Creating Effective Opt-in E-Mail Campaigns

Written by Lee Traupel

Its been said before, but important to re-emphasize, e-mail is repparttar "killer application" ofrepparttar 109689 information age. According torepparttar 109690 latest Forrester Research numbers,repparttar 109691 permission based e-mail industry is projected to grow from $164M (USD) in 1999 to $7.3B by 2005. E-mail is also rapidly moving from a textual communications process to one that is rich in multimedia content via server-based streaming audio or video - virtually anyone, even those with extremely low bandwidth, can now view compelling content. Here is a condensed primer for developing an effective opt-in e-mail campaign:

1) First and foremost, what is permission based or opt-in e-mail and how is it distinguished from Spam? Opt-in or permission based e-mail (the terms are interchangeable) means recipients have confirmed their interest in receiving e-mail and have signed up (hencerepparttar 109692 term opt- in) to receive e-mail about a subject of their interest. The recipient may also unsubscribe fromrepparttar 109693 list at any time and all e- mail messages are clearly identified as coming from a specific and approved vendor or source.

2) We do not recommend Spam (unsolicited bulk e-mail messages) to our clients, nor have we ever developed a campaign that is not opt-in based we think there is a growing backlash to Spam and many of us(author included) are inundated with it and delete it as soon as we recognize it.

3) The actual opt-in e-mail content is very important, like any interactive marketing process repparttar 109694 subject itself needs to be succinct and informative, as this is how most people filter e-mail, repparttar 109695 text inrepparttar 109696 message should be concise, with paragraphs no more than 2-3 short sentences, customer references should be referred to inrepparttar 109697 lead paragraph to driverepparttar 109698 rest ofrepparttar 109699 message, have no more than two hyperlinks embedded inrepparttar 109700 content and utilize a close and signature that thanks people for their time with a link (phone and e- mail) to a "real" person.

4) Many marketing types don't know whether to use HTML (rich media)or textual content a standard rule of thumb is, if your target audience is consumers, then many preferrepparttar 109701 HTML format, due torepparttar 109702 snazzier graphical content; but, if your targeting corporate or technical typesrepparttar 109703 majority of them want a message that is text only and one that leaves out any/all marketing hype justrepparttar 109704 concise facts.

5) Costs can vary dramatically depending on your target demographics or market segment. A good rule of thumb is to expect rates of $.05 (USD) to $.25 per message, depending onrepparttar 109705 size ofrepparttar 109706 media buy and frequency (the number of times you are using a list), type of list demographics, vendor selection (small publisher versus comprehensive services provider such as YesMail) and market conditions inrepparttar 109707 interactive advertising market.

I Am Not A Number! Are You?

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

How often do you give your email address to clients and business prospects? Is it memorable? Is it meaningful? Does it say some- thing about you or your business? Does it suggest your role inrepparttar company? Does it project meaninglessness or generic empti- ness? Is it playful, respectful, descriptive or bland beyond words? You may believe it is none of these, but you are wrong if you think nobody cares. Your email address speaks volumes.

In 1979, CompuServe becamerepparttar 109688 first service to offer electronic mail capabilities to personal computer users. Most early adopter types were computer geeks already and were not offended byrepparttar 109689 odd numeric email addresses, nor did they mind being represented digitally by a string of digits. Hence, odd looking email ID's such as were common for years.

Now that email is becoming an expected and necessary element of business communications, be aware how often it is seen and used by clients and customers andrepparttar 109690 impression it makes on them each time they see that address showing up in their in-box. Few ofrepparttar 109691 old Compuserve members with numbers for email addresses remain. Numbers were assigned to those early members to identify compuserve accounts and served to efficiently turn those people into bits of data forrepparttar 109692 old, slow computer systems of just a few years ago.

Unfortunately, we seem to be headed back in that direction as more users than available names exist at service provider email accounts. If you attempt to sign up with an email account at America Online, Hotmail, Yahoo or other national internet service providers, you are likely to find thatrepparttar 109693 name you choose is not available. They'll offer you odd variations with strings of numbers attached to differentiate you from hundreds of others who've chosen that name. So might be offered instead when a John Doe gets a new AOL screen name today. The same is true of Yahoo and Hotmail addresses.

Most of us operating businesses online are aware that it is possible to have almost any name we can dream up attached to our own domain name and that we can have nearly any email address we like, but few use that ability to choose an online identity creatively or with much business sense. So it is quite common to see bland generic names such as or even some web-based email accounts at generic hosts such as Hotmail or Yahoo just becauserepparttar 109694 small business owner is not aware that they can now have an email address that reflects their own domain name to further brand their business.

It's not unusual that small businesses use or even something as strange and unacceptable for business as for their professional communications when they could have a more appropriate or evenrepparttar 109695 more common to identify them. This isrepparttar 109696 bland end ofrepparttar 109697 spectrum but serves as a bare minimum of business email identity for your professional email communications. If you don't know how to set up your email account at your domain name, FIND OUT! It is inappropriate to conduct business with free email accounts or even AOL names.

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