Email Marketing

Email marketing has been much maligned in years past due to the proliferation of spam by unscrupulous marketeers. There are few things more frustrating than sitting down to check your email only  to wade through countless profane and inane messages sent to you without a single thought. So does email marketing have a legitimate purpose? Sure it does! In 2006, United States firms spent $400 million on email marketing and President Barack Obama would likely be heading back to the United States Senate  if it weren’t for the shrewd use of  email marketing in his 2008 campaign.

One of the  primary roadblocks to effectively using email marketing is compliance with a federal law which can mean an $11,000 fine for each non-compliant email. Luckily this obstacle only takes a bit of common sense and an appropriate dash of technology to overcome. Compliance means conforming to the prescriptive methods of permission based email marketing set forth in the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. A summary of the federal law can be found in the CAN-SPAM article on Wikipedia. The statute places restrictions on how email is sent, the content it contains, and prescribes methods for opting-out or unsubscribing from the email.  One of the quickest and most cost effective methods of sending out massive amounts of email without getting blacklisted is to use a reputable email marketing service like iContact or Constant Contact.  Prices for these services vary on the size of your email list and the features that you would like to use, but basically all these different services let you create custom forms for your website where your users signup to receive your emails. The user is then sent an automatic email to make sure they want to sign up, this is known as “double opt-in.” The client is then placed in your email database on the service which can be centrally administered. You then have a single place to track the performance of your email marketing campaign and see if you need to make any changes to your strategy. The dashboard shows how many people opened your email and also how many took action and clicked through to your website.

Getting back to the original premise, using an email marketing service like iContact can keep your customers, vendors, and friends aware of new products, services, or specials that your company may be offering. Studies have shown that customers that are consistently “touched” or contacted on a regular basis are more likely to make a purchase. So take advantage of their trial period and take your email marketing to the next level.

Good luck!

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