Friday, August 3, 2007

Tips To Build Your Email Address Database
By Austin C. Bliss

Gaining your customers’ email addresses will:
· Provide an additional channel for reaching your customers
· Increase the ROI of your marketing investments
· Significantly reduce your customer acquisition and marketing costs
· Allow you to easily measure the impact of your marketing campaigns
· Increase your customer participation and retention rates

With ongoing postal and telemarketing pressures impacting marketing budgets for many organizations this year, email marketing could become the “silver lining “ for many marketers. But how do you create a successful email marketing campaign if you do not have a substantial email database? That question may be one of the largest Internet related challenges facing companies this year.
Research shows that the majority of organizations have email addresses for less than 10% of their postal files. So how do you level the playing field and start to add quality permission - based email addresses to your database?
Here are some tips that you can use to cost effectively build your email address database and increase your customer participation and retention rates:

Every communication or touch point with a customer should start or end with a request for an email address. By utilizing the four points below, you should be able to add email addresses for 5% to 10% of your postal file over the course of one year.

1. Direct Mail Collection
Think about how much time and money you spent for copy and design on your last new direct mail piece. Most companies have started to ask their customers for their email address information within these mailings. This is a great step forward. However, companies need to look at one major improvement if they want to increase their email address collection rates.
To date, most requests for email address information have been pushed, shoved or jammed into whatever white space remains. It should be no surprise that the success rate has been less than stellar.
To improve on these efforts, you need to provide your members with a reason to release their email addresses to you. E-newsletters, purchase confirmations, petitions, and special discounts and offers are but a few of the benefits that will encourage your members to come on board.

2. Web Page Collection
Many companies have an email address collection function in place via the web. To improve your sign-up rates, add text below the email request box that informs your visitors of the special email benefits that they will receive (i.e. e-newsletters, purchase confirmations, delivery updates, etc.) upon registering. You can also utilize a pop-up link to inform users of these special benefits.
Finally, your email address request function should be available on your home page. Don’t make your users go and look for it. Every click away from your home page reduces the chances of your users taking an action and providing you with their email address information.

3. Existing Email Database Collection
Don’t forget to ask the members of your existing customer base for email addresses of their friends, family and associates. Viral marketing is a powerful tool to use and is extremely cost effective! You could ask them either to provide you with additional addresses or simply to pass on your newsletter, email specific offers, or other information to others they feel have similar interests.

4.Telemarketing Collection
Don’t assume that your telemarketing agents are asking for email addresses from potential customers. Ensure that your agents have an updated script, which outlines the previously described benefits to potential customers of providing their email addresses.
The suggestions above are a great start! Yet they really should be viewed as a secondary plan for building your email database. To exponentially and expeditiously grow your email database, please read on!

Utilizing an email appending service enables you to add email addresses for up to 25% of your postal file, all within 3-4 weeks.
Email Appending - is the process of adding an individual’s email address to that individual’s postal record in side your existing database. This is accomplished by matching the postal database against a third party, permission based database of postal and email address information.
Best Practices - Email Appending is not a prospecting tool. The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) and its interactive arm AIM (Association of Interactive Marketing) have guidelines in place that dictate that email appending only be used to append email addresses to your existing opt-in postal record house file.
The Process - Your opt-in postal file is securely transferred to an email appending provider, who will do an initial gross email address match of your file against its opt-in database of postal and email address records. Your appending provider will then send these matches a permission-based message prepared by you. All bounces and opt-out requests will be removed from the list. At that point a valid permission-based email address file of your customers will be delivered back to you.
Cost - Less than the price of a postal stamp!

The first step of any successful email marketing effort is to build a permission-based email address list of your customers. The simplest, quickest and most cost-effective way to do this is through email appending, which will enable you to add email addresses for up to 25% of your postal file. Secondary efforts of email address collection via focused direct mail, web, viral and telemarketing practices are also important and will enable you to add email addresses for an additional 5% to 10% of your base on an annual basis.
Best of luck in building your email address database. As many companies have already learned, the ROI and cost savings to be achieved will far exceed your expectations.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

How To Write E-Mail That Get Results
By Cheryl Rickman

Your words and the way you present and convey your message are what counts when sending e-mails. It's all about what you say and how you say it.

You need to:
· ensure your message is read
· make your e-mail stand out from the rest
· entice your prospect to click the link and open it
· ensure that your prospect reads and acts on your e-mail message.

Why use e-mail as a marketing tool? E-mail is cheap, fast and effective. It allows you to communicate with your prospects and customers quickly and easily, wherever they are in the world.
The problem is, everybody knows this. So everybody uses e-mail to communicate their messages. This has resulted in overflowing inboxes across the globe, and essentially means that your e-mail message is battling with many others for attention.
E-mail also puts you on an even-footing with the big boys. Posh stationery and logos, large corporations and posh offices are irrelevant in the realm of e-marketing.

You can use e-mail to:
· respond to a prospect's request for information
· follow up an old client
· contact your existing customers
· invite people to visit your Web site
· broadcast your Web site address.

E-mail also enables you to send online press releases, either by hand to your own list of e-zine editors and discussion board moderators, or in bulk to a targeted press list using a free service, such as "" or "" or ""
Viral marketing is another technique that can be used to full effect in e-mails. If you create and use a signature file to go at the end of every e-mail you send, you can spread the word when people forward your e-mail messages. (Always include a signature file on your postings to discussion boards and forums. It should always include your URL and be six lines or less.)
12 Insider

Tips for Writing Effective E-MailsRemember, you're jostling for position in very busy inboxes, so you need to get your e-mails right:

1. Think about what you want to say before you write your e-mail and then organize your ideas.

2. Think about your audience. Imagine the person you are e-mailing.

3. Write notes about the key points you want to get across, their priority and the purpose of the e-mail. Think about what questions your e-mail recipients may have about your offer, service or product.

4. Establish your primary point and use that as the e-mail header or as the headline. Put your key points first. Expand that main point in your first paragraph of text.

5. Only make one point per paragraph and keep sentences and paragraphs short.

6. Make your subject headers interesting, compelling and concise, so that the prospect has to open the message. For example, "Web marketing tips to help you double your online business" would be better than "Frank's site update."

7. Keep the text upper and lower case and don't shout by using capitals.

8. Format your e-mails so they are easy to read in any browser. If your e-mail program doesn't include word-wrapping facilities, make your line length a maximum of 60 characters and press return at the end of each line. When printed, it will be neatly laid out.

9. Use short paragraphs, headings and subheadings, bulleted lists and summaries, and add white space to ease reading.

10. Always tell your prospect what to do next. Use a call to action, e.g., "Have your Web site appraised today, by visiting sending an e-mail to"

11. Always check the e-mail for errors, omissions and spelling mistakes. Proofread as well as spell-check for errors the spell-checker may miss, and make sure you've included that attachment.

12. Target a specific audience who need your information. Don't bulk e-mail your message to thousands of untargeted people.
E-mail is one of the best online marketing tools at your disposal. Use it wisely and make your messages stand out

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