E-mail is a great tool which can be used
to market your company over the Internet and provide new or
existing consumers of your products and services with information
which is current and up-to-date. Such a marketing tool offers
plenty benefits to companies promoting themselves online and
relying on the Internet to fundamentally increase their sales
and profitability. The creation of e-mail newsletters is one
way to keep your consumers inline with business operations
and movements as possible results in changes occuring in their
unique industry and consumer markets. Technology is improving
on a day-to-day basis and companies therefore need to take
advantage of the opportunities and benefits which come along
when essentially utilising new technology for online marketing.
E-Mail is fantastic, but it's not always so easy. If you're
already using it or planning to use it for marketing purposes,
here are eight things you should know.
The Eight Frustrations of E-Mail
By Scott Cundill
1. HTML Vs. Text
Text mails are plain old text with no graphics, no nice fonts
and no bold or italics. Rich Text Format (RTF) e-mails can
be nicely laid out with nice fonts and colours, bullets and
bold / italics, but no graphics. Finally, HTML mails are high-end
emails with fancy graphics. They are great for catalogues.
Here's the problem. Firstly, not everyone can read HTML on
their computers. Secondly, the more complex your mail, the
more likely it is to get blocked. So what do you do? If you
can get your message across using only words, say it using
only words. HTML mails usually get higher response rates because
they look good, BUT it all comes down to how you write the
copy. Text is also more personalised which can lead to great
2. Embedded vs. Non Embedded Images
When you send out an HTML mail with photographs in it, you
have two options. Either you can embed the image inside the
mail or let the reader download each image from the web once
it is opened. It has become international standard to download
images instead of embedding them because embedded images are
more likely to get blocked. It is also more expensive to send
embed images into a mail because they take up more bandwidth.
Unfortunately newer versions of Outlook require a user to
right click on an image to download it. This is Microsoft's
way of imposing their authority onto everyone and there is
little we can do about it. The moral of the story - if you
want images in your e-mails, don't expect everyone to see
3. Spam filters
Most companies now use some kind of spam filters. Spam is
email that is sent to you without you having any relationship
with that company. Some would argue that spam is any email
you receive without having first given your permission, but
this is not true. If you buy furniture for your house and
the company is going to deliver it a day late, don't tell
me they can't email you because you didn't give them permission
to do so.
Spam filters are getting clever. So clever that they often
block legitimate mail. Even Microsoft (again, in their own
infinite wisdom) has its own anti-spam filter for newer Outlook
users. Avoid using words like "fr---ee" and "sp---ecial"
and test your messages before you send them. If you insist
on using them - break them up like I have above although this
is no guarantee.
4. Response Rates
What exactly is a response rate? Always ask this question
when you hear the term used by anyone. When you send out an
e-mail, these are the possible calls to action:
1. They receive the mail (reasonably easy to measure accurately)
2. They open the mail (very difficult to measure accurately)
3. They read the mail (impossible to measure)
4. They click on a link inside the mail (extremely easy to
5. They buy something / complete information after clicking
(extremely easy to measure accurately)
6. They reply to the mail (extremely easy to measure accurately)
7. They unsubscribe to the mail (extremely easy to measure
Which of these is a response rate? Make sure you know this
before you get taken for a ride.
Inserting links to click on inside a mail is critical for
generating responses. Using phrases like "If you are
interested in this product, click here" which then takes
them to a web form is extremely powerful. That form should
be pre-populated so that the
person does not have to fill out all their information again.
When mail cannot get through it bounces back... usually.
Unfortunately, when you send out bulk mail you can get hundreds
of them, complete with out of office replies and the like.
If you use a different email address, then that avoids the
problem of you receiving them. In a perfect world, each bounce
back would be collected then telephoned by a sales rep to
check the validity of the information. In reality though,
bounce backs head off into cyberspace.
E-mail must be sent from the server where the domain is held.
For example, I cannot send e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org
because I do not "own" the Microsoft domain. Make
sure that your email comes from a legitimate domain or it
won't get through!
Personalisation requires merge fields. A merge field is a
piece of information specific to the recipient and is used
to personalise it. For example: "Dear John Smith from
King Size Shoes".
When merge fields are utilised to the fullest, the results
can be extraordinarily good because the mails can tailored
specifically to an individual. Use them if you have the data
How often can you send mails to your base? The answer is
"as often as you like". There is no standard. If
you have something to say that is valuable to them, then say
it every day if you need to. Be careful though, what's good
for the goose is not always good for the gander.
No matter how careful you are, you WILL get replies by irritated
people. Be prepared for this. Always get back to these people
and apologies, but don't go into a campaign believing that
everybody will love you and your mail.
For further information on e-mail marketing or other online
marketing techniques and how Intoweb can help you to effectively
market your company over the Internet then do not hesitate
to Contact Us