marketing

SERIES: Email Marketing




The Right Content for Your Email Marketing

Email marketing may include sending email advertisements to a large distribution list, publishing and distributing an e-newsletter and sending informative emails with a soft sell approach to encourage recipients to make a purchase or visit your website. Whether you opt to utilize one or all of these email marketing techniques, you will be faced with one specific dilemma and that is writing the content which will appear in these emails. This is critical because these emails may be the first impression potential customers are receiving for your products and services. Superior content will give the potential customers a good first impression which may make them more likely to purchase your products or services. This article will discuss some proven techniques for ensuring the content you use in your email marketing campaign will reap the maximum benefits.

The importance of hiring a professional writer to assist you in your email marketing campaign cannot be stressed enough. It is one of the most critical elements to the success of your campaign. You may be a decent writer or you may have a staff member who you think can do a good job creating the content for your email marketing but unless you or your staff member is a professional writer by trade, the quality of the work will likely not be of the same quality as a professional can produce. This can be very damaging especially if your competitors are hiring writers to create their content. Your emails will likely not be viewed as favorably as the emails written by professionals.

The content you decide to include in your email marketing efforts is largely a matter of personal preference but there are some methods which have traditionally been more successful than others. The type of content which may be effective often includes informative articles, short useful tips, links to relevant websites, advertising for complementary products and even some subtle forms of advertising which are meant to persuade the recipients of the email to either make a purchase or visit your website.

Full length insightful articles which are likely to be of interest to the members of your email distribution list are an excellent idea for your email marketing campaign. These articles are a good idea because they will likely contain information which the recipients of your email will appreciate. Additionally, these articles give you the opportunity to include information about your products or services in the copy of the email. This can be a subtle form of advertising when it encourages the recipients to purchase a product or service or visit the website without actually asking the recipient to do so.

Short product reviews can also be very useful and helpful when you include them in your email marketing campaign. These reviews can help to attract a great deal of attention especially when the reviews focus on the products you offer and provide favorable reviews for these products. This type of information can either be subjective in nature or can remain objective by simply specifying the features of the products and offering other concrete pieces of information as opposed to opinions of the products.

Advertising is often a quite important part of an email marketing campaign. This advertising may either be direct or indirect in nature. Direct advertising may include banner ads or other graphical advertisements which encourage website visitors to click through the link to reach either your website or a sponsor’s website. Indirect advertising may apply to content in the copy of featured articles which subtly encourage visitors to make a purchase or visit your website. The indirect marketing in an email marketing campaign is usually supporting the products or services you offer while direct marketing will likely promote products and services offered by sponsors who paid to receive advertising space on the email. Email recipients are usually well aware these graphics are part of an advertisement and will choose to click on these links when they have an interest in the products or services being offered.

Advertise, Do not Spam

There is a fine line between advertising and spam and unfortunately many business owners do not understand the difference between the two. This is important because while a cleaver, well planted Internet marketing campaign can help to attract new customers and keep existing customers loyal, spam is likely to alienate both new customers and existing customers. This can be extremely damaging to profit margins for the business owners. This article will take a look at a few basic Internet marketing strategies such as banner ads, email campaign and message board posts and describe how each can quickly cross the line from cleaver advertising to spam.

No spam
Do Not Spam

Banner ads are one of the most popular strategies which accompany an Internet marketing plan. These ads are usually ads which appear at the top of websites and span the width of the website. It is from this appearance that they earned the name banner ads but actually banner ads can refer to ads of a variety of different sizes and shapes which appear in an array of different locations on a website. In many cases the business owner purchases advertising space on these websites but the banner ad may also be placed as part of an exchange or an affiliate marketing campaign. Banner ad exchanges are situations in which one business owner posts a banner ad on his website in exchange for another business owner posting his banner ad on the other website. These agreements may be made individually between business owners with complementary businesses or as part of exchanges facilitated by a third party. In the case of affiliate marketing, an affiliate posts and advertisement for your business in exchange for compensation when the banner ad produces a desired effect such as generating website traffic or generating a sale. The terms of these agreements are determined beforehand and are generally based on a scale of pay per impression, pay per click or pay per sale or lead.

Now that you understand what banner ads are, it is also important to understand how they can be overused and appear to be spam. Judiciously placing your banner ad on a few websites which are likely to attract an audience similar to your target audience is smart marketing, placing your banner ad on any website which will display the ad regardless of the target audience can be construed as spam. Internet users who feel as though your banner ads are everywhere they turn will not likely take your business seriously and are not likely to purchase products or services from you as a result of your banner ads.

