There's little doubt that within the next few years many businesses will be targeting customers through e-mail. Here are some pointers to keep in mind before starting an e-mail marketing campaign:
- Get a good list. There are many sources of lists, including Yellow Pages-type books at libraries and bookstores. You can also find them online. Look for "opt in" lists, which are lists people have chosen to be on. That way you know you're sending your mailing to people who want to read it.
- Keep it short and to the point. People reading their e-mail want to know upfront what they're reading and why they should bother to continue. One screen length should do it. Remember, people tend to be more suspicious when reading e-mail. If you're vague or wordy, your message will be quickly deleted--which is even easier than tossing a letter in the trash.
- Have a point. Make sure you're asking prospects to do something--buy, send for literature, etc. This doesn't mean you should do a hard sell. In fact, that's the last thing you should do. Just don't waste their time.
- Let them out. If you tick recipients off by not giving them a chance to get off your list, they could make your life miserable by constantly sending you flame-mail messages.
- Create your own list. After you generate interest, start compiling your own customized list.
- Start soon. People still like getting e-mail. Start a campaign now, while people are still excited about receiving e-mail and willing to look at it. Soon, much of it will be lumped in with all the junk mail, and it will be that much harder to get yours read.
Kohn Communications, P.O. Box 67563, Los Angeles, CA 90067, (310) 652-1442
Robert A. Parker, http://www.swan_net.com/rapcom