Successful E-Mail Marketing
In building your own e-mail list, you’ll need to cover these bases:
- Decide what audience you’re trying to reach and what you have to offer them.
- What kind of relationship do you want with the recipients of your e-mailings?
- Determine what format your e-mailings will take — ads, newsletter, deals and specials, company announcements and press releases, discussion list?
- Will you offer HTML e-mail, or just text?
- Who will handle the creative aspects of your mailings — writing, copywriting, editing? Will you need to outsource this or other functions?
- Set goals and make a specific plan: How often do you plan to mail? How long will your messages be? How many addresses do you want on your list in six months? A year? Two years?
- How will you collect e-mail addresses — from Web forms, registration or subscription forms, trade shows, during telephone contacts or sales calls?
- Use outside lists to build your in-house list. To recruit list members, rent an opt-in list to send out an announcement, or take out an ad in an e-mail newsletter or discussion list.
- Make sure that all your lists are opt-in — that all recipients have explicitly given you permission to mail to them. Make it easy for list members to unsubscribe.
- What will be your technical requirements, given the volume of e- mail you’ll be sending over the long run? Consider bandwidth, e-mail server software, list management software, hardware requirements, management of bad addresses and similar factors.
- Will you host your lists in-house, or go with a list hosting company?
In e-mail marketing, trust is the key element. Never abuse your relationship with your list members. Make sure that the e-mail you send them is relevant and offers value.