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Email Marketing Guidelines

email marketing

If you have started a new online or offline business then you’re certain to be looking for adequate means to advertise your product or service. Using mass media including television commercials, newspapers and magazines to sell your ideas can be very expensive and totally out of reach for most.

Email marketing has become a reasonably priced way of reaching large volumes of individuals looking for information and offers on a wide variety of topics. According to eMarketer, a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 91% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 64 send or read e-mail, and an even higher number of users ages 65 or older do the same. The only other activity to even approach e-mail's popularity is using a search engine to find information.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:

• Sending email with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or old customer and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

• Sending email with the purpose of acquiring a new customer or convincing old customers to buy something immediately.

• Adding advertisements in email sent by other companies to their customers. (Wikipedia)

Email marketing can be a very powerful tool if handled properly and legitimately meaning that all can go smoothly if you approach only people who your product or service relates to and make sure that they give you permission to send them updated newsletters, ezines or special offers. Research conducted by the UK marketing firm IPT in August and September 2004 suggests that consumers are showing a more favorable opinion of email marketing compared to TV advertising.

How to Protect Your Company’s Reputation

Never send unsolicited email. When a subscriber displays interest in receiving news updates from your organization be sure that you send them an email that requires them to confirm the subscription. At this stage you can add them to your list of recipients and keep a copy of the confirmations for your records.

Deal with unsubscribe requests and spam complaints promptly.

Keep your list updated. Regularly rid yourself of out-of-date and duplicated addresses.

Establish boundaries with subscribers by letting them know up front what they can expect from your email, let them know how often they can look forward to hearing from you and don’t step out of your set schedule whether weekly, biweekly or monthly.

Create a privacy statement page on your web site and include a link to it in every email you send.

Allow subscribers to decide if they want to receive your email in text or HTML format and what type of information they’re interested in (company news, special offers, site

Include an unsubscribe link along with a way you can be contacted.

As your contact list begins to grow, you will need to maintain customer loyalty by keeping their attention focused on your business.

Be creative, use graphics, fascinating polls, engaging topics of conversation with requests for input from your users and add replies from stimulating customer feedback.

Be resourceful, always stay up-to-date on the latest market trends and find out what the people are looking for.

Keep it simple, speak in terms that anyone can understand to broaden your audience.

Write an e-book and offer it for free as a way to thank them for their devotion to your project.

Offer discounts on new products/services.

Spam Issue Awareness

Spamming is a big problem that could have dire results on the future of your business if you do not approach with caution. There are laws out ruling such activities like the United States’ CAN-SPAM Act, the European Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 or your
Internet provider’s acceptable use policy.

In a recent study conducted by the FTC, 89% of E-Retailers are compliant with the CAN-SPAM opt-out provisions. The opt-out provisions, outlined in the CAN-SPAM act, gives consumers the
right to stop receiving commercial email messages from a sender.

Spam has been described as form of bulk mail, often sent to a list obtained by companies that specialize in creating email distribution lists. To the receiver, it usually seems like junk email. Spam is equivalent to unsolicited telemarketing calls except that the user pays for part of the message since everyone shares the cost of maintaining the Internet. Spammers typically send a piece of email to a distribution list in the millions, expecting that only a tiny number of readers will respond to their offer. (Wikipedia) Definitions will vary so check around so that you get a better understanding of what spamming entails.

Published: 2006-04-15
Author: Treci Cauthen

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