E-mail Best Practices: A Marketer’s Take
Not all guidelines fit all marketers, which is why New York magazine Marketing & Advertising Director Ron Stokes develops his firm’s e-mail program with only the customers in mind. But, of course, he arrived at his own set of best practices by looking at what the industry at large was doing with e-mail marketing, and then tailoring these methods to better fit the preferences of his audience. E-mail contact, as envisioned by Stokes, follows these precepts:
* Think of e-mail as you would a telephone call. If you wouldn’t find it reasonable to call 100,000 people with an offer or some marketing information, then you shouldn’t do it via e-mail, either.
* When appending e-mail addresses to your housefile, the process is not complete once you have acquired the address. You still need to exhibit good etiquette by asking for permission to make further contact via e-mail. Do not just add all these new addresses to your e-mail contact cycle.
* Track customers for whom you have appended an e-mail address separately from those customers who supplied their e-mail address. You want to be able to see how this group responds versus other segments.
* Ask customers who have permitted e-mail contact to provide insight into the usefulness and desirability of any online ventures you consider. Stokes reports that New York magazine won’t launch anything online without first talking to its e-mail base to determine the value of the idea.