Secure & Retain High-quality E-mail Lists
E-mail marketing has undergone a major transition during the past couple of years. A survey conducted by The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that two-thirds of U.S. companies claimed an increase in their sales in 2001 as a result of using e-mail marketing.
Catalogers who use this marketing vehicle seem to do particularly well: Based on a June 2002 report from DoubleClick, catalogers’ e-mails have the highest click-through rates of any industry — 9.5 percent.
One of the main reasons e-mail marketing is enjoying success is the increased quality of the e-mail lists available. While there continues to be considerable controversy about how e-mail lists are developed and the spamming practices of unscrupulous marketers, the attention now also is focused on the use of e-mail lists developed by acceptable DMA and Association of Internet Marketing guidelines.
And with more responsible marketers harvesting their customers’ and prospects’ e-mail addresses via acceptable guidelines, e-mail lists are becoming greater in number and higher in quality. In fact, it’s estimated there are more than 1,000 business-to-business and 2,000 business-to-consumer e-mail lists now available. You can select from e-mail lists generated from sources such as brick-and-mortar establishments, consumer product companies, high-tech b-to-b companies and publications.
In addition, e-mail lists now offer selections reflecting diverse demographics and psycho-social graphics. For instance, selections offered on some b-to-c e-mail lists include income, SCF (geographic criteria), recency and lifestyle. On the b-to-b side, you’ll find job title and SIC codes.
Collect the Data
If you don’t currently have a customer e-mail housefile, the first step is, of course, to create one by capturing your current customers’ e-mail addresses. Before you begin, however, be aware that recent studies have shown that today’s spam-weary customers want some benefit (e.g., discount coupons, special e-mail-only offers) for handing over their e-mail addresses. Following are some strategies for collecting e-mail addresses in ways that are unlikely to offend your valued customers: