Join the Exchange
Share your tips and learn from fellow direct marketers as we cover the hottest issues and best practices in e-mail marketing.
What's on your list of best practices when it comes to optimizing customer and prospect opt-in to your e-mail marketing campaigns?
One of the best ways to get a customer to opt-in to ongoing communication is to ask for permission after you've just either helped a customer solve a problem or provided some other sort of excellent service. Customer service agents who slip in a permission question at the end of an extended and successful interaction have a very high acceptance rate. Enrollment in these marketing programs can be significantly increased if customer service agents are empowered to ask the right question and make the appropriate entry in a shared database.
— Greg Gianforte, CEO, president, chairman and founder of RightNow Technologies, a CRM solutions provider based in Bozeman, Mont.
Most companies that process online orders request e-mail addresses to confirm the order has been processed or shipped. It's amazing how many companies assume they have permission to market to that customer as well. When collecting data, make sure that an e-mail address intended for solicitation is accompanied by an opt-in for marketing messages.Once permission is established, make the data accessible.
— Steve Trollinger, senior vice president of client marketing at J. Schmid & Associates, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Care must be taken to manage e-mail-marketing preferences in accordance with customers' wishes. A customer may opt-in for a particular newsletter or specify conditions for why and how he or she should be contacted. A different e-mail address for that customer does not automatically fall under the same rule umbrella. Tread carefully, however, in deliberately choosing to ignore the marketing preferences stated on other e-mail addresses linked to the same household. While perhaps not specifically against the letter of the law, a customer still may react negatively to this type of behavior.
— Steve Meyer, director for Data Warehouse Implementation Services Practice, Quaero, Charlotte, N.C.
What to ask customers who want to opt-in to receive your e-mail messages: e-mail address (of course); areas of interest in products or services; demographics; contact information, such as mailing address and phone number; shopping preferences (e.g., closeout items only, brand-name items, specials); "reminders," such as when consumable products should be re-ordered; referrals; and how they heard about your site or offerings.
Use this information to provide targeted e-mail offers based on interests, geography, gender or merchandise.
— Edward Fischer, ClickAction, Palo Alto, Calif.
Do you have tips you'd like to share on e-mail opt-in best practices? Send your ideas to Irene Cherkassky, Senior Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.