Edward Fischer

Share your tips and learn from fellow direct marketers as we cover the hottest issues and best practices in e-mail marketing. Question: What's on your list of best practices when it comes to optimizing customer and prospect opt-in to your e-mail marketing campaigns? Answers: 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

Elements of Opt-In E-mail 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. Source: ClickAction —Edward Fischer

By Edward Fischer A new study of Internet usage may help e-tailers target customers better. The study, by consulting firm Booz-Allen & Hamilton and online ratings company Nielsen/NetRatings, pinpoints a new segmentation for Web surfers which it calls "occasionalization." "Web users ignore banner ads when they're intent on finding specific information fast, just as drivers don't pay attention to billboards when they're speeding to the emergency room," says the study's preface. "Once the link is understood between consumers' activity during a specific session and their receptiveness to marketing at that time, marketers can design and deliver better messages for every occasion." The authors

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