Creating Email Lists for Marketing Campaigns

Initial email marketing efforts

If you plan to do some Web marketing to promote your business endeavor, you should seriously consider email marketing as at least one tier of your Web marketing campaign. Many business owners shy away from email marketing because they believe all email marketing campaigns are purely spam. However, this is not true and not utilizing this type of marketing can cause your business to lose out on a great deal of new revenue.

By not appealing to potential customers via email, your business may lose a great deal of revenue and market share to competitors who are using email marketing campaigns to reach customers around the world. However, the first step of an email marketing campaign should be creating a subscriber or opt-in list. In this article we will discuss some popular options currently being used very successfully by other Web marketing professionals which we hope will help you to learn more about what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to email marketing.

Once you have made the decision to start using email marketing to promote your business you are likely facing the dilemma of compiling an email subscriber list. This is essentially a list of email addresses to which you will email your advertising and promotional materials. One common way to gain a list of email addresses is to purchase a list from distributors. However, this method is not very effective at all and we do not recommend it.

Avoid for-sale lists

The problem with purchasing an email list is you have no way of knowing whether or not the members of that list would have any interest at all in your products or services. This is very important because while you want to reach as many subscribers as possible with your email marketing campaigns you also want these subscribers to be members of your overall target audience. In other words, when you purchase an email list you may be sending your email messages to some users who might be interested but this is largely coincidental and is not likely to be well received since the message was not solicited.

Internet users are very quick to delete material they believe to be spam without even opening or reading such material. In fact some Internet service providers include spam filters which may automatically delete your emails if your messages are merely suspected to be spam. These filters run complex algorithms on the subject heading and content of the message to determine whether or not it is spam and are quite adept at weeding out spam and “suspected” spam. Therefore you run the risk of having your email marketing efforts result in a complete failure and an even bigger waste of time if the majority of recipients never even receive or open the message(s).

Build a list from scratch

A far better way to create an email subscription list for your email marketing campaign is to ask current customers as well as interested potential customers to register with your website to receive additional information and periodic updates about your products and services as well as other information which might be of interest to them. This provides you with a database of email addresses from current customers as well as potential customers who have a genuine interest in your products and services and who are interested in learning more about these products and services.

Once you have a list of interested customers or potential customers you can send promotional emails or create digital newsletters for distribution to the members of your email list. These documents should contain a wealth of valuable information as well as a soft sell pitch for your products and services. This is a better method of approaching email marketing, because the information you send will be valued by your list members and may help persuade them to try your products and services. You might also want to include useful links to your website as well as other websites which may be of interest to your readers. Content you provide should also contain a portion which urges readers to take a specific action such as making a purchase, or at least, learning more about a certain product or service.

Email Marketing Strategies That Work

Effective marketing via email

Email marketing has become one of the more popular methods by which to effectively promote and sell products and services, but the popularity of this marketing technique is by no means an indication that all business owners have the ability to run an effective email marketing campaign. The simple fact is that those who are well versed in the functions and nuances of email marketing, while having the experience in utilizing popular strategies effectively, are likely to gain a huge advantage over their competitors who do not possess these skills.

In this article we will provide information which we think will be useful for business owners who are looking to improve their sales or website traffic via effective email marketing. So if you don’t have a great deal of information about email marketing and do not fully understand the principles involved, one of the best ways to initiate and launch an effective email marketing campaign is to hire a consulting firm to assist you in your goals and objectives using this marketing technique; but keep in mind that the consultant should have a proven track record in promoting business through email marketing.

The consulting firm

The consulting firm strategy may well be the most expensive of any that will be discussed in this post, but it is quicker than educating yourself through trial and error or taking a course on the subject, and may prove less expensive than one or both of these alternatives when the time it takes to accomplish either is translated into loss revenue. But that’s a conversation for another time. The fact is that any business in need of additional revenue can incorporate email marketing into its overall marketing strategy by immediately starting a search for a consultant who is well versed in email marketing and, with his/her help, launching a campaign in as little as two weeks.

Similar to traditional marketing methods like radio, television and print media, those strategies known to be most popular within the email marketing community have been subject to constant change over the years and continue to evolve today. Such change suggests that enough time must be devoted to studying new trends, best practices and most effective techniques; and as a business owner you probably already have enough to deal with just trying to stay up to date on your basic business practices and may not have the time, energy or finances to stay up to date on the latest changes in email marketing also.

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 your business to help you achieve your business related goals. However, selecting a consultant from the many options available can be downright overwhelming; because you should look for a consultant who has a great reputation a proven track record and credible experience, who will also listen to your questions carefully and explain concepts simply while making your project a priority.

The hands-on approach

There are those business owners who prefer a more hands-on approach in their business’ overall marketing strategy, and if you are among this group then you would probably be eager to learn the proven strategies pertaining to email marketing, including this popular strategy pursuant to which is to offer an email correspondence course on a subject closely related to your business (website) or the products/services you offer.

