Here are a couple of email stats that make business marketers salivate: 92% of Internet users have at least one email address. 70% of all Internet purchases are made as the result of email marketing. Clearly, email marketing works, IF IT IS DONE RIGHT!
Once you've decided an email marketing campaign will work, (you have decided that haven't you?) to whom do you send your newsletter, free offer, or new product announcement? ANYONE WHO HAS GIVEN YOU PERMISSION!
It's plain and simple. To stay clear of any spam complaints and to be a good Internet citizen, not to mention a smart online marketer, send emails only to subscribers who've opted-in, and granted you access to their email address. Take a shortcut and ignore this advice and you risk big online trouble.
Most who undertake an email campaign, with few or no subscribers, begin to look for a way to speed things up. Their wandering eye eventually finds email list purveryors who promise to have just the right tonic to heal an anemic mailing roster. The pitch is convincing--"Buy our list of hungry customers. We'll send your email to millions of people for $69." The problem is, these phantom subscribers, on the lists of millions have never heard of you and opt-in, permission is not transferable.
Your course to email marketing excellence has to be charted with a list of subscribers who have given you permission. It isn't easy to build your own list, but it's worth every bit of the time it takes. And it's legal! If you own a store, place an email sign up sheet near the cash register. Make sure your website has a "subscribe here" button to direct surfers to your newsletter sign up. And for those who've given you permission, ask them to pass your information on to their friends and family, some of whom will also join your mailing list.
For every tempting offer to buy huge opt-in email lists, there is a story of a smart marketer who builds a list of thousands of subscribers, in a short time, by doing it right. Follow that lead and do it right. Permission-based, opt-in emailings only, please.
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Brian Grinonneau is the general manage of McMann & Tate, a midwest agency that insists its clients tell their story like it has never been told before.
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