Permission Email Marketing
For those involved in business, permission email marketing is probably a phrase that is bandied about often when discussing marketing issues. Many companies use the Internet in order to advertise and get the word out about sales, promotions, and other things that might be of interest to the consumer. These online campaigns are not solely limited to Internet-based businesses either. Department stores, stores in shopping strips, and even small boutiques have begun to take advantage of the possibilities found in the online community. Without much effort, businesses are able to send a blanket email, thanks to permission email marketing, to interested customers, maximizing their potential for earnings.
What exactly is permission email marketing? This advertising trend is a concept born out of an era where people are becoming increasingly disgruntled with the amount of unsolicited messages in their inboxes. These, frequently referred to as "spam," are sent out randomly to people, without a regard for whether the person has consented to receive correspondence from the company or product. Most email providers take a rigid stance against "spammers," often automatically deleting the messages, and some even blocking accounts of suspected spammers. The negative attitudes about spam emails, parading as advertisements are only one of the reasons that making sure a customer has given his consent to receive messages from a company is vital.
Deciding on the best way to approach permission email marketing is not always simple. There are many different options and ways that a business owner or marketer can set such things up. The most important thing to keep at the forefront of one's mind is to be respectful to the customer. Consumers are the lifeblood of any business and the best way to be successful is to keep them happy. One should avoid unethical practices, including with email. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). While this particular brand of marketing may not seem like a big deal to many, not respecting a customer's wishes will only lead to the loss of business.
The safest way to ensure that a business builds a good rapport with the public when dealing with emailing advertisements is to guarantee that permission has been given. One cannot merely assume that because a person fills out a form, whether online or in the store, that he or she is consenting to receiving material. Unless such a stipulation is explicitly stated, the customer may not realize they will be, from then on, the recipient of marketing messages. The best business practice is to actively seek permission. Many companies require that individuals check boxes in order to grant consent or fill out specialized forms.
Some also take caution a step further, wanting to ensure that no mix up has been made at they are not going to be harassing an unwilling person. After receiving the initial confirmation of acceptance, a few companies will send out a test email, making the person validate the original response. While this may seem time consuming, and perhaps aggravating to some, this is not always a bad business practice. This ensures that, while some may not follow all the steps and will ultimately be dropped from the list, those who remain will be the most interested in hearing what will be said. And when concerned with keeping the customer happy, being cautious never hurt. Chances are, the extra effort will be appreciated.
It is also important to give the customer the liberty to change his or her mind at any time. Offering an "opt out" feature provides the consumers with the power to decide, at any given moment, that they no longer want to receive correspondence from a particular business or group. While this may sound self-defeating, ultimately, the customer is the one who should be kept happy. This is also effective at times when people are changing their email addresses, and stopping mail before they do so. As a result, the business owner does not have to bear the costs for sending mail to a nonexistent account. With permission email marketing, protecting both the customer and the business from added expense and aggravation is important.
There are many benefits to permission email marketing. For those who sign up, personalized email messages can be sent alerting them to sales or news that may be going on with the company. Conducting this over the Internet saves on traditional advertising costs. Companies do not have to pay to have marketing materials printed, and they also do not have to foot the bill for postage. These small, seemingly incidental, costs will add up in the long term. And by ceasing to send out direct mailings and such, companies will see larges profit margins in the future.
Choosing to rely on permission email marketing also allows businesses the opportunity to personalize messages to customers. Thanks to the capabilities of technology, companies can send out advertisements for products that appeal to specific individuals. Many big name retailers have done this with great success. Opening a message that has seemingly been tailor-made for someone is a better way to ensure that he or she will actually follow through with a purchase. This also creates a sense of familiarity in the customer, something that will probably make the individual more likely to buy from the company as well. Permission email marketing is the trend of the present, and most likely the future, and businesses would do well to familiarize themselves with related marketing principles. It is an almost guaranteed way to keep the customer, and by extension, the company, happy.
