Sunday, November 16, 2008

Email Mania

This week in class, our readings focused on email marketing and permission based marketing. It was noted in our lesson that email is a heavily used marketing tool because of four reasons – cost, customization, response and control. The same reasons that make email great to use are the same reasons why so many people (including myself) are inundated with it, particularly at work.

I estimate that I receive approximately 50 – 75 emails a day at my job. Not all of these emails are sent directly to just me, many of them are part of mass distribution lists in which I’m one of many other people copied on the email. I also receive quite a few direct marketing emails from other organizations, some of which I gave permission for, many others in which I did not. It has gotten to the point that although I work in marketing and am a fan of using email marketing, I myself will rarely respond to a direct email offer. As our Lesson 4 states, “Like most other advertising and marketing techniques, the more organizations that participate, the less effective a method becomes. It’s a safe bet, however, that newer and smarter forms of online marketing will be arriving in your mailbox soon” (Lesson 4, IMC 619). So is email becoming as annoying as telemarketing??? I would say not quite, but it’s not too far away in my opinion.

Here are four of my own tips for creating an email campaign that has a good chance of getting the attention of the prospect. I give this advice from the customer’s point of view in that this is what usually perks my interest the most from an email.

1. Keep it short – There is nothing worse than reading an email that is written like a traditional direct mail cover letter. Keep the email short and to the point. Get to the offer as soon as possible.

2. Combine email and voicemail – Although no one really likes getting voicemails from sales people, voice mail does allow a salesperson to set the stage for the email. The voicemail can give the background information that is too lengthy for the email.

3. Personalize It – If you put my name into an email, you’ve already separated yourself from many others. Otherwise the email comes off as “Hey you”.

4. Links – Not Attachments – Many people are leery of attachments however links can be accessed easier and usually are perceived as lower risk. Links to a web site also can provide more dynamic content than a MS Word or PDF file typically can.

Here are some other sources which we read in class this week that give valuable advice on email marketing.

• Yesmail. (2004). Effective email marketing 2004: Ten things to think about this year. Retrieved November 9, 2004, from:
• McCloskey, B. (2004). Email worst practices: A must-read primer on bad email practices. email Insider. Retrieved November 9, 2004, from:
- Patrick


Lesson 4. IMC 619. (2008). West Virginia University.

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