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Would you like to find out if your website is Search Engine friendly, ease of Use and Accessible?

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.

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The Eight Frustrations of E-Mail
By Scott Cundill
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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 response rates.

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 them.

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 measure accurately)
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 accurately)

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.

5. Bounce-backs

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 bill.gates@microsoft.com because I do not "own" the Microsoft domain. Make sure that your email comes from a legitimate domain or it won't get through!

6. Personalisation

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 available!

7. Frequency

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.

8. Backlash

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

email marketing, direct email marketing tools, email marketing systems, bulk email marketing, south africa email marketing, direct email marketing tools, email marketing systems, bulk email marketing, south africa
email marketing, direct email marketing tools, email marketing systems, bulk email marketing, south africa
email marketing, direct email marketing tools, email marketing systems, bulk email marketing, south africa

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