E-mail Marketing Success or Failure

When you think of e-mail marketing, what comes to mind? Spam or customer loyalty?

Developing an effective e-mail marketing campaign should be more than just a “blast” to your opt-in e-mail house file. You can’t just dump e-mail on your customers whenever you feel the need to move product. I have seen some of the best products, offers, and promotions fail in an e-mail marketing campaign because the company is trying too hard to make the sale.

Think of your e-mail marketing campaign as you do any of your offline marketing or advertising campaigns. And that means planning the following:

  1. Goal(s). What is the goal of the campaign? Sales, awareness, or communication?
  2. Approach. You know your customers and prospects better than anyone else (or you should; if not try sending out surveys to them to learn more about their needs and wants). Do they prefer promotional messages or informational ones?
  3. Timing. Try to develop a campaign or series of appropriately timed e-mails sent out over a period of time, rather than a one-time e-mail. I do not recommend sending out e-mails more than twice a week. Rationing your messages will help keep your opt-out rate low.
  4. Offer or promotion, if any. If you are sending a promotion or an offer, try to think of something that, like your overall approach, will appeal to your audience: percentage off, dollars off, buy one get one free, etc.
  5. Implementation. If you don’t have an online marketing manager, I recommend purchasing some type of e-mail marketing software. This will help you manage your list, review statistics from each campaign, and protect you from any possible spam complaints.

Nick Stamoulis is online marketing manager at Boston-based smart-card provider Smart Destinations and is the editor of WebMarketingResource.org, a resource for online marketers.

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