their direct mail offers to this very targeted market.

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.
“We’re always giving people the option to join our email list when they come into the spa, but we just recently added the option for people to sign up when they visit our website,” explains Christine Copertino, spa director for Allegria Spa. “The response has been great. We’re seeing a ton of people signing up, and we know that these are really engaged people who will be excited to receive our emails.”
With the internet and technology evolving so rapidly, digital marketing techniques and terminology have evolved as well. Today, terms such as “digital marketing,” “online marketing” and “internet marketing” are used interchangeably so often that it can be difficult to remember what the differences between them are. At the end of the day, CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights, Dave Chaffey, points out that the differences between these terms and their definitions don’t really matter. In his article “Definitions of Digital marketing vs Internet marketing vs Online marketing,” Chaffey explains that it is not so much the difference in definition that is important, but in the responsibilities you assign to the terms, and how effective those responsibilities are in assisting your company in its endeavors to build clientele.
“The Foundr Podcast has come to a close but it’s not time to sleep, it’s time to hustle. Download the Richard Branson issue of Foundr Magazine for FREE right now by visiting. Again that’s an absolutely free download of the Richard Branson issue of Foundr Magazine containing an exclusive interview with the man himself. It’s only available at foundr.com/branson so download it now and we’ll see you next time at the Foundr Podcast!”
The downside of Every Door Direct Mail Service is that, besides the location of the recipient, you don’t know anything else about them. If you would like to be able to further target the recipients based on other factors, then you will need to rent a third party mailing list. There are many places where you can go to purchase third party list that is tailored to your specific need. Experian, DirectMail, and InfoUSA being some of the more popular options.
I’m a bride myself and I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve marked as spam from venders I’ve never requested any information from. They received my email address from the shop I bought my wedding dress from and tried to sell me services I never asked for. I marked every single one of those emails as spam because I never gave them permission to email me. I also had no idea that my dress shop had shared my email address with other vendors.

We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
We just started using MailChimp because it seems to be the only one that offers a free account for small or new users. The problem is that there are so many steps for a potential subscriber to go through with both double opt-in and recaptcha, that we are getting at best complaints to worst, plain nasty comments posted on our Facebook page. We don’t know how many would be subscribers we lost because of this.
As businesses offer e-marketing and online shopping, customers can get market information from their computers or cell phones and buy goods or find services without leaving home twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week (24/7). They can read ads on the Web or from e-mail, get e-coupons, view pictures of goods, compare prices, and make purchases with a few clicks of their mouse, saving the time and money it would take to shop in person at a brick-and-mortar store. At the same time, ebusinesses can reduce costs in distribution channels and physical store space and thus pass the savings on to customers.
Hi Louise – it depends how you’re running your website. With an integrated platform like Thrivehive you can update your website and send emails seamlessly. Most website platforms do not have this capability and you would have to use a third party email campaign system like MailChimp or Constant Contact. For more information about our integrated platform, you can go to https://thrivehive.com/request-a-demo and fill out a form for someone to give you a call!
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.
If you say, “I want to see what type of response I get from my first email before I send more”, it’s not going to work. Email marketing is marketing, not magic. You wouldn’t expect to get a great return on playing a radio ad or running a TV spot just once.  Don’t expect a great return from sending just one email. Tell yourself you’re going to test the effectiveness of email marketing for a period of time (a full year is a reasonable amount of time). Remember that customers will open emails differently depending on the time of year and even the time of day that your email is sent. To get as many customers as possible to open your emails, you need to commit to sending emails over a period of time.

Market researchers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in market research, statistics, sociology or other related field. Some researchers, particularly those with companies dedicated to market research and in larger corporations, have a master’s degree. Market researchers who take advantage of internships, either during or immediately after college, will also gain valuable hands-on experience they can use in the future.
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