These correspondence courses should include a number of short segments, provide useful information, be of interest to your intended audience and help to promote your business in some way. The simplest way to promote your business without having your correspondence course deemed as spam is to use a soft sell approach subtly urging readers to make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

The digital newsletter

You might also consider publishing and distributing a digital newsletter (or eNewsletter if you like), which is another proven and very popular email marketing strategy that has been deemed to be highly effective. An digital newsletter is very similar to a newsletter which is printed and distributed using conventional methods such as USPS (snail) mail delivery. The bulk of a digital newsletter should be quality content in the form of featured articles and shorter articles which includes useful tips and/or product reviews.

The digital newsletter may also contain graphical elements which can simply be graphic designs, or they may be graphics that also serve as links which direct traffic to your website, product pages or other interesting and useful information. Finally, your digital newsletter should contain some type of soft-sell sales pitch, but make sure of the subtlety of your sales pitch because if it appears to be too blatant you run the risk of your digital newsletter being considered spam. Finally, the newsletter should contain a call to action urging readers to either make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Test and evaluate

Regardless of the method of email marketing you prefer 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 any email marketing campaign that are not working should be weeded out. Likewise elements of your marketing campaign which are generating 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 a particular issue, it might be worthwhile to begin issuing digital newsletter more often. This type of evaluation and feedback can turn a moderate success into a huge success.

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Digital Newsletters in Email Marketing

Email Marketing – Not SPAM

Email marketing is not about unsolicited emails with advertisements which make outrageous claims, although so many online operators actively promote products and services in this fashion without regard to the wants, needs or preferences of the recipients of such emails. Unfortunately the abundance of spam that inundates Internet users each day has caused many to formulate a negative opinion about email marketing, but savvy Internet (Web) marketers who understand how to market successfully enjoy an advantage over their competition by turning to eNewsletters (digital newsletters) to reach more potential customers. This article will discuss digital newsletters and how they can be used effectively as part of an email marketing campaign.

A digital newsletter is very similar to traditional newsletters which are printed and distributed via snail mail, newspaper inserts, supermarket racks and other such methods, whereas the most significant distance is the method of distribution. While traditional newsletters are typically mailed to the recipients or distributed in person, digital newsletter distribution is restricted to the Web. These digital newsletters may be sent either in the body of an email message or included as a link in an email which directs the recipient to a particular website where s/he can access the item. In either case the recipient can read a digital newsletter while online, or print it out and save it to their hard drive for future use.

The contents of a digital newsletter may vary somewhat drastically, depending on the type of business that particular newsletter is promoting and the purpose for which it is being published, including personal preferences of the business owner and those employees involved in its production. However, the general format of a digital newsletter should be such that it includes useful information in the form of full length feature articles or shorter pieces offering usable tips. The digital newsletter should also contain at least some subtle advertising for the products and services offered by its owner/publisher. These pieces of advertisements should not be blatant and should allow readers to formulate their own opinions regarding product or service offers.

Valuable and useful content

Any digital newsletter should be created and designed in such a way that interesting and useful content make up the major portion (bulk?) of the document. Such content may include full length feature articles that provide information for the readers, as well as shorter pieces which may offer tips and product reviews or offer advice to the reader.

The key to providing high quality content in these digital newsletters is to have it written by a capable writer who is knowledgeable about the subject matter. A digital newsletter writer should have an understanding of the subject matter or have the ability to research a topic and learn enough to write accurate and informative articles about it. In either case the distributor of such a newsletter should carefully review the content for both quality and accuracy before publishing.

Distributors of digital newsletters should also consider including graphical elements in their document. Such graphics may depict product pictures, employee photos, company headquarter pictures or other relevant graphics that provide meaning to the text of such newsletters. A graphic designer can be called on to assist in this endeavor by giving advice or actually helping in the creation of said graphics, including such tasks as cropping them appropriately and placing them in a prime location on the layout of such a digitally-based newsletter.

Consider the audience

In conclusion, it is of critital importance that distributors of digital newsletters carefully consider their audience before using email for marketing purposes. The primary consideration should be whether or not the target audience is likely to be receptive to marketing in the form of emails – whether those emails contain digital newsletters or not. If they are likely to respond to this type of marketing it is worthwhile to pursue an email marketing campaign.

However, care should be taken to ensure that emails sent to a given target audience are designed specifically to appeal to those recipients, and that such recipients had previously consented – via an opt-in form – to receive emails, offers and newsletters notwithstanding. The type of specialization that must be considered when attempting to appeal to a given audience should include language (type used in the copy), layout (of email or newsletter) and graphics, if any (color and placement).

Additionally, the copy should be packed with information that recipients will find useful – if not valuable – to them; and always keep in mind that sending any kind of emails to a large group of recipients who have not requested information from you, and have no interest in your products and services is, among other things, a waste of time.

Request permission!

It is a better idea to ask customers and potential customers if they are interested in receiving more information, and having them join an email subscriber list if they wish to receive that information. Sending your emails to this subscriber list ensures the majority of recipients will have an interest in your products/services and are not likely to automatically delete your emails as spam or report you to the authorities for violating the CAN-SPAM Act.

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