Targeted Direct Email

Put the words "targeted email marketing" together and most people think about the plain text (ASCII) emails landing in their inbox daily with subject headers like "Mr. Jones, you NEED PRODUCT 'A' NOW!!!" or "Fast Cash - Work from Home". As innovative - or not - these emails we receive may be, they are becoming a widely used form of email marketing. However, they are not the most recommended nor the only technique in using the email system to reach potential or existing clients.

Here are just a couple, more effective 'email marketing' techniques:

  • Professionally designed, brochure-style, HTML emails with high-quality graphics will reach permission-based, targeted audiences faster than traditional direct marketing. Added with a traditional direct marketing campaign, HTML emails can serve as an initial recognition piece. Drawback: "15% e-mail clients can't read and AOL doesn't support" Solution: "Use both HTML and ASCII version" 10

  • Created audio and video 'commercials' are delivered directly to the potential clients' email while the telemarketing persons or salespersons still have them on the phone.

Permission-based - (Highly Recommended!)

Permission-based (also known as, Opt-In) simply means that the potential recipients have granted permission for an advertisement email to be sent to them. It is a potential detriment to any online business that sends email to an unsuspecting party (see section on SPAM for more details). Whether an email marketing campaign is implemented in-house or outsourced through an agency, permission must be received in either written or verbal form.

"Permission and privacy must be the cornerstones of every e-mail marketing program. If you want to see high response rates, if you want to develop long-term loyalty, if you want to be seen as a business with integrity and a future, you have to abide by the highest permission and privacy standards. There are no shortcuts to obtaining permission, and no gray areas in issues of privacy. Successful e-mail campaigns are based on trust, and if you don't honor permission and privacy - you're not even standing at the starting line when the whistle is blown and the race begins." 11


Viral Email Marketing

Most everyone has that friend or relative whose emails are always those forwarded funny, cute, inspirational stories or videos. Well that friend or relative has made him/herself an intricate link in an email marketing campaign strategy known as 'Viral Marketing', also known as "pass-along" email marketing.

In his article, "The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing," Dr. Ralph F. Wilson shows how offering a free email address and using a simple two-line signature line can produce amazing results. How many people have not heard of

"The classic example of viral marketing is, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:

  • Give away free e-mail addresses and services,
  • Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: "Get your private, free email at" and,
  • Then stand back while people e-mail to their own network of friends and associates,
  • Who see the message,
  • Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then
  • Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates. Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly." 12

10 Gibler, "e-Mail Permission Marketing
11 Praeger, E-Mail Marketing: Doing it Right and Getting Results.
12 Wilson, "The Six Simple Prin. Of Viral Marketing


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