Everyone hates telemarketers. So much so, that, in 2003 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the National Do Not Call Registry. Similarly, mailboxes up and down the Route 422 corridor are bursting with mail that people don't want. Now, in the digital age, fortunes are being made by proposing the elimination of stuff we don't want in our email inbox.
What's a direct marketer to do?
Email filtering programs at the server and client level can ameliorate the problem somewhat but none are completely effective. The problem is that the vast majority of spam is useless junk, so logically, we need to start with developing email marketing messages that are valuable to the consumers on your list.
Follow the rules of development and submission so that your email is not tagged as spam. No matter what content it contains, if it breaks one or more rules, spam filters will terminate it with extreme prejudice.
Content is critical
Once you're confident that you can craft a digital message that follows all of the rules– one that will make it past your sending server's, the receiving server's and the client's computer spam and virus detection, you have to consider one more, very critical filter– the recipient.
People are inundated with so many marketing messages every day that only the most memorable and valuable are going to have a chance of cutting through the clutter.
Speak to them
Make your message targeted, personalized and customized to increase the chances of it being read and retained. Most of the better email marketing DIY applications allow for high-levels of customization, wherein different messages can be sent to different groups.
Similarly, most allow you to personalize the email depending upon how much information you have on each list recipient. For example, with little effort, you could speak directly to the residents of Chester County or Montgomery County in the same email submission and address each of them by name anywhere in your email.
Most email marketing goals are to create a click-through to a site where the message can be expanded upon. Be sure you're using a submission program that allows you to analyze where and when specific users clicked on a portion of your email.
Not only will this allow you to correct the message for the next submission but you can also tailor your website specifically for email blasts.
According to a report by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing's ROI was $45.06 for every dollar spent on it.
How is that possible with the nation's disdain for spam? It's because, once some groundwork is laid out, email marketing is an extremely affordable marketing vehicle.
Reliable lists, if you don't have your own, are cheap. Development that doesn't require firing up printing presses is cheap. Sending a mass email means that your message doesn't have to go through the southeastern PA postal channels from sort, to hub, to carrier. That's costly and time consuming compared to emailing.
Your business can afford to send many, many more emails than it could direct mail so conversions don't have to be as high to realize decent ROI.
Additionally, because the rules are always changing, there's no official Do Not Mail registry for email so, at the very least, your business' messages have a chance of cutting through the clutter.