Mass Email MarketingLike mass mailing flyers and inserts, mass email marketing goes out to the general public. But, unlike it's paper counterpart, an email marketing message goes out instantly and does not have to wait for the mailman to run. In fact, a well written message can and will be acted upon immediately by at least 2% of those receiving it. This is why it is so crucial that there is an offer and a clear call to action in each message. Utilizing all the great marketing information that is available online, a business owner can create a compelling, enticing, and moving piece of copy, test it out, and get a good result. Then, make adjustments and improvements, try it again in the same day and get an even better result. And the phenomenal thing about it is that a hard sell is not necessary; at all. Hundreds of millions of people have an email accounts. That means innumerable opportunities to get your campaign right. And mass marketing allows a company to send out their message cheaper than any other method.
Using mass email marketing can help a company to grow and expand markets, build a brand, and ultimately increase sales. The point is market saturation. This method is especially effective when a clear target market has not yet been discovered, or when trying to find new customers, or when there is a desire for great market exposure. There are basically three different ways that a company can accomplish their goals using mass email marketing. The do-it-yourself model is the least expensive way. The most expensive way is using a full service firm. And in the middle are the application service providers. "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass , that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)
Of course, any business can opt to do the entire mass email marketing campaign themselves. In order to accomplish this task, a software purchase along with an appropriate computer system and the time to implement the strategy is needed. Well, that's the basic idea anyway. Either the business owner will be the one to learn or someone may have to be hired in or subcontracted to use the software. The truth is that the software needed can be expensive and someone will have to master it. Then, the software needs to be installed on company servers. Someone will need to be assigned to deal with the problems that will inevitably occur. And, that doesn't account for the fact that additional staff is needed to manage the software, the hardware, and maybe even the campaign itself. There is an up-front investment on hardware, bandwidth, and licensing fees. The business will need to maintain a clean email list, a good reputation and be able to deal with email delivery problems. And let's not forget the fact that the company has to stay on top of changing rules and legislation of mass email marketing. There are many different levels of possible investment. The more money invested the more complex the system is liable to be. There is an upside though, the company maintains complete control over the setup and maintenance of the system. And monthly fees, if any, will be minimal.
At the other end of the spectrum is the full-service firm. They can do everything associated with a mass email marketing campaign including needs analysis, campaign development, implementation, and even assessing the effectiveness. A full-service firm has the benefit of staffers who do marketing for a living. Unlike the business owner, they are able to designate an account manager whose job is to look after their account's interests. Full service firms can help with content development, list maintenance, targeting the market, testing , and compliance. These are all things that come into play when developing an email marketing strategy. This level of service is the most pricey of the three, but if the money is there, the return-on-investment can be well worth the costs.
We have talked about mass email marketing tactics at both ends of the spectrum. The business owner does everything themselves on one hand and on the other is the full service company that does everything. Right in the middle, are companies called application service providers or ASPs. An ASP offers mailing through a subscription service. Their job is to operate as the host of the email software. An ASP has a sophisticated system of servers that can not only hold more information than most small business owner's computers. They also have access to a greater amount of bandwidth. In many cases, these service providers also offer redundancy. Redundancy is an identical back-up system that is not directly connected to their regular infrastructure. That's good news for the business owner; because that means there is little chance of ever losing valuable company information. In the case of the ASP, the business owner is still responsible for producing the content that goes out in the mailings.
Many business owners make a choice that includes some of each type of marketing system. Maybe the company develops the goals alone and writes the copy, then hires a full service firm to set up the parameters to make the campaign successful online. Then, after a year or two, the company migrates to an ASP. No matter what choice you make, the return on investment is high in mass email marketing. It's a technique where you can reach out to the market for pennies per message. This method sends your message out faster which let's you test the results quicker. Email marketing is one of the most cost efficient means of exposing a company, product or service to a market. When used effectively a company can build an online presence, (which can translate to an off-line presence as well) grow or expand their business, and make more profitable sales.