Branded Email: The Next Generation of EmailWritten by Jason DeVelvis
For past 75 years, almost every form of popular communication has transformed from black and white to color. Newspapers, television, and computers are only a few examples. (Well, some computers went from green and white to color…)
That leaves this question: Why hasn’t everyday email communication done same? Think about it this way – your company probably spends quite a bit of money on building brand image. Billboards, newspaper ads, radio ads, jingles, TV commercials, logo creation, business cards, corporate letterhead, and websites are just a few of places that corporate marketing dollars might be spent. Why leave out one of most used (if not most used) form of communication that you have?Everybody Wants to Brand Their Email
Branded email can be classy enough for more conservative companies (legal, banks, medical, etc) and showy enough for businesses to highlight products or services that have to have that graphical edge. Most companies can develop a template (or set of templates) that’s geared toward how you want to use them. The ability to choose from more than one template is also a nice feature to have, so you can vary emails you send based on purpose.Me and Branded Email Down By Schoolyard
When you’re considering a branded email system, do your homework. And if company has a free trial, take it. You don’t want to purchase something and end up hating it. Keep in mind, however, that most companies, however, won’t develop a custom design for you to use during your free trail, so you won’t get full experience until after your purchase. But while you’re researching, here are some things to look for:
- Spam Filters – See what they say about spam filters. A good system can get past most spam filters (with exception of extremely strict filters). If you’re testing system, can you send an email to yourself? (If you test lots of systems and none of them get past your filter, consider getting a better one, or making yours less strict)
- Email size – If system embeds or attaches images to email, stay far, far away from it. You don’t want all of your emails going out at 300-1000k in size. That would be a long download even on a broadband connection. The typical plain text email is 5-10k; your emails shouldn’t go over 100k, and even that is pushing it. – Do note that Outlook, by default, will embed any image in an email when you click send. You have to turn this off through Tools > Options > Mail Format > Internet Format > HTML Options checkbox (MS Outlook 2002 and 2003)
- Usability – Make sure product is easy to use. The last thing you want to do is waste precious time trying to use a bad product while sending your email. You should be able to set your account up, and send emails like normal.
- Functionality – If your email contains links to specific pages or areas in your website, you can send traffic directly to your catalog, your affiliate/reseller site, your online video, anywhere you want them to go. This is a much better opportunity than “Hey, go check out my site at www.EmailAppeal.com!” As old adage goes, on Internet you’re always 1 click away from losing a customer.
- Dynamic Capabilities – Be sure you can easily change your contact information, picture (if system allows you to upload one) and any other sensitive information on your template.
- Control – Do you have control over aspects of design, or can user change design at will? Brand control and consistency is a big deal in any business.
- Security – Does system require you to send your email through a different server or to a different email address? This is a security risk whether they say so or not, as your emails are all being routed through a third party server. A good system will work without requiring you send your email through a third party.
The Difference Between General Marketing and Direct MarketingWritten by Dave Felts
General Marketing is often referred to as 'Brand Marketing'; it's a marketing effort intended to increase awareness of company and services or products that company offers. A Budweiser commercial with stomping Clydesdales is Brand Marketing. Most primetime TV commercials are brand marketing.
Direct Marketing is marketing undertaken with intent of provoking a response, that response usually being to call in and order, or go to web site and order, or to sign up for something.
Late night infomercials are Direct Marketing. They fall into genre of advertising referred to as DRTV - Direct Response Television. These commerical usually promote a product and present an phone number to call. That phone number is a special number used for that particular commercial for that particular television station for that particular time slot. By tracking responses through that phone number, advertiser can determine if ad was effective.
Most online marketing is direct response. Emails are sent with message Click here and buy now! Banners are designed to entice web surfer to click through and view offer. Almost all Pay Per Click advertising is Direct Response. As advertiser, you are respondig to a specifc query by searcher, returning a marketing message with intent of initiating a click through to your web site.