John Hayes, author of the useful pamphlet A Crash Course in Email Marketing, sent his first mass email when the internet was just a twinkle in its cyberdaddy?s eye, way back in 1978. The 400 recipients weren?t a bit happy. ?The campaign was widely criticised by its recipients [on ARPANET the university research network],? writes Hayes.
The recipients of unsolicited emails still don?t like it much, but Hayes notes that email is the most cost-effective marketing technique in terms of return on investment. He writes that the key is ?solid relationships built through permission and trust?. Email is used more for ?retention marketing? than for ?acquisition marketing?, and provides a more formal business environment than, for example, the pay-per-click ads that flash up before strangers as they browse the web.
Hayes? guide is written from a useful standpoint of expertise. He shares points that may be obvious to the experienced marketer, but not to ordinary SME executives, like when he heard a conference delegate advising another to use the BCC (blind copy) function of Outlook to send all her business contacts an email. Oh, no! This risks your IP address being identified as a spammer. Every email marketing mail should have an ?unsubscribe? link. And ordinary email programs don?t allow you to see who has opened the email and clicked on specific links.
It?s one thing to gather thousands of interested followers, but what about what Hayes calls ?driving engagement beyond the click?? He has simple, clear, sensible advice on how to do... but really, you should just read on. A fabulously useful little book for anyone with a product to publicise.
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