6.2 Email Marketing

To send email marketing messages, you first need to have access to a list of email addresses. You then need to figure out a way to avoid the SPAM bin. There are two main ways for you to generate an email list of customers that you can market to in the future: one is to create your own, opt-in list of customer email addresses, and the other is to purchase lists of customers from market research companies. Since purchasing an email list is expensive and likely outside of the budget of many people who are starting out with Internet marketing, you can instead focus on building your own list of customers that you can then contact with your marketing efforts.



There are two main ways for you to generate an email list of customers that you can market to in the future: one is to create your own opt-in list of customer email addresses and the other is to purchase lists of customer email addresses from market research

companies.


These “opt-in” lists are so called because they require that a customer first choose to give you their email address, and even to choose which types of email that they would like to receive from you in the future. This greatly limits the chance that you mail will automatically be categorized as SPAM. Of course, this means that you have to give the customer a reason to opt-in to your list. You can do this on your website, provided that you have the application (via software or plug-ins) on your site that will capture and store customer email addresses. The easiest way to get a customer to give you his email address is to offer him something in return. Some suggestions include:

• A “free report” on something important to customers in your target market

• Coupons or other discounts

• A newsletter that is full of information related to your site or topic

• Access to “first to know” information about your company such as special sales or promotions

• Tips or trends on the industry

• A free quote for your services

• Access to special areas on your website

• Any other “freebie” you can offer to your customers in exchange for their email address

Once you have the customer’s email address, you can use email management software that is specifically designed for running email campaigns. The software will let you do things like:

• Track which emails seem to “work” by the response you get

• Add and delete email addresses as needed

• Set up automated emails for things like sending a thank-you when a customer makes a purchase or registers for your newsletter, confirming an order, or responding when someone sends you an email.

• Send mass emails without getting flagged by your email server

• Allow customers to “opt-out” of email (a legal requirement)

This software is often available as part of a web hosting package, or as part of a customer management application. You can find some software that you purchase one-time and other services that you will pay for as you use them.

It may take time to build your own customer email database, but it will be a very valuable part of your marketing plan once you have it. Since the customer will have already had one form of interaction with you when they gave you their email address, they are much more likely to make a purchase from you in the future.📷

 
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