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With mail costs rising, it’s time to try e-mail marketing

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in Career Management,HR Management,Human Resources,Office Management,Office Organizer,Workplace Communication

For many small businesses, a mailing list is where their advertising begins and ends. But with mailing costs boosted in May and higher rates forecast ahead, it’s smart to consider a lower-cost (virtually no-cost) alternative: e-mail marketing.
E-mail is the greatest marketing invention since the catalog, but many companies still don’t use it effectively.
 “If you aren’t using e-mail marketing in the proper ways, then you are missing out on huge opportunities to increase your business and sell more product,” says marketing guru Chris Baggott, author of E-mail Marketing by the Numbers. Here are Baggott’s five tips on using e-mail marketing to take your company to the next level:
1. Stay out of recipients’ spam folders.
If your message gets lumped in with the trash, it will mean ruined customer relationships. The quantity of the e-mails you send means nothing. The quality of your messages means everything. You avoid being reported as spam by providing information that people find useful. Also, ask recipients to put your e-mail address on their “whitelist” of acceptable e-mail senders.
2. You have to get your recipients to act.
The four factors that influence an e-mail’s success (in order of importance) are: past behavior, relevancy, frequency and creative strength. Remember that people are busy; don’t waste their time. If you don’t have something of value to say, don’t say anything at all.
The best e-mails are those that provide valuable content. Example: Providing “5 tips to saving money on your next vacation” to piggyback on an e-mail ad for a travel agency.
 3. Build a killer database. The best three ways to collect e-mail information without alienating your constituents: online e-mail collection, offline (at your physical location) or B2B/networking/real-world registration.
 “No matter what method you use, always ask permission to continue building a relationship with them through e-mail,” says Baggott.
4. Analyze the results
. Most e-mail marketing services can tell you the deliverability rates, open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribe rates of each e-mail sent. That allows you to apply a return-on-investment amount to each e-mail effort.
 5. Ask for feedback (and demographics). Requests can be made during registration, at the point of purchase or via a survey.
“E-mail is the perfect way to fill in data points once you know what data is valuable and what data is missing from different constituents,” says Baggott. “Almost every e-mail you send should give the recipient a chance to answer a question or two.”

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