Austin Bliss

Could you survive the switch from direct mail to e-mail? The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) did just that — and lived to tell about it at a session during the Annual Conference for Catalog & Multichannel Merchants (ACCM) in New Orleans last month. Here are the lessons the museum learned:

It's a fact. Your customers are going to change their e-mail addresses. Encourage customers to keep you up to date in your regular communication with them. When you establish a give-and-take relationship with the customer, and let them know why the information is needed, they'll be more likely to keep you informed. —Austin Bliss, president, FreshAddress

It's unfortunate, but sometimes malicious individuals will try to blast any registration pages on your Web site with a bunch of bad e-mail addresses. Know what your average daily registration rate is and institute a maximum so that if registrations spike unexpectedly, you'll be able to catch the bad e-mail addresses before you use them. —Austin Bliss, president, FreshAddress

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