Hey, Watch Your Tone!Written by Merle
Along with advent of Internet came a new way of communicating called e-mail. If you spend a lot of time online and especially if you're running a web based business, odds are your main tool for communication is through e-mail.
Now e-mail is a wonderful thing. Don't get me wrong, but unlike telephone or face to face communication, if you don't watch your words you can easily be mis-understood. It's all too easy to offend or even hurt someone's feelings just by what you type, even if that wasn't your intention at all.
Allow me to explain: When you're on phone, your voice sets stage for what you're trying to say. You raise your tone when angry and laugh or giggle when joking, so it's easy for other person to understand main focus of your message. When someone screams at you on telephone, you know immediately they're angry, that or they just forgot to take their Prozac that day.
Face to face communication is another way we converse. Your body positioning, facial expressions and tone all work together to get your message understood.
But, e-mail is different. You need to remember there is no voice tone, facial expression or body language, making it harder to get your message across way you intend. So next time you're in a hurry to respond to an e-mail keep following tips in mind:
1) If you say something in a message and don't want it taken too seriously, add a well-known acronym "LOL," which stands for "laughing out loud," or type "just kidding."
2) Never verbally assault someone with obscenities or name calling, even if they attack first. Just because it's e-mail and you can't see person face to face, remember there's a living breathing human being at other end of that e-mail address who has feelings. Besides, you never know where that email may end up later on, which could embarrass you.
Creating Effective Opt-in E-Mail CampaignsWritten by Lee Traupel
Its been said before, but important to re-emphasize, e-mail is "killer application" of information age. According to latest Forrester Research numbers, 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 (hence term opt- in) to receive e-mail about a subject of their interest. The recipient may also unsubscribe from 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 – subject itself needs to be succinct and informative, as this is how most people filter e-mail, text in message should be concise, with paragraphs no more than 2-3 short sentences, customer references should be referred to in lead paragraph to drive rest of message, have no more than two hyperlinks embedded in 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 prefer HTML format, due to snazzier graphical content; but, if your targeting corporate or technical types majority of them want a message that is text only and one that leaves out any/all marketing hype – just 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 on size of 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 in interactive advertising market.