The Top 10 Land Mines in E-mail Marketing
By David Smith
The Internet has changed many things, but the classic marketing challenge remains unaltered: how to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time to influence perception and behavior.
The 'Net as a channel affords greater marketing impact at a lower cost than any other media channel. Of all the interactive tools available today, permission-based e-mail marketing remains the most powerful way to reach millions of prospects in a targeted, cost-effective way. It's also the best way to continue a dialogue with customers, begin a conversation with prospects, and it can measure and analyze results.
Following are the land mines to avoid when beginning an e-mail campaign.
1. Spam. Everyone gets it, and no one likes it. Ask the following hard questions of your e-mail vendor: "Can you prove that your lists are legitimately opt-in? And can the original point of opt-in be sourced?" Don't use a vendor that can't give straight answers.
2. The opt-out as the opt-in game. In most cases, when you get an unwanted advertising offer from an unknown source you can opt-out from receiving future offers. Sounds easy. Unfortunately, sometimes opt-out only confirms to the sender that your e-mail address is live, and you're retained in the sender's database of names. Marketers must respect opt-out requests and immediately remove these addresses.
3. Oversending/undersending. Oversending until the desired client results are achieved, or stopping the send once results are achieved, is the bait-and-switch of the e-mail industry. Fraudulent metrics on initial test campaigns are used to entice advertisers to move forward on bigger projects that often perform poorly. Oversending/undersending makes fair and accurate campaign analysis impossible. Your only protection is the integrity of your vendor. Ask for a written statement of the vendor's sending practices.
4. Inventive tracking. Tracking can be reported in static reports or through live links to actual campaign statistics where e-mail campaign activity can be seen click by click.