Targeted Bulk Email Marketing
Targeted bulk email marketing can be a powerful tool for start up businesses looking to blitz a particular demographic for almost instant responses. Internet mail campaigns with as many as fifty million addresses can be conducted for a relatively small amount of money and are recent phenomena unheard of before the 90's. When a person begins to think about the cost of mailing fifty million messages or letter to households around the country and days and weeks that will unfold before knowing the effectiveness of the effort, a targeted bulk email marketing campaign makes a great deal of sense. Who would use such a tool? The first thing that comes to mind is the use of the large Internet mail campaign by various political interests. But national non-profits, large banking interests, certain survey companies and other similar interests would also be able to use this very large scale blanketing tool for many varied purposes.
But most business entities don't need that grand scale Internet mailing effort, but could easily want ten thousand emails sent out and in many cases a hundred thousand addresses touched with a certain message. Some companies can offer the delivery of one hundred thousand Internet mail deliveries for less than one hundred dollars. If the mailing must be a specifically targeted bulk email marketing campaign, the price would be less than four hundred dollars. Repentance, an important word in scripture that describes what a person must do to gain salvation, means to turn around and go another way. When a person does that, Jesus said a very exciting thing occurs: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance." (Luke 15:7)
There is a very big difference between bulk Internet mailing and a more selective opt-in mailing list that many customers prefer. The reason is because of the anti-spam software that most people now have on their computers that routinely filters out unwanted or uninvited mail messages. An opt-in mail list is comprised of addresses that have agreed ahead of time to accept mail from particular sources as legitimate email and not unwanted spam. But a targeted bulk email marketing campaign typically is not an opt-in list, and although it may be targeted in terms of demographics, the bulk list has not been always been "washed" to filter out those who will automatically delete unsolicited messages as spam. Unfortunately, in many cases a great many addresses will end up as dead ends, or targets of filtering programs effectively cutting down a large number of the mailing's results for all practical purposes.
Companies that offer targeted bulk email marketing capabilities often tout their email lists as already being washed, filtered and free of a number of barriers to being seen by the target audience. Whether that can eliminate an acceptable number of "wasted" emails is uncertain. But what does make sense for many customers is the targeted aspect of the campaign. A targeted bulk email marketing campaign can zoom in on a narrower bandwidth of interest specific addresses. Hobbies, ages, states of residence, occupations, gender, industry and country can all be specifically targeted in large numbers. This targeting structure can certainly improve the odds of finding specific interest customers who will more readily respond to a particular business offering.
The question for many businesses looking to launch a bulk Internet mailing campaign will have to answer is to either try and do the campaign in-house or hire a service provider for handling the effort. There is software that can be purchased for such a mailing project, but there are issues to face. The major one will be the responsibility of entering tens of thousands of email addresses into the system. The cost in manpower for one or more persons to do that job may be quite daunting unless there is a way to dump from one database into another. Related to this first concern is the responsibility of continually updating all the targeted bulk email marketing statistics and changes. Perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of opt-outs will need to be addressed as well as follow up messages to those who actually respond favorably to the initial mailing. Weighing the cost of employing an in-house staff person against the cost of contracting out the entire effort will be of major importance to the business owner.
The most attractive part of the Internet mailing appeal is the real time ability to track a campaign's effectiveness. For example, if the launch is made in the morning, by early afternoon much of the result can already be recorded and analyzed by the initiator. Opened email, deleted messages, dead end addresses, blocked messages and favorable responses will already be available for viewing. The comparison of a targeted bulk email marketing effort to a direct mail campaign via snail mail is remarkable. The direct mail results may not be known for weeks, particularly if the only way to judge effectiveness is a phone call or walk-in from a customer and the actual disposition of each piece of mail may never be known. Within hours the initial results of the Internet mailing will be visible, and judgments about the cost versus response can begin to be made. The Can Spam Act of 2004 directs and mandates that email campaigns must comply with and abide by certain regulations and it may prove difficult for an in-house effort to remain within the confines of those mandates.
Email Marketing ListAn email marketing list is a tool that can be used to conduct large and small scale email campaigns both to customers and businesses. These lists can either be bought or rented from list suppliers and may have as many as fifty million names on them. Usually, the suppliers can carve these lists up into demographic groups which can then be targeted for certain campaigns. When buying or renting such a list, there are always business dangers inherent in using them. But there are times when a business is new or has not developed its own extensive mailing list and the need for an already devised list is crucial.
Buying or renting an email marketing list is not the first recommended step in an email campaign according to experts in the field. The most preferred roster consists of customers and businesses that have already done business with a company. For businesses, lists that are comprised of direct mail responses, reader reply cards, customers and interested parties at trade shows and visitors who are invited to drop into a website are the ingredients for a primo email marketing list. The problem facing those who buy or rent lists is the immediate unrecognizable factor. That is to say, most of the persons behind those millions of Internet mail addresses won't know the company sending them the message, which is a prime reason for an instant delete.
Any Internet mail broadcasting effort that will be highly successful must be based on a permission based email marketing list. This is usually done through offering an opt-in or an opt-out response to the Internet mail message. In fact, this might be the first step in building a long lasting roster if one has not been already constructed. For example, a news business that does not have any Internet mail customer roster in place might buy or rent a large scale Internet mail roster from a supplier and then ask in the first message whether or not they want to receive the Internet mail. The opt-out option is the one most commonly used and the opt out rate is usually pretty low, but studies have shown that the response rate from those staying on the roster are quite low. The opt-in asks if the recipient actually wants to receive the Internet mail, and while the response is low, perhaps twenty percent, the response rate for later mailings is much higher.
The biggest danger in using a purchased or rented email marketing list is being targeted as spam by a customer's own security program. Internet service providers are extremely sensitive about getting complaints regarding large scale spamming activities and have been known to shut down websites because of the practice. Internet mail lists that have already been thoroughly vetted by past opt-in mailings are the best type of purchased or leased roster to use. This assures that those on the list are expecting emails from companies they do not know and will be less likely to delete before reading. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
But having an email marketing list and sending out a million emails advertising the new and most compact digital widget to ever grace one's living room is not enough to spell success. For businesses, the Internet mail campaign is not about the sale, but about getting leads. The business to business mail the widget company sends out doesn't have a shopping page one click away. For the widget company to send emails to other businesses, the content of the email must scratch a company and its recipient right where it itches. The email must show right away how its new digital widget is the answer to a company's flagging business. And when the widget company mines the depths for new consumers, the email had better show in the first paragraph just exactly how dazzling the widget is for home use. And yes, the shopping cart page is just a click away.
One of the questions a company will need to answer is whether to buy an email marketing list, rent or use a roster from an Internet mail marketing company in conjunction with their services. Online email services advertise emails to a hundred fifty thousand customers for fewer than seventy dollars. A person might expect that the email company would keep its lists updated. Many in the business suggest that the best lists are rented lists. Purchased lists may contain a large number of mistakes or non-working addresses and no way to receive a credit for them. There may be more leeway in credit for non-working addresses from rented lists. Make sure and check the policy of the list supplier before using.
There is probably a temptation when knowing there are a million customers a person could contact to flood them with a barrage of internet messages. That temptation will have to be fought, keeping in mind that no one wants their own mailbox full of what might be considered spam type messages. The idea of an email marketing list is to build rapport with the customer, creating a welcoming attitude when your message arrives periodically. Perhaps a well written newsletter filled with helpful ideas and tips might help create that attitude. If a newsletter cannot be written each month or each quarter, consider sponsoring one that can be added to your periodic Internet mailing.