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Archive for August, 2009

Communicate Online in the Preferred Manner

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Social media is the newest form of online communication.  It’s the band wagon everyone is jumping on as the next marketing media for business.  But is it?  For some people it will be, for others it will be just one more hot topic stop on their way to the next “new thing”.

Online marketing boiled down is about communication.  It’s getting our message to a desired audience.  The beuty of the internet is that message can be delivered quickly and cheaply.  That doesn’t mean there should be little thought or investment made in crafting the communication.  Every online media is just another avenue for doing the same thing.  I don’t say that to marginalize any one form of internet marketing.  They are all important if the audience prefers that form of communication.

So if someone asks, “How can I use social media sites to support my business or organization?”  The answer is easy, just convert your other forms of communication to social media.  A blog is easy to convert.  However, SEO and email marketing can be simple too.  A landing page is a great place to point a social media post.  Email marketing can provide great content for social media posts.

Twitter is the hot site now with new accounts popping up everywhere.  My guess is 1 in 10 will actually stick with it and provide usable content.  Many marketers are declaring an end to email marketing but all my favorite subscriptions are going strong, get consistently delivered, and I prefer receiving them in my inbox.   

Make good content and communicate it to your audience in any form they prefer. Are people looking for your information on search engines?  Make a blog or online directory.  Are they expecting to get them trough social media updates?  Get the content on those sites.  Did they ask for an email?  Deliver an email campaign.

The secret isn’t in the media, it’s in the content and the energy exerted in delivering the communication.

Clean Up Your Email Marketing Lists!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

There is a temptation email marketers are often subject to.  It’s the “how large is the mailing list” lure.  It typically the most accessible metric that email marketers are subjected to and can cause a yearning for more and more people.  Resist this urge and keep tidy lists. Email success rates don’t come from how many people you send to, it comes from how many people read and take action on the emails that are sent.

Just to prove that anyone with enough time or money can build a large email list, you can review multiple list broker services.  These sites contain listings for millions of email addresses.  Just think, talking to millions of people; that don’t want to listen.  It’s more important to build a credible list than a large one.

This is just like cleaning your room when you were a kid.  Sure it might have felt good to be surrounded by all those neat toys but ultimately you couldn’t find or use the ones you intended to play with.  You were drowning in a pile of unusable possibilities.  That’s what large unkempt lists are, unusable possibilities.

So how do you keep a tight ship with your lists.  First, almost every email marketing program has the functionality to identify and scrub bad addresses.  Identify yours and use it.  Bad addresses are unmonitored email, bounced sends, full mailboxes, non-existent addressed, and some out-of-office reminders.  (If you get the same out of office reminder for six months, remove the address.  If it says the person is no longer with the company or passed away, definitely remove the address.)

Why does a clean list matter?

  • First it might save you some money based on how your email marketing program runs.  If you are charged by the amount of names in the database, scrubbing bad ones can decrease your costs.  If you are charged by email sent, it will reduce the amount of outgoing email.
  • Second, it will save web server bandwidth.  If it’s your servers running the email there is a direct benefit.  If you are purchasing a program that runs from a vendor’s servers, then think of it as a subsidiary good deed.
  • Lastly it will clean up metrics.  A high bounce rate can negatively skew your open and click-through numbers.  Make sure you are getting accurate, and therefore actionable, data to improve your email marketing campaigns.

Clean email lists make for cleaner email marketing.  It helps to keep data accurate and might even save a buck or two.