Tame the E-mail Tangle
By Steve Meyer
Managing your customer e-mail information.
E-mail continues to grow in importance as a form of communication with nearly universal reach.
The concurrent explosion of spam e-mailing as a marketing technique recently resulted in sweeping legislation proposed to give consumers more control over how their personal information is used for contact purposes. To succeed as an e-mail marketer, then, you must carefully cultivate and harvest your valuable crop of e-mail addresses to ensure the best returns on your marketing efforts.
E-mail represents an extremely cost-effective form of marketing, so why not just cover the world with e-mail and let those interested in your message answer accordingly? Aside from the damage to your e-karma, you run a serious risk of alienating the very group of valuable people (your customers) you're trying to reach. Despite the mass-market nature of e-mail, the medium still can offer a "written letter" kind of intimacy if managed correctly. This type of relationship is what you should strive for. Delivering the right message to the right address at the right time has been proven to be a more effective sales incentive with e-mail than with any other channel—but it must be handled correctly.
E-mail Addresses are Like Potato Chips … You Can't Have Just One
One of the single largest problems in managing e-mail addresses is that there are just too many of them! In my household, we have at least four active e-mail accounts; some we share and some are personal.
I'm certain, because of the unsolicited incoming volumes, that each of these e-mail addresses is on someone's spam list, yet I still choose to use the various accounts for communication with companies I conduct business with. So how would someone on the other end of the magic LAN cable know the best way to reach me with a specific offer? I'll look at some of the ways this should be managed.