E-marketing advice please!!

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  26th Jan 2011 - 18:12 26th Jan 2011
Jessica Davison
Logicmove Storage So...

E-marketing advice please!!

Hi all,

I haven't explored the below marketing routes as of yet and am interested in getting some feedback, the two questions I have:

1. What are people's opinions on sending out an 'introductory email' to contacts obtained from a database - I guess this is cold calling through emails - has anyone done it? how did they find it? I've also heard of the term 'harvesting' i.e obtaining email address from a target group's website - is this a good idea or not?

2. A newsletter to people you have exchanged business cards with - I was looking at mailchimp earlier and in the restrictions it says you can only send their newsletter to people who you have gained permission from to do so - at the time of recieveing some business cards, a newsletter wasn't created therefore I would not have gained permission, so how does this apply?

Look forward to your thoughts

Thanks

Jessica

  26th Jan 2011 - 20:24 26th Jan 2011
Paul Marden
Orcare Web Design

I've done both. For me unsolicited mail sent to a database I bought or harvested was a complete waste of time, very low open rate and very high complaint rate, so I didn't do that again.

For everyone I exchange a card with, I follow up with a connection on linked in. Then I share semi-regular emails with them via mailchimp if they're happy for me to do so. I get a very high open rate and a high conversion rate. I'm going to be 4Sighting about just this joined up online/offline networking over the next couple of months, but if you'd like some more advice on it then please PM me.

P

  26th Jan 2011 - 20:40 26th Jan 2011
James Minion
Redcore

I agree with Paul. Purchased email lists are generally not great (although electric marketing are great if targeting corporate) and you might upset people. Building an opted in list is the way forward. Get permission from people you meet/call to put them on your list and keep the emails targetted and relevant and not all sell sell sell.

  26th Jan 2011 - 21:03 26th Jan 2011
Shamus Doherty
Vehicle Consulting W...

How does it generally work when with a purchased list an email is sent but not a heavy sell more a way of finding out if they would be interested in being on your primary newsletter?

I ask as the same trail of thought is encountered via cold calling however if you are pleasant you can usually get a thank you but not interested or a yes send me more details/tell me more response so would the same not apply to emails?

  26th Jan 2011 - 21:12 26th Jan 2011
sharon comrie
Improve Communicatio...

Jessica

I agree with both Paul and James however Cold calling in an introductory email, as long as it interesting and professional can just be the one thing that opens a door for you. I have clients who use it prior to calling corporate (B2B) so their cold call is hotter but also use it as an information follow up after an initial LinkedIn connection or call conversation.

What you have to calculate is - is sending out an email to potential clients better than printed mail / flyers/ phone calls etc - Can you spare 5-10 mins every day?

My guys all find it so cost effective and a good marketing exercise. But my top tip is always to do an effective follow up or you are wasting your time. Don't send out 100's at a time to start with choose a small number each day that you can effectively manage and follow up with the aid of your reports.

There is lots of hints and tips you can use to open doors for you and your business and how to get your existing database to virally work also.

Give me a call if you want to have a chat and pick my brains.... well whats left of them...lol

  26th Jan 2011 - 21:48 26th Jan 2011
Julian Wellings
Expertise on Tap

Hi Jessica

Q1. What are people's opinions on sending out an 'introductory email' to contacts obtained from a database - I guess this is cold calling through emails - has anyone done it? how did they find it? I've also heard of the term 'harvesting' i.e obtaining email address from a target group's website - is this a good idea or not?


If you try and do this using Mailchimp you'll most likely fail because they do not allow you to import role-based email addresses (eg. admin@, sales@) and purchased lists to tend to contain a lot of these in my experience.
Far better to grow your list organically over time and communicate with people who have asked to hear from you. What could be better? Smaller engaged list = better than large list of disengaged contacts. More about growing lists on my blog here and here

Q2. A newsletter to people you have exchanged business cards with - I was looking at mailchimp earlier and in the restrictions it says you can only send their newsletter to people who you have gained permission from to do so - at the time of recieveing some business cards, a newsletter wasn't created therefore I would not have gained permission, so how does this apply?

