Get Your Message Into the Inner Circle
In the early days of online marketing, e-mail was a fresh and different way to reach people and, for a brief period, click-through rates frequently hit double digits.
Then people’s e-mail boxes became flooded with marketing messages—some legitimate, some outright spam. E-mail response rates fell from the stratosphere back to Earth, but the deluge continued. People installed spam filters. Corporations built firewalls. And e-mail response rates, once stellar, were now not much better than what postal direct mail could produce.
According to an article in The Marketing Report (Oct. 27, 2003), most people open and read permission-based e-mails from 16 sources or less. If your e-mail doesn’t come from one of those sources, your chances of getting a response are significantly reduced.
How do you become one of the trusted sources from whom the recipient will accept an e-mail message?
You might become part of that “inner circle” of senders if the recipient is already your customer. A survey from Quris shows that customers value and read two specific types of e-mails: transaction confirmations and account status updates.
Since these e-mails get read, you could add a promotional message or special offer—with a link to a landing page—to your transaction and account-related e-mails, measure the response and see if it works for you.
Another way to join the inner circle of preferred e-mail senders is to publish an e-zine the recipient has subscribed to and actively looks forward to receiving. There are, however, two problems with that strategy.
First, with literally thousands of free e-zines available on the Internet, chances are your recipients already get more than they can read. So it’s tough to interest them in yet another.
Second, producing a quality e-zine—whether monthly, weekly or daily—takes a good deal of time. If you want to reach a particular group of prospects on an occasional basis, the marketing ROI you get from such an e-zine may not justify the cost or effort.