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Email Marketing and Permission Marketing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 November 2007 17:00

 

Email Marketing

Permission Marketing — Opt-in Marketing


Email Marketing, sometimes called "Opt-in Marketing" or permission based email marketing is the correct, legal and effective use of email for marketing on the Internet. With permission based email marketing you invite visitors to your website where you have an “Opt-in” form to get a promotional item or to "subscribe" to your email marketing mailing list (newsletter, special offers, private sales, etc…). When they enter their email address and click on the "submit" button on your site, they have given you permission to send them information. In any case subscribers "opt-in" or give you their "permission" to send them your periodic email marketing when they subscribe, thus we call it permission based email marketing.

Overview

  • Introduction
  • No Spam
  • Content and Trust
  • Building Your "opt-In" List
  • Auto responders
  • Email Marketing FAQ
  • New Resources

Introduction

Permission based email marketing is great way to keep customers coming back to your website, so much so that in most cases, websites on the Internet can not afford not to have a permission marketing sign-up or focus. The reality is however, that only a fraction of websites on the internet do permission based email marketing. Permission based email marketing is a necessary ingredient for success on the internet.

There are different focuses on the on how to build your “opt-in” or permission based email marketing list and we will discuss those later as well.  But essentially some people just want to have the biggest permission based email marketing list possible, other people want to build a list for a demographic awhile still others may want to build a permission based email marketing list of people who have demonstrated a willingness to buy.

No Spam

You absolutely do not want to get involved in an email marketing campaign that includes spamming of any kind or any other abusive or discourteous email marketing and internet marketing. Spamming is its broadest definition is "any email advertisement that is 'unsolicited' by the person receiving the email". Permission based email marketing is the proper use of email, because everyone you send an email to has previously opted-in to your list and thereby given you their express permission to send them email marketing when they subscribed to your newsletter or other promotional sign-up.

Content and Trust

When subscribers get an email from you, how will they perceive you and the information your are sending them? Will it be a newsletter with articles, ideas, tips, recipes, jokes, news, etc…? Or will it simply be a periodic mailer inviting subscribers to a private sale (complete with a digital coupon)? How often will you send it out? Can subscribers unsubscribe at any time? Will you keep their email addresses safe and not give them out to anyone else? Is it free?

People are not likely to subscribe to your permission based email marketing list without you giving them a reason why they need to subscribe or without creating an incentive for them to want to subscribe to you permission based email marketing. Visitors to your site must perceive some benefit from subscribing. You will want to give potential subscribers good information or an incentive to make them want to subscribe.  Nobody want’s to just be on another permission based email marketing list; and they will likely want to know that you will not sell or share their information with third parties.

In other words this small chunk of your website real estate needs to be enough to tell potential subscribers everything they might need to know about your newsletter or promotion.

Now that you have a permission based email marketing list you need to deliver on what you promised. Don't send mailers too frequently, and make sure the content is as specified and has value for the subscriber.

Remember that you will have to create and manage the content for your newsletter. Doing a daily, weekly or even monthly content scheduled newsletter takes time and effort. Don't do anything more than what you feel comfortable doing. At minimum you should do a periodic mailer with special offers (with digital coupons). Keep in mind however, that the more value you offer to potential subscribers on your permission based email marketing list, the more subscribers you will get.

Building Your Permission Based Email Marketing List

In this article I deal with the basics of getting subscribers to your new mailing or "Opt-In" list. Your biggest source of subscribers to your newsletter is your website itself. Your website should include the following:

  1. Home Page Promotion - Dedicate some space on the very front page of your site to promote your newsletter/permission based email marketing list. (As the example above) You will be surprised at how many join.
  2. Dedicated Page - Dedicate a page on your website to discuss and promote your newsletter and get people so subscribe to your permission based email marketing list. Give your potential subscribers in depth information more than the small home page promotional. If appropriate display the list of links to the newsletter archive or to sample or summaries of some of your previous articles.
  3. Order Form Promo - Provide customers the option to join your newsletter/permission based email marketing list during the order process. You don't need to give them all the detail about the newsletter here, because you don't want to slow them down.

These three things will form the core of your subscription growth.

Autoresponders

Autoresponders are systems that allow you to automate the gathering of email address for use in your email marketing.  There may be an autoresponder function built into your website builder or it may be something you need to purchase separately.  An autoresponder for instance would allow you to have people signup on an permission based email marketing list or opt-in list like a newsletter sign-up where they are requesting you to send them something and they are giving you their email address.  When they sign up, the autoresponder will automatically send them the item they signed up for, usually after they confirm their subscription in a email confirmation request.  You would of course need to provide that newsletter or other item ahead of time for to the autoresponder for use with your permission based email marketing list.

