Isn’t that your goal?
The latest survey on email marketing revealed that email-marketing efforts are being dulled by record levels of Spam and email box over saturation. Those surveyed that use email primarily for home use stated that unwanted messages comprise of over one third of the email they receive daily. Those that use email at work indicated that over twenty five percent of their inbox is flooded with unwanted email.
The study also revealed that those who have long-term relationships with an opt-in mailer have had their buying decision affected by the mailings they received. They do no feel opt-in email as part of the saturation process.
While they are eager or at least curious enough to read permission based email, most said they delete op-in messages without reading them.
This high saturation level of unwanted messages is turning consumers off email as a communication method.
66% of those surveyed feel they get too much email. Less than 30% of these indicated that they are likely to “occasionally” respond to email-marketing mailings.
How do you deal with the problem of too much email?
As an Internet entrepreneur email marketing is the tool of choice to get your message out. How do you get your message read? What are the best practices to implement to achieve this goal?
The number of those who are competing for email user’s attention is growing.
How do you boost your readership and response rate?
How do you guarantee your messages get to legitimate consumers and business email users?
How do you make sure your potential customer does not mistake your email message for Spam?
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN???
The Spam epidemic is one of the online businesspersons greatest problems.
While many of those online that receive email regularly appreciate opt-in marketing messages and as stated above will respond to your message, research has shown that proliferation of Spam threaten the legitimate email marketing.
Consumers are experiencing inbox burnout. Over time they will become less responsive to your email campaigns.
By deleting your email message without reading it first. Even your permission based email.
Additionally, your prospective customers and their Internet service providers are using email filtering and bulk sorter software to block your messages. Are your messages among those being redirected, filtered, bulk sorted and deleted by software like “Clean My Mailbox”?
What can you do to combat this?
Email marketing has proven to be a highly specialized medium.
It is being used to generate revenue, deepen customer relationships and influence potential customer behavior. Brick and mortar businesses are using it to increase catalog sales, improve call center response and as an interactive customer service assistant.
Dramatic positive effects on the customer’s behavior are occurring as the direct email marketing industry matures. It’s relative inexpensiveness, compared to direct mail marketing and its increased acceptance by the mass market is attracting a great deal of attention.
As a direct email marketer, you must position your messages so the various obstacles in place to combat your efforts to contact your prospective and your opt-in customers are unsuccessful. In this e-course we will outline successful strategies, which will help you, get your messages read.
Here are 7 strategies you can begin using right now.
Your potential customers open e-mail messages based on the “from” field. The sender has an important impact on your potential customers’ willingness to open your email message. The use of a “refer a friend” button on your web pages stimulates referrals from satisfied visitors to your site.
Your follow-up with content rich, helpful information to these referrals and your request for them to take further action by opting into your e-zine or e-course mail list, as well as recommending a beneficial free offer will help you grow a list of loyal customers.
Your potential customers want to know how you are going to maintain their privacy. Do you rent or exchange email list with others? This is a taboo to most of your potential customers.
The sweetest sound to anyone is the sound of his or her name. The use of your customers name in your message adds a since of ownership to the message. Most importantly, it is an attention getter and increases readership. Isn’t that your purpose, to get your message read by the receiver? Why not capture your potential customers’ name as well as their email address?
(4.) Show Your Expertise
Are you publishing a weekly content rich e-zine? Do you write and post on topic content rich articles in newsgroups? Do you submit content rich articles to other e-zines?
What do you do to show your expertise? How do you communicate to your current and potential customers that you know what you’re doing? That you know what you are talking about, that your advice is a result of experience, from walking the walk and talking the talk?
This is an excellent method to grow your list and customer loyalty. Email how to articles and helpful tips to your list.
(5.) Deepen Customer Relationships
Your customers will remain loyal only after you have established a positive and useful relationship with them. You establish this type of relationship through continuous meaningful contact with them.
The follow-up messages you send in response to your customers inquires, the helpful articles you write and submit, your content rich web site, your e-zine and its content rich information, your company’s order fulfillment policies, and your customer service practices are your proof to your customer that you care about them.
