By Jean Lam
Email marketing is a way of directly communicating with a target audience to market your website or increase awareness about an upcoming promotion connected with your site. In general, the term "email marketing" is used to refer to any emails sent to customers or potential customers in relation to your website.
Email marketing can be a very effective tool to inform customers of future events, or attract new customers by increasing awareness about what your site offers.
Success in email marketing does not come from thoughtlessly blasting out email ads without working to build your own customer base. The basis of successful email marketing is to build existing in-house customer lists, augmenting them by outreach through outside mailing lists.
Your own email list allows you to develop a long-term relationship with your online audience -- to communicate with and market to them over and over.
Generally email marketing can be implemented with these 3 objectives in mind:
(1) Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again
(2) Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance the customer relationship
(3) Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people
Of course, it seems easy to collect hundreds of thousands of email addresses and send everybody an email about your website. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple. Essentially, you require the permission of the email recipient to send them info about your site otherwise it may be regarded as "spam" which is unsolicited bulk email.
In the marketing industry, spam is definitely a four letter word and something that should be avoided at all costs. If you are accused of spamming, there could be direct consequences such as damage to your reputation, your website may be shut down and your email accounts closed.
In conjunction with this, there is a strong argument from successful marketers that long-term email campaigns only work consistently when they are based on permission in the first place. There are plenty of acceptable ways to market your website by email, don't be tempted to take shortcuts because chances are it could be your downfall.
It's important to stress that anyone considering email marketing must read up on the subject of permission and spam. If you don't understand the importance of permission and the risks of ignoring it, then you could be heading for commercial disaster.
Don't panic, though. It's actually relatively easy to ensure that the address lists you use or build yourself are permission-based.
Below are 3 possible ways to do that:
(1) New Content Notification
You've probably seen sites that offer to notify you whenever they have new information, products, or content.
To tell you the truth, this is probably the least effective kind of opt-in list, simply because most people won't sign-up. Instead, they'll bookmark your site thinking they'll just come back from time to time - but don't count it!
Of course, there are certain kinds of sites that CAN benefit from this form of opt-in list. For example, if you have a site that runs contests, you can offer to notify people whenever a new contest begins.
(2) Free Report
Another kind of opt-in list involves the offer of a free report, or series of reports. However, be careful with this!
By offering a free report, you are restricting the number of times you can mail to your list, it's not a good idea to capture the names and then bombard them with a continual stream of sales material when they were only expecting one or two reports.
This would be considered spamming! If you offer a free report, it should contain "real" information and a reason for them to visit your website again.
(3) Free eZine/Newsletter - A great way to build an opt-in list is by offering a free subscription to an electronic newsletter or ezine.
Newsletters are a really good way of regularly reminding your subscribers about your website and products. By writing a newsletter that contains copy which is both informative and compelling, you draw subscribers back to your website again and again!
Having an ezine/Newsletter is one of the best ways to build credibility and rapport with your readers and customers. If you understand the value of a "Lifetime Customer", then you know exactly how powerful an ezine or newsletter can be!
So now that you know how to get your opt-in mailing list, it's time that you learn how to run your email promotions effectively when you do it.
Below are 6 tips to consider for successful email
(1) Perhaps the most critical step in guaranteeing the success of your e-mail promotions is that you
e-mail a targeted list of opt-in subscribers who have specifically requested to receive information on a particular topic from you. You'll be wasting your time and energy if you don't.
(2) Personalize each and every email. A phrase like "Dear John" will have more impact than just "Dear customer". For that person assumes you know him. (3) Write benefit-oriented subject lines or you can ask a question or trigger curiosity.. Subject lines are very critical in ensuring whether your email gets opened or not.
(4) Make it easy to read. Check grammatical errors and proof read everything. Keep paragraphs short, between 4-6 lines.
(5) Give the opportunity for your readers to opt-out of your mailing list. At the end of all e-mail you send, it's extremely important that you give people the opportunity to opt-out or be removed from your e-mail database. This is really, really important!
(6) Test your email promotions. Before sending your e-mail to your entire list, take an extra 15 minutes to test how it looks in a variety of e-mail clients like hotmail, yahoo, outlook express, eudora etc...
Email marketing is an excellent way to increase the exposure of your website and advertise any special offers that are currently available through your website. Executed well, a targeted email campaign can have a dramatic influence on your traffic, acquisition of visitors and traffic behavior.
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Web Site promotion should be the major part of your web site
marketing plan. It's not enough just to design a beautiful web
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traffic to it. If you don't drive traffic to your web site, your
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Iíve been hearing a lot from other online publishers about the decreasing response to their email offers and how many of their customers and prospects arenít getting their ezines anymore.
Thatís why I suggest you supplement your online marketing with a bit offline promotion.
One of the cheapest forms of print advertising is postcards.
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