Autoresponders could help you send out a special promotion to your permission based email marketing list to bring people back to your site.  The more people you get on your list generally the better your list is going to work for your.  However, if you do something to get people to sign-up on your list that are just looking for something free it may make your list less valuable.  Customers are great people to have on your list.  The have already demonstrated a willingness to purchase from you.  People who have signed up for you newsletter want information from you or want information about your products.

Design your permission based email marketing list building process to attract the type of people you want on that email marketing list.  Consider what kind of person do you want on your list when putting together the method of building your permission based email marketing list.  Do you want it focused on a certain type of person or just people who demonstrate a willingness to buy.  The strategy you use to gather the information will help you to build a permission based email marketing list that meets the criteria you want. 

If you need to get an autoresponder service, there are a few of criteria you may want to consider.  The first is “what am I willing to pay for an autoresponder service”. There are free autoresponder services, however, if they are free they will most likely want to send advertisements with the messages you send out.  There are inexpensive services that are probably about $10-$20.00 a month that will have limited functions and allow you to send messages without advertisements.  There are slightly more expensive autoresponders that will cost more in the range of about $30 with the ability to do a wider variety of permission based email marketing and have internal tracking for email marketing list.

One very popular autoresponder is www.getresponse.com and it has a good reputation and a high delivery rate because it has good email sign-up confirmation processes in place.  Other good ones are awebber.com, autoresponder express and emailaces.com But make sure you do a little checking and find a system you are comfortable with, that is easy to use, that you can afford and that has the features you are interested in.

Email Marketing FAQ

Q - Does anybody ever actually subscribe to these newsletters?
A - The answer is YES! The results will surprise you. The important idea with permission based email marketing is that it gives you a great tool to stay in touch with qualified prospects. You can now stay in touch with them, and make sure that your company, brand, product, service or URL, stays fresh in their minds. Subscribers to your periodic mailings have a hard time forgetting about you. The chances you will get a repeat visit, first order, or repeat orders skyrocket when you employ these permission based email marketing strategies. Remember that of all the people who ever visit your site, only the most qualified prospects subscribe to your permission based email marketing list. Your list becomes one of your most valuable assets.

Q - What kind of content should my newsletter contain?
A - This also depends on many variables. Ultimately, the number of subscribers you recruit will largely be dependent on the amount of traffic to your website. If you do everything right, you should probably expect a conversion rate of subscribers to your permission based email marketing to be a bit higher than the conversion rate for buyers. That is to say, you will probably convert 2% to 4% of the visitors to your site as subscribers to your newsletter or permission based email marketing list. This is not to say it couldn't be higher.

Q – Why is this not Spam?
A – Spam is unsolicited email. Permission based email marketing is by definition, SOLICITED email. Your subscribers want to receive your mailings. If they didn't, they wouldn't have subscribed. A few caveats to remember:

  • Do not add subscribers to your permission based email marketing list without their express permission.
  • Be sure to tell subscribers to your permission based email marketing up front what the contents of the mailing will be. If you are going to advertise special offers, tell them so in the description of the newsletter.
  • Tell subscribers up front how often the permission based email marketing will go out, and stick to that schedule. If you advertise your newsletter as a monthly, and send it weekly then you are drifting into dangerous Spam country.
  • Last, make sure your subscribers have an easy and well-advertised method to unsubscribe from your permission based email marketing list or in other word "opt-out".

Q – What about the format of my newsletter? Should I do text or html?
A – There are still many Internet users that do not have HTML capable mail readers. Because of this, text is the advisable format.  You could send in the text a link to a webpage where they can view or download your newsletter or to a PDF document thy can download and view in Adobe Reader.

New Resources

  • According to a recent article in "Internet Retailer" someone visiting a site for the second time is 8 times more likely to make a purchase than somebody entering a website for the first time. (6/5/2006)
  • Spam Laws (this is a Microsoft Word document) - Discusses laws regarding spamming (2/13/2006)

In Summary

Permission based email marketing is an important aspect of your website marketing activities and you can use autoresponders to help you build your permission based email marketing list in a fashion that will allow you to avoid spamming complaints because you have the customers permission to email the items in your permission based email marketing campaign.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 06:28
 
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