This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Show and Sell Give your potential customers front-row seats for your ads with rich e-mail.

By Peter Kooiman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Want your e-mail marketing messages to jump out of the inbox?Then try using rich e-mail. Featuring streaming video and audio,these minimovies are inspiring customers everywhere to click andwatch.

"Our e-mails are 30-second commercials," explainsClelland Green, founder of America's Choice Health Plan, basedin Philadelphia. "They're combinations of music and Flashpresentations." Are the glitzy ads more effective? "Webegan using streaming e-mail last fall and had a 23 percent readrate; that's 6 to 8 times greater than a direct-mailcampaign," says Green, 38. "Ten to 20 percent of thosecustomers are [active customers], and our sales grew 78 percentfrom December to January."

If you'reprimarily a B2C company with customers who have e-mail accounts atAOL, Hotmail or Yahoo!, you should know about a potentialroadblock: These free Internet providers make it difficult for yourcustomers to access rich e-mail. Many ISPs ask users to open aseparate browser or cut and paste a new URL to access these mediamessages. Though most e-mail marketing companies don't chargefor unopened messages, conversion rates will be lower if youcan't get the message out to everyone on yourlist.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In