Email campaigns can also be very useful tools in the industry of Internet marketing. These campaigns may involve sending periodic e-newsletters filled with information as well as advertisements, short, informative email courses or emails offering discounts on products and services. Loyal customers who opt into your email list will likely not view these emails as spam and may purchase additional products and services from your business as a result of this marketing strategy. Additionally, potential customers who have specifically requested additional information on your products and services will also find this type of marketing to be useful. However, email recipients who did not request information are likely to view your emails as spam. Harvesting email addresses in a deceptive manner and using these addresses to send out mass emails will likely always be considered to be spam.

Finally, message boards provide an excellent opportunity for business owners to obtain some free advertising where it will be noticed by members of the target audience. If the products and services you offer appeal to a specific niche, it is worthwhile to join message boards and online forums related to your industry of choice. Here you will find a large population of Internet users who may have an interest in your products. You might consider including a link to your business in your signature or posting the link when it is applicable to the conversation. However, care should be taken to carefully review the message board guidelines to ensure you are not doing anything inappropriate. This technique is smart marketing. Conversely, replying to every message with a link to your website when it is not relevant to the conversation is likely to be construed as spam by other members. Once they begin to view your posts as spam, they are not likely to visit your website via the links you post.


Is Email Marketing Right For Your Business?

Deciding whether or not email marketing is a good idea for your business can be a difficult process. The concept of email marketing is very simple to understand the process of determining whether or not it is right for your business can be significantly more complicated. This is because you have to consider a number of different factors before making your decision. You should consider your target audience and their propensity to use the Internet, whether or not your message can be effectively states in an email and whether or not your message is likely to be misinterpreted as spam. All of these factors are important and can help you determine whether or not email marketing is right for your business.

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to invest your money, energy and time into email marketing is your target audience and how likely they are to use the Internet regularly. This is important because an email marketing campaign is not worthwhile if members of your target audience are not likely to use the Internet to purchase or research the products or services you offer. Even if the use the Internet for other purposes it is not worthwhile because they will not be likely to become online customers for your products or services. However, if you have a target audience who is very likely to use the Internet to purchase the products or services you offer and to research these items, an email marketing campaign is a good idea. In this case it is absolutely worthwhile because you will be providing information which the members of your target audience will find useful and which they may already be looking for elsewhere.

Next you should consider the products and services you offer in an attempt to determine whether or not your message can be effectively stated in an email. This is important because if you offer a product or service which is difficult to explain the emails you use for marketing are not likely to be understood or well received by the recipients of your email distribution list. This is important because you want to be able to convince potential customers of the need for the products and services your offer, not make them feel more confused.

Finally, an important concept to consider is the possibility that your email messages will be viewed as spam. This is a very important concept because emails which are viewed as spam are not likely to be well received by the recipients and may not ever even make it to the recipients if their spam filters tag these emails as spam. Even if the emails do reach the intended recipients many Internet users have grown accustomed to weeding out spam rather quickly and will be quick to delete, without reading first, emails which are suspected to be spam. In determining whether or not your emails are likely to be viewed as spam, it is important to consider the subject of your business and therefore the emails you send out. This is important because certain subjects such as weight loss pills are likely to be viewed as spam more quickly than other items. If you are in the business of marketing products or services which would likely cause your emails to be deemed spam, orchestrating an email marketing campaign may not be worthwhile.

Getting Help with Your Email Marketing Campaign

 Another important criterion when hiring a consultant to assist you with your email marketing campaign is the opinions of past clients. Before committing to work with a particular consultant you should request references from past clients. You should not only request these references but also contact each of the past clients provided and question them about their experiences with the consultant. It is important to keep in mind the consultant will likely only provide reference he is confident will offer a positive opinion of his services. However, you can still learn a great deal about the consultant’s style, personality and techniques through these references. This is important because the consultant’s personality as well as his skill and abilities is also very important.

If you do not get along with the consultant and have difficulty talking to him, it can be difficult to work with him. Additionally, it might be hard for you to meet your business related goals because you are likely not providing the consultant with enough information or offering feedback which could help him to adjust his strategies to better meet your expectations. While it is true that skill, knowledge and ability are all important sometimes none of these matter if personality conflicts prevent you and the consultant from communicating adequately. Therefore your personal opinion of the consultant should always be carefully considered before making hiring a consultant.

