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Email marketing when used correctly, can be one of the most effective marketing techniques around. To get results, each emailing that you send has to be specific in terms of what you want each reader to get out of it. Without a clear understanding of what the purpose is for a mailing, you will not have any way of determining what impact each has on your business.

There are a number of different ways to use email marketing. The three most effective ones are:

  • Special Offers
  • Invitations
  • Staying In Touch

Special offers like coupons and discounts are classic direct marketing techniques that translate extremely well to email. In order for an offer to be effective, it must provide something of real value to the recipient. Minimal discounts are not enough to get the readers’ attention; you have to offer something of substance. Don’t discount lower than your profit on the transaction, however. “Buying the business” rarely leads to a repeat sale, as this kind of customer will usually just go to the next such offer rather than build any loyalty. Lastly, having a time limit on these types of offers is extremely important, in order for the call to action to work. That’s why late night TV commercials always seem to end with “Offer ends midnight tonight. Call now!”

Invitations to events like seminars, conferences, and other special events are another type of highly effective email marketing. Seminars work particularly well for service industries like financial services, insurance, etc. These types of offers can be very effective when sent using email. Repetition is extremely important; sending two invitations spaced apart before the event will increase the number of attendees. Clicking thru from the email directly to a web page that permits online registration or RSVP can up to double the percentage of recipients that register. Sending an emailed reminder to people who have registered for the event is a good way to minimize on “no-shows”.

Staying in touch with customers and prospects by providing useful information like newsletters or postcards is the third major email marketing technique covered here. As opposed to offers or invitations, where you are trying to get an immediate response from the recipient, the purpose of sending a newsletter is simply making contact. Keeping the information short, to the point, and most importantly useful is the main objective. The content can range from “how-to” tips to a digital photograph from a recent event. The point is to have something that the reader cannot see anywhere else, and that makes a meaningful connection because it is something that matters to them. The originality of the content is very important, as well. Your company’s individuality is your best weapon when it comes to standing out in the crowd against the competition.

This Web Marketing article was written by Ron Evans on 3/21/2005