Four Tips for E-mail Prospecting Success
There’s no question that today’s online environment presents many challenges for marketers using e-mail as an acquisition tool. Jay Schwedelson, corporate vice president of Boca Raton, Fla.-based direct and interactive marketing services provider Worldata, notes there are a number of challenges to e-mail prospecting: The sheer volume of e-mail, which creates a good deal of clutter in the inbox and makes it difficult for a marketer’s message to drive interest; the numerous delivery challenges such as blacklists and filters due to ISPs’ efforts to battle spam, spyware and viruses; and the increased blocking of HTML imagery in e-mails by network administrators, once again in the effort to limit spam and viruses. Despite these challenges, “at the end of the day, marketers are still finding a great deal of success with e-mail,” Schwedelson says. “It’s a phenomenal acquisition tool for certain categories and certain marketers.”
Indeed, some industries are enjoying greater success than others. For instance, B-to-B catalogers are having a better time of it, notes Schwedelson. In part, this is because many B-to-B marketers are trying to reach people who already have raised their hand and said they might be interested in hearing more about a product. “Those lists are easier to come by,” says Schwedelson.
For B-to-C catalogers, on the other hand, e-mail prospecting is more difficult. “I think consumer catalogers are having trouble using e-mail as a prospecting tool,” he says, “because there are no consumer catalog e-mail lists to use for prospecting.” The reasoning is that in the direct mail channel, consumer catalogers make their lists available to each other, but when it comes to e-mail marketing, the same catalogers do not share lists—keeping them for their own use—which leaves B-to-C catalog marketers with magazine files and Internet files. “These are not [best] performing sources,” according to Schwedelson.