We all hate e-mail spam, right? I even have the coolest
software program that will help you combat spam and actually bounces the spam
e-mail straight back to the user. (http://www.mailwasher.net)
However, one thing that we often fail to admit (except in
private) is the importance of permission e-mail marketing, where the members of
your mailing list have given you permission to contact them, or where they're
past customers of yours. Obviously, these e-mail lists are always opt-out, so
if someone chooses not to continue receiving information from you, they can
easily get removed from the list.
Many of you know that I write monthly articles for Planet Ocean
Publications, which (in my opinion) is one of the best sources for up-to-date
information in the search engine industry. Their monthly online publication,
Search Engine News, is second to none, and if you don't subscribe to it,
you're missing out on tips and strategies that could make an amazing difference
in your search engine optimization work. For those of you who aren't
familiar with Planet Ocean, here's their URL.
Stephen Mahaney is the editor of Planet Ocean, and he's easily
one of the top marketing guru's on the Internet. I spent several hours on the
phone with him recently, and he told me that Time Magazine wrote an article
in their November 3 edition that dealt with the importance and impact of
permission e-mail marketing.
There are a couple of quotes straight from the magazine:
"E-mail marketing is fast, effective and dirt cheap --
a godsend for marketers in an economy that has crunched advertising budgets."
". . . the humble medium of e-mail is blossoming while
flashier forms of Internet advertising are going the way of the Pets.com sock
"Little wonder that old-line companies like Ford and
Procter & Gamble are joining early users of targeted e-mail pitches like
Amazon.com and J. Crew."
Can we trust Time Magazine? I do believe we can! They're a
highly trusted magazine and have been for years and years. Time is clearly
going on the record of saying that permission e-mail marketing is one of the
most valuable means of making sales on the Internet, but only if done
In the words of
Stephen Mahaney, "If
you have yet to 'correctly' integrate 'permission email marketing' into your
online business plan, then you risk being thwarted by your competitors that do.
It's just that plain and simple."
So, while spam e-mail should always remain locked tightly in a
closet (NEVER to be let out), permission e-mail marketing is a crucial way
for you to keep in touch with your customers and those interested in your
products or services.
Let's look at five effective permission e-mail marketing
strategies, tips that many Webmasters fail to do, and they ultimately lose
business because of it.
1. If someone writes for information on your goods or
services, save those e-mail addresses! Remember that sales aren't always
made the first time someone hears of a service or product. One trusted source
told me that you have to hear about a product, service, or company at least
twenty times before you begin to trust that company enough to do business with
2. Set up an online form where people can sign up with their
names and e-mail addresses to receive a copy of your monthly or quarterly
newsletter or updates to your site, or to ask you questions. Have the
information go straight into a database that contains the e-mail addresses of
everyone who has written to you for information. Then, create a newsletter that
is not just a sales pitch for your products and services. Offer valuable tips
to your potential customers. Give the newsletter true value, and those
potential customers will begin to look forward to hearing from you. Then, when
it's time for them to purchase the types of goods or services that you offer,
who do you think they'll go to? The company they can trust: you!
3. Respond to your e-mail or to the questions asked on the
form within 24 hours, if not sooner. When people go online looking for
something, they usually send e-mail out to 5-6 companies. If your company is
the first to respond, and if you've taken the time to answer the questions
professionally and thoughtfully, you'll have a jump over those other companies,
many of which won't even answer the e-mail at all.
4. Always provide a way to "opt-out" of your e-mail list.
Make it very clear how your subscribers can choose not to receive the
newsletter or e-mail any longer, and then immediately unsubscribe them when
they write to you. Remember: having permission to send the e-mail in the first
place by only adding those who have contacted you and expressed an interest in
your product, and giving those people a way to get off your mailing list, will
differentiate you from the millions of e-mail spammers that have given e-mail
marketing such a bad name.
5. Take time in creating your subject line for your e-mail
marketing campaign. Make sure it doesn't sound "spammy" in any way.
Including your name or company name is a possibility, as well as describing the
focus of the e-mail. With these new e-mail programs that combat spam, if you
use a subject line like, "We've got GREAT news for you!" or "Hi, Friend!," you
can expect the email to be deleted without ever making it to your potential
How can you learn effective permission e-mail marketing
Stephen Mahaney attributes much of his online success to
effective permission e-mail marketing. He's even gone so far as to write a
course on the subject, which I've personally reviewed. It offers a
step-by-step approach on how to create an effective permission e-mail
marketing list and how to market to that list. The course even comes
packaged with a full version software program for merging each message with the
people on your list so they'll each get a personalized e-mail.
So, with Time Magazine pushing the importance of e-mail
marketing to the forefront of marketing online, here's information about
Stephen's "Business Guide to Permission Email Marketing" course and
How effective is permission e-mail marketing?
Traditionally, permission e-mail marketing campaigns result in
a significantly higher response rate than traditional direct marketing or
other forms of online advertising, such as banner ads. According to
FindMoreBuyers.com, the response rate for a typical permission e-mail marketing
campaign is 4-12%, where as the response rate for a banner ad is .5-1%. Quite a
According to Emarketer.com, DoubleClick projects that e-mail
marketing budgets will increase by 17.0% in 2002, which is nearly twice the
rate of other types of online marketing, which are expected to gain 9.0%. TV,
print and radio budgets are all expected to decrease. Not only that,
DoubleClick reports that 61% of marketers plan to increase their e-mail
marketing budget in 2002.
Forrester Research estimates that the total spending for
e-mail marketing services in the United States will reach $2 billion by the end
of this year.
So, hit while the iron is hot, and permission e-mail marketing
is certainly "hot" right now!
Learn how to use it
effectively, and then watch those profits increase!
Robin Nobles teaches 2-, 3-, and 5-day hands-on search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe (SearchEngineWorkshops.com) as well as online SEO training courses (OnlineWebTraining.com). They have recently launched localized SEO training centers through SearchEngineAcademy.com, and they have expanded their workshops to Europe with Search Engine Workshops UK. They have also opened the first networking community for SEOs, the Workshop Resource Center (WRC).
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