Yep, this is Mailchimp's policy and they do this to protect their sender reputation. Too many spam complaints and it messes up their relationship with the ISPs. I think the question to ask is what is your relationship with the people you've exchanged cards with? Eg. If it was a 1-2-1 at a 4N meeting ages ago and you haven;t stayed in touch I'd suggest not to include them, or likewise someone you met fleetingly at a trade show. Once you've cleaned your list and are sending it to genuine business contacts a good way to kick off is to send a launch email before the actual newsletter, along the lines of...
"Hi [firstname]
Just a quick email to tell you we're launching the Acme Widgets newsletter next week. It will contain [add some strong benefits statements here].
If you'd prefer not to receive it please click here to unsubscribe and we won't bother you again."

And if it's of interest, I use Campaign Monitor for my newsletter clients and this is the policy I have to adhere to. Mailchimp's policy is almost identical.
• Subscribed via an email newsletter subscribe form on your web site.
• An opt-in checkbox on a form. This checkbox must not be checked by default, the person completing the form must willingly select the checkbox to indicate they want to hear from you.
• If someone completes an offline form like a survey or enters a competition, you can only contact them if it was explained to them that they would be contacted by email AND they ticked a box indicating they would like to be contacted.
• Customers who have purchased from you within the last 2 years.
• Suppliers, associates and other business contacts where you have been in contact within the last 2 years.
• If someone gives you their business card and you have explained to them that you will be in touch by email, you can contact them. If they dropped their business card in a fishbowl at a trade show, there must be a sign indicating they will be contacted by email.


/ Sorry long post, hope it helps.


  27th Jan 2011 - 07:44 27th Jan 2011
Mick Merrick
Precept Optimum Perf...

Hi Jessica,

All good advice above - all I would add is that in our experience, by far the highest response rates for unsolicited mail occur when you send a written mail piece with literature/flyer through the post, not by e-mail. You need a mail list with names on, not just titles and you must follow up by 'phone, (as has been said above). I have more stats about what works and doesn't work and why what works works and why what don't don't!! (getting confused now!!)

PM me if you want more background

  27th Jan 2011 - 13:27 27th Jan 2011
John Keating
Databroker Ltd

Hi Jessica

Some good advice on the above and I will leave the Email Broadcasting to the experts in their field and I will answer from a data and dm perspective as this is our core competency.

1. What are people's opinions on sending out an 'introductory email' to contacts obtained from a database - I guess this is cold calling through emails - has anyone done it? how did they find it? I've also heard of the term 'harvesting' i.e obtaining email address from a target group's website - is this a good idea or not?

Email marketing through purchased lists works for a multitiude of industires and clients very succesfully but it has to be something which is done correctly from all angles. So tens of thousands of companies do, its a huge industry.

1) Get the data and list right. Crucial part which most overlook and then wonder why the campaign didnt work correctly.

2 ) Copy of the message. You buy data sourced by a professional - makes sense to have a professional copy.

3 ) HTML Design - as above, spam scored, proper call to actions, testing, above the fold etc

4 ) Using a fantastic ESP or great piece of software like Julian recommended to make sure all your hard work has best chance of success.

5 ) Follow up like Mick suggested. Email works best as part of the mix in conjunction with telemarketing.

Dont harvest emails - this can get you in trouble with spam traps ( spamhaus ) and you are not getting permission to market. I am just finishing a blog post which details some interesting insight into email marketing and I send you the link ( be posted tomorrow ). What this shows is that email marketing is still the preferred method of contact for over 60% of the UK SME market ( Solicitors and accountants are typically industires that dont respond well as an example ). However, each industry is different. The key here is to ask whether your target market wants to communicated with by email. Should they do, then this massive new survey shows best times to email ( industry specfic ) and that during different times of the year, the SME marketplace response shifts from product based offers to price based offers - so you can its all dynamic and always changing.

Summary : Best thing to do for all companies is introduce techniques to build your own database by utlising remarkable content, however as a supporting marketing tool, email broadcasting to permission third party emails can be very successful if done correctly. If you need any advice, please give me a shout. Apols for grammar in that post etc - typing quickly.

All the best

  27th Jan 2011 - 20:33 27th Jan 2011
Jessica Davison
Logicmove Storage So...

Thank you everyone, this has been really really useful! It has been interesting to read some of the replies on the thread!

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