Although consulting references is a good idea, you should also consider contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well and also seeking out independent reviews of the consultant you are considering hiring to assist you in your email marketing campaign. The BBB can provide you with a great deal of information regarding the past performance of the consultant. If the consultant has been in business for a number of years and does not have any unresolved complaints with the BBB, this is a good indication the consultant performs adequately and treats clients fairly. Conversely a consultant with a number of unresolved complaints against him is not likely going to be a good choice. Similarly a consultant who has a number of independent reviews raving about the quality of his service is likely a good choice to assist you in your email marketing campaign while a consultant who has a number of poor reviews on the Internet is not really a good choice for assisting you with your email marketing campaign. Likewise, you can assume if past clients were not happy with the services he provided, you will likely also not be happy with these services.


Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing is becoming extremely popular but this does not mean all business owners know how to run an effective email marketing campaign. However, those who are well versed in the subject of email marketing and have experiencing using popular strategies effectively are likely to gain a huge advantage over their competitors who do not have these skills. This article will provide useful information for business owners who are hoping to improve their sales or website traffic through effective email marketing.

If you do not have a great deal of information about email marketing and do not fully understand the principles involved one of the best ways to orchestrate a truly effective email marketing campaign is to hire a consulting firm with a proven track record in promoting business through email marketing to assist you in your endeavor. Similarly to traditional marketing such as radio, television and print media, the popular strategies governing email marketing are changing constantly. As a business owner you likely already have enough to deal with trying to stay up to date on business practices that you do not have the time, energy or finances to also stay up to date on the latest changes in email marketing.

For this reason it is certainly worthwhile to hire a professional in the email marketing industry who can devote himself full time to keeping up to date with the most effective email marketing strategies and designing an email marketing campaign for our business to help you achieve your business related goals. However, selecting a consultant from the many options available can be downright overwhelming. In general you should look for a consultant who has a great deal of experience, a proven track record, listens to your questions carefully, explains concepts simply and makes your project a priority.

Another popular strategy for email marketing is to offer an email correspondence course on a subject closely related to your website or the products or services you offer. These correspondence courses should include a number of short segments, provide useful information, be of interest to your intended audience and should also help to promote your business in some way. The simplest way to promote your business without having your correspondence course deemed to be spam is to use a soft sell approach to subtly urge readers to make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Publishing and distributing period e-newsletters is another example of an email marketing strategy which can be highly effective. An e-newsletter is very similar to a newsletter which is printed and distributed by conventional methods such as mail delivery. The bulk of an e-newsletter should be quality content in the form of featured articles, short articles containing useful tips or product reviews. The e-newsletter may also contain graphical elements. These elements may simply be graphic designs or they may be graphics which also serve as links. The links may direct traffic to your website or to other websites. Finally, your e-newsletters should contain some type of soft sell sales approach. It is important to not make the sales pitch blatant as this may result in the e-newsletter being considered spam. Finally, the e-newsletter should contain a call to action urging the readers to either make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Regardless of the method of email marketing you opt to utilize, one of the most important strategies is to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing on a regular basis. This is critical because elements of your email marketing campaign which are not working should be weeded out. Likewise elements of your marketing campaign which are enjoying a high degree of success should be utilized more often. For example if you notice there is a spike in sales or website traffic each time you issue an e-newsletter, it might be worthwhile to begin issuing e-newsletters more often. This type of evaluation and feedback can turn a moderate success into a huge success.


 Email Marketing Mistakes

Many business owners who opt to try email marketing make the mistake of believing any type of email marketing is beneficial. This is simply not true; there are a number of mistakes business owners can make when they organize an email marketing campaign. Examples of these types of mistakes may include allowing promotional materials to be tagged as spam, not following up with promotional emails, not being prepared for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort and not marketing specifically to the target audience.

We will begin our discussion on email marketing mistakes with spam. Spam is a problem which is reaching endemic proportions. Each day Internet users are bombarded with spam from around the world. This may include a host of unsolicited emails which are promoting products or services the recipients may or may not be interested in purchasing. A critical mistake business owners can make in email marketing is to issue emails which are likely to be construed to be spam. This may result in the emails never reaching the recipient or the emails being deleted, without being read, by the recipient. Avoiding the potential of falling into the spam category is not very difficult. It basically involves ensuring your promotional emails contain more useful copy than blatant advertising. This will make it more likely for your emails to be taken seriously.

