Forget SPAM, Use Direct E-mail Marketing

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E-mail can be a very powerful and effective marketing tool,
when properly used. Unfortunately, all too often many abuse
this great tool by shooting out unsolicited “spam” e-mail to
large numbers of people who haven’t asked to receive it. While
spam is cheaper then targeted, opt-in e-mail it’s much less than
stellar performance is not worth it and can get you in trouble.
Lets look at both, starting with…

Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (aka Spam)

The idea behind this tactic is to spend as little money as
possible but still be able to get your advertisement out to a
large number of people, perhaps millions. While this may
sound appealing and is cost effective it is one of the most
frowned upon methods of promoting your business.

Every day I get up and I download my mail for the first time
and what comes in most is spam. So I spend a few minutes
deleting them before getting on to the e-mails that really are
important to me. Chances are you do the same thing. If you
own a free web-based e-mail address like ones offered on
Yahoo and Hotmail you probably get a ton of it.

So since you’re probably doing the same thing and chances are
most everyone else is too, this should obviously give you the
indication that your hard earned money is best spent elsewhere.
Granted you may get a few leads, but the “flames” you would
get from people who didn’t want your e-mail will certainly
outweigh any good leads you may get, if any.

There’s yet another threat that comes along with using
unsolicited e-mail and that’s having your ISP (Internet Service
Provider) drop you like a hot potato. To start with ISPs make it
clear they don’t want their clients spamming under any
circumstances. In fact, it’s no doubt in their agreement you
probably skipped over when you signed up with them. At any
rate, the point here is if people start contacting your ISP
telling them you’ve been spamming (and believe it or not people
will report you) you can expect them to drop you without notice,
thus leaving you in the dark. Also, if your web host catches
wind to what your doing (courtesy of those people who didn’t
want your spam in the first place) they too will drop you
without notice. All I can say is, I sure hope you have a back-up
version of your website on file or else you can add re-designing
your website on that “To-Do” list.

My final comments on this tactic…Are you willing to possibly
ruin your businesses reputation to just get a few good leads, if
that? You’re better off to just leave it alone. It’s not worth
your time. Your money is best spent elsewhere on proven marketing
tactics that are guaranteed to work for you.

Now let’s focus on the proper and effective way to target your
advertisement e-mails to and that’s…

Targeted Opt-in E-mail

Unlike unsolicited e-mail where your e-mail is shot off to any
and everyone, in this case you choose a list of target people in
your industry who have opted to receive your e-mail
advertisements.

There are a number of sites that offer this type of promotion,
some of those are:

* http://www.postmasterdirect.com
* http://www.bulletmail.com
* http://www.memail.com

Now opt-in e-mail is not one of cheapest ways to promote your
site (costs per e-mail address usually range from 10 to 20
cents), but it is very effective. Here’s what makes this tactic so
effective:

1. Targeted

When you visit any of the opt-in marketing sites I’ve listed
above you’ll be presented with a number of categories to
choose from that you can direct your e-mail advertisement to.
Targeting your e-mail to the right people is absolutely crucial
in order to not only have your e-mail read but to also have your
site visited.

2. Opt-In

This means people have chosen to allow you to send
advertisement e-mails to them. This completely deminishes
any chance of getting “flamed” by an angry person. And you
won’t have to worry about losing your ISP and/or web host,
either.

Writing The Advertisement

There are a few key points you’ll want to remember when it
comes to writing your advertisement. Some of those things
are:

1. Use an attention drawing subject

The subject of your e-mail is the very first thing people see and
if it’s not compelling it’ll end up in the trash can. Use words
that catch peoples eyes like free, successful, no risk, expand,
skyrocket, etc. And remember to keep your subjects short.

2. Keep it short and use powerful, compelling, benefit-filled
words

In general you want to keep your ad copy to no more than 500
words. In fact less is better. Remember people’s time is
limited so you want to write persuasively to get them to click
the link to your site for more information. You’re aiming to
entice them and draw interest.

3. Make a special, time sensitive offer to readers

Once you fill in the reader with the benefits of your products,
present them with an exceptional offer they won’t want to pass
up. For example, if you’re offering software give out a free
demo. This allows the reader to try out your software risk-free
for a certain time. Once they are comfortable with it then
they’ll buy the full version. Make your offer time sensitive.
For example, “Today ONLY! With your order of $25 get a
FREE shipping!”

While bulk e-mail may seem like an enticing choice, keep your
money and spend it on targeted opt-in e-mail instead. Though
it is more costly it’s much more effective, and will keep you on
good terms with your ISP. All you have to do is implement the
strategies mentioned and sit back and watch not only your
traffic rise, but also the number of orders that arrive in your
e-mail box over the next few days.

—————————————–
Jim Conley II is the CEO/Founder of MerchantSeek. MerchantSeek allows merchants from around the world to search FREE for a Merchant Account Provider that best fits their businesses needs and budget. Visit us at http://www.merchantseek.com/

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