When your customer feels you care about them, a “know, like and trust” connection develops between you and them. This makes them more responsive to your messages and offerings. Isn’t that your goal?
(6.) Opt-In List Care
Your list of customers who have opt-in to receive your mailings is one of the two must-have ingredients for the successful email marketer. The other must-have ingredient is your product or service.
It is far easier to sell more to the customer you have than to sell to a new customer.
Regular management and maintenance of your list is important. Cleaning your list frequently so that it consists of deliverable address is essential. Purge all duplicate names and email addresses. Remove the names of those subscribers who have opt-out immediately. Use a double opt-in procedure to confirm that your new subscribers are authentic. Encourage your subscribers to provide more information about themselves, their likes and dislikes, and feedback about your product or service by using surveys. This will allow you to customize and/or target your product or service to fit your customers wants.
(7.) Long-term Associations
The number one cause for the loss of customers and subscribers is indifference. The online marketer’s failure to make periodic contact with their customers and subscribers is the major reason. The online entrepreneurs who maintain long-term relationships with their opt-in customers have the most responsive list.
Strategies to establish a long-term association have been discussed above. Good, strong, solid online relationships take time, effort and imagination to build. Once in place, they become a source of profitable dealings through a loyal customer base.
Successful email marketing is built on loyalty. Your loyal customers and subscriber base will not mistake your message for Spam. Your loyal customers and subscriber base will look forward to your mailings and offerings. Your loyal customer and subscriber base will continue to purchase your product and service for years to come.
Did you know that your clients and customers are getting hit with approximately 3,000 advertising messages a day! This barrage of advertising noise is making it increasingly difficult for prospective customers to hear what your business has to offer.
So, what can a business do to break through this noise and actually have their messages heard by their targeted customers?
Many businesses have just simply started to advertise more and louder…which simply compounds the overall problem. Some have tried gimmicks and sales. Still others have simply accepted a stagnant business growth model.
However, a few have begun to see huge success with a 2,000 year old tool that has none of the sexiness of a celebrity endorsement or the award winning graphics of a Madison Avenue Advertising firm. That tool is a simple handwritten note.
o A Midwestern restaurant owner sent out a series of handwritten notes to his customers and had a 20% response rate.
o A financial planner in the Northeast sent out just 80 handwritten notes to touch base with prospects and had 6 people call him and 2 set appointments.
o A non-profit was able to get 51 donations by simply sending a handwritten note to warm list of 100 people.
Handwritten notes are special. Clients cannot throw them away without reading them.
I dare you to try and throw out a handwritten note without reading it the next time you get one. Believe me, I’ve tried. I recently received a handwritten postcard from the hair studio that I had abandoned 6 months earlier for one closer to my home.
I knew it was probably just them asking me to come back as a client, but did I read it even though I knew it was a prospecting piece? Yes. There is a magnetic feeling that handwritten notes create that draws you in every single time.
Would I have read a prospecting form letter or an advertisement from the same studio? No.
So is it worth it to spend the time sitting down to write handwritten notes to your clients and prospects? When was the last time you have had a 6%, 20% or 50% response rate on a mailing?
Here are some tips on how to get a 50% response rate on your next handwritten note mailing:
1. Each piece should begin with your client or prospects name not a generic greeting
2. You should handwrite the piece yourself or utilize some of the technology now available that will duplicate your handwriting accurately and easily – Computer generated font, while easier, will NOT get you a 50% response rate
3. Give your client or prospect a reason to call you – “I just thought of an idea that might really cut your tax bill, give me a call so we can get together before you do your taxes this year! Talk to you, Mike”
4. Put it on a card that will get their attention – Cute, unusual, beautiful, historic, children, animals…they all work but use a picture that catches their eye
5. Hand address their address, Do NOT use labels – Labels tell them that you sent the same card to hundreds of other people. You have to keep it personal, even if you are sending it to hundreds of other people!