Another email marketing mistake often made is failure to follow up on promotional emails. Sending out emails to interested parties can be very beneficial but it is even more beneficial to contact these email recipients by other methods such as mail or telephone to answer any questions they may have and offer any additional information they may require. This type of follow up can be much more effective than simply sending an email and allowing it to fall into the abyss of an overcrowded email inbox.

Business owners may also run into the mistake of not preparing themselves for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort. The express purpose of email marketing is to generate increased interest in your products or services. Therefore it is critical for business owners to anticipate an increase in business and be prepared to accommodate this increased demand for products and services. This is important because potential customers who have to wait for products or services may seek out your competitors who are better prepared to provide them with products or services immediately.

Finally a critical mistake made by business owners is to not tailor an email marketing campaign to their specific target audience. This can be a problem because it may result in the email marketing being less effective. Business owners typically make this mistake because they fall into the trap of believing that it is more important to reach a large audience than it is to reach a target audience. You may blindly send your email marketing materials to millions of recipients and only generate a few leads. However, you could send the same email marketing materials to a smaller group of only a thousand recipients who all have an interest in your products and services and will likely generate more leads from this smaller email distribution list. It is not only important to send your message to members of your target audience but to also tailor your message to suit this audience. Creating an email message which will appeal to a variety of individuals is not as important as creating a message which will appeal to members of your target audience.

 


 Evaluating Your Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a very effective way to reach a target audience around the world. However, your marketing efforts may not reach their full potential unless you invest some time, energy and money into evaluating your email marketing strategy. During this evaluation you may determine whether or not the email marketing is helping you to reach your goals. Likewise you can determine if the email marketing is having an adverse affect on your business. This article will discuss the importance of evaluating your email marketing and will also offer some useful advice on how to do this.

To say that evaluating your email marketing strategy on a regular basis is important is a tremendous understatement. Regularly evaluating your email marketing is not only important it is critical to the success of your business. Failure to evaluate your email marketing strategies can have adverse effects ranging from not producing results to causing you to lose customers to your competitors.

Consider an email marketing campaign which is not effective because it does not reach the members of the target audience. Some business owners make the fatal mistake of not taking care to ensure their email distribution list features recipients who are extremely interested in the products or services you offer. Business owners who take shortcuts by purchasing large email lists, often find their shortcut did not pay off because the recipients of their marketing emails are simply not interested in the products or services you offer. In this scenario the email marketing is likely to generate very few sales or website visits. However, reevaluating the email distribution list to include recipients who are interested in your products or services will likely result in significantly more sales and website visits.

Now consider a situation in which your email marketing is being construed as spam by the recipients. If you have taken precautions to ensure your emails are reaching members of your target audience but your emails seem like over the top sales pitches, the members of your email distribution list may view your emails as spam and not take your advertisements seriously. When this happens the member of your email distribution list may be more likely to seek out a competitor when they are in need of products or services rather than making a purchase from you.

Evaluating your email marketing efforts may be formal or informal in nature. If you have specific business goals in mind you might want to consider using whether or not you are on the way to meet this goal as an indication of whether or not the email marketing is working. You can evaluate your email marketing efforts by soliciting customer feedback. Asking customers for their opinions about the email marketing campaign and whether or not they were compelled to make a purchase because of the content, the advertising or some other element. Based on this information you should have a good indication of whether or not the email marketing is effective. If it is not effective you should consider making changes to create more interest in your products or services. The changes you make should reflect the feedback you receive though to ensure you are not making changes which will cause even less interest from the members of the target audience.


 Why Not Email Marketing?

If you are currently participating in other types of Internet marketing but not email marketing you should seriously consider why you are avoiding this type of advertising. This is important because email marketing can be a very important part of an Internet marketing campaign. Many business owners avoid email marketing for fear of being accused of spamming. Internet markets may not have a clear understanding of what is spam and what is not so they avoid participation in email marketing campaigns to avoid the potential for being labeled a spammer.

Why are Internet marketers so afraid of being accused of being purveyors of spam? This is a common fear for a number of reasons. First of all there may be harsh penalties associated with sending spam emails. Recipients of spam have the option of reporting the spam to their Internet service provider who will investigate the validity of the claim. If the originator of the email is determined to be a spammer there can be harsh consequences.