If you follow these few, simple and easy guidelines, you will be surprised at the huge response rate you will receive. It will also be the last time you’ll want to flush good money down the drain sending out generic form letters or invitations. A little elbow grease or a little smarts (using technology) will go a long way when it comes to direct mail response rates.
Many mortgage originators debate whether to market on-line or off. But the real question should be which marketing methods and strategies work best on-line, and which work best offline? Let’s take a closer look.
Direct Mail & Telemarketing
Direct mail campaigns can be expensive with all the printing and postage costs, so use a combination on-line / offline promotion with these.
Begin by fine-tuning your postal mailing lists, then use targeted mailings to borrowers for special promotions over mass mailing everyone general reminders; smaller mailing can reduce your costs. Then for your larger mass mailing, use postcards, black/white printing or other less expensive means. While you are designing your direct mail, make sure to add your web site’s address (URL) so your prospects can go on-line for even more marketing and sales opportunities.
Then on-line, market with interactive devices like forums or blogs, asking for comments/feedback from your readers. Offer downloads: reports, ebooks, etc to build relationships with your potential mortgage customers. These can either both be free to entice visitors to your site, or carry price tag and develop additional revenue beyond the mortgage transaction.
Establish telemarketers to get more leads for your on-line and offline marketing. Don’t’ worry about “getting the application” necessarily. Just get lead information for follow up, then put the prospects in a system where they will receive regular mailings.
Websites and Email Marketing
Websites today cannot be static HTML sites. The days to set it and forget it are over for all practical purposes. Sites that are gaining readership and converting to leads are ones that are interactive and constantly changing, like blogs.
Whatever you have, make sure to set up an auto-responder form to capture leads for an on-line mailing list. (This form can do double duty and ask for postal mailing addresses, too). Then conduct regular email marketing campaigns targeting particular mortgage needs in conjunction with your offline promotions.
Benefits and Disadvantages
Benefits of on-line marketing – Get more for your marketing $$! Ability to update your content instantly and change your target market overnight.
Disadvantages of on-line marketing – Email spamming is not allowed & many forget they sign up and report you as a spammer; keeping up with SEO (search engine optimization) is an art, as the search engines change their algorithms and requirements daily at times; technology – what work today may not tomorrow, so you need to keep up – not always easy time-wise or money-wise with software and learning systems.
Benefits of offline marketing – People get to “keep” something and often do, refer to it years later and showing their friends, etc.
Disadvantages of offline marketing – Higher printing and postage costs.
Don’t put it out to pasture just yet. Contacting your photobuyers periodically with your own direct mail campaign continues to be an effective method to keep your name and photography in front of your clients is to contact. Postcards, sell sheets, calendars, and posters all can be used to advantage.
In planning your direct mail marketing to photobuyers, you might want to consider the following important tips. They can help make your direct marketing efforts result in greater response.
 By using U.S. Postal Mail (as opposed to e-mail) to contact your photobuyer prospects, you can include a Business Response Card (BRC), to give you feed-back information, gauge effectiveness, make sales, and transform prospects into ongoing sales leads.
 Your post card, sell sheet, calendar or poster should feature a photo chosen for its sales potential. Very often, your direct mail campaign will pay for itself through multiple sales of this featured photo.
 Making a mailing list of contacts that are targeted to your specialty area or areas (rather than broad-siding), improves response quality and reduces the unit cost.
 Tailor your message and photo illustrations to your specialty audience.
 Repeat mailings every three to four months to the same list will increase response dramatically. If you use first class postage, you’ll be able to keep your list “clean” because the post office will return “undeliverables.”
 Follow-up telemarketing to your photo clients will increase your market awareness and bring your portfolio requests.
 If you’re engineering an elaborate and expensive mailing, it should go to a tightly targeted group of high-level photobuyers.
 Its O.K. to explore new, potential photobuyers, to “test-the-waters,” but such mailings should be simpler, less expensive, and more frequent. You can expect a 2% to 3% response from this kind of direct mail roll out.
 Mailings should be carefully crafted, from envelope to BRC, for maximum impact, and to leave an unforgettable impression.