Internet marketers are also afraid of email marketing because they believe it will not be well received by potential customers. This is an important concept because Internet users are bombarded with spam each day. Receiving this quantity of spam each day can be frustrating and can anger some Internet users. These Internet users are not likely to be receptive to email marketing. The fear that these potential customers will view email marketing and stray to competitors keeps many Internet marketers from taking advantage of this type of marketing strategy.

However, it is important to note that despite the prevalent problem with spam, many Internet users are quite receptive to email marketing. This is especially true in situations where they specifically requested to receive more information from the business owner regarding his products and services. Potential clients are particularly receptive to email marketing which provides something of value to the recipient of the email. Emails which contain in depth articles, useful tips or product reviews may be appreciated by consumers.

Additionally, items such as e-newsletters and correspondence courses offered via email can be of particular interest to potential customers. E-newsletters are typically longer documents than traditional email marketing pieces and can provide a great deal of additional information to the email recipient. Email correspondence courses may be offered in short segments and typically amount to a significant amount of information which is likely to be greatly appreciated by the email recipients.

One final way to prevent email recipients from viewing your email marketing efforts as spam is to only send the emails to recipients who register with your website and specifically request for you to send them additional information and promotional materials. This opt in formula is ideal because it ensures you are not wasting your email marketing efforts on recipients who are not interested in your products or services. It also ensures the recipients of the email marketing campaign do not view the informative and promotional materials they are receiving as spam. This technique for compiling an email distribution list is quite effective but it is important to remember you should always include information on how recipients can opt out of receiving future emails. This is important because the email recipients may have once been interested in receiving marketing emails but over time this may change. If they are no longer interested in these emails, they may begin to view the emails as spam if they are not given the option of being removed from the distribution list.


 

Understanding Email Marketing

Do you understand email marketing? If you do not, you do not have to worry just yet. This is because the concept of email marketing is relatively new and many business owners have not started to take advantage of this wonderful marketing tool yet.

marketing
Email Marketing

However, there are some savvy business owners who are already employing email marketing techniques to create additional business for themselves and to gain an advantage over the competition. While not having a great deal of knowledge about email marketing is not an immediate threat to your business, you should start learning about this concept to ensure it does not become a problem for you later as more and more business owners in your niche begin to take advantage of the concept of email marketing. This article will provide information on email marketing which should be useful to business owners who do not have experience with the subject matter.

Business owners should first understand the options available to them in terms of email marketing. The most common options include sending out mass emails with promotional materials, publishing and distributing e-newsletters and offering correspondence courses via email. The advantage to all of these marketing strategies is the ability to reach a worldwide audience. Unlike traditional methods of marketing such as television and radio ads or print media ads which only reach an audience in a limited area anyone with access to the Internet can benefit from your email marketing techniques.

Mass emails are the most popular form of email marketing. This includes emails which are sent to hundreds, thousands or even millions of recipients at once. The problem with this type of marketing is the potential for having your emails viewed as spam. This is likely to occur if you send your emails to recipients who have no interest in your products or services and have not expressed interest in receiving emails from you.

E-newsletters are also becoming increasingly popular as a form of email marketing. E-newsletters can be a simple or as complex as you prefer and may include text, graphics, advertisements, links or any combination of these elements. One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you wish to make your e-newsletter strictly text or include graphics in the e-newsletter. If you are on a tight budget, it may be worthwhile to only include text to avoid the need to hire a graphic artist. You may be able to incorporate graphics yourself but they won’t look nearly as professional as the graphics provided by a professional. Likewise you can certainly write your own copy for your e-newsletter but you will likely create a much better impression if you hire a qualified professional writer to create the content for you instead.

Hiring a professional graphic artist and a professional writer may seem like an extraneous expense but it is actually quite important. Your e-newsletter may be the first impression many potential customers get of you and your work so it is important to make sure everything is of the highest quality.

Correspondence courses offered via email is the final email marketing strategy we will discuss. These courses may be either offered for a fee and turn into a source of income themselves or they may be made available for free. The theory behind offering these courses for free is they often contain subtle advertising urging visitors to invest in the products and services offered by your business. Whether you charge for your email correspondences courses or offer them for free, care should be taken to ensure the information contained in these courses is completely accurate. This is critical because potential customers who receive these email courses will be judging your business based on the quality and accuracy of these email courses. If they are filled with errors the potential customer may doubt the quality of your work and seek out the products and services offered by others including your direct competitors.

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One thought on “SERIES: Email Marketing

  1. Pingback: Series: Part Two | Freeman Enterprises

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