by Michael R. Hough
The best application for e-mail marketing
is to communicate with existing customers/prospects rather
than troll for new prospects. Spamming is a no-no.
To develop a quality e-mail list, follow the
rules regarding permission marketing/opt-in.
Drive traffic to your web site – put the URL
first on everything including ads, direct mail, etc. Bribe
them to go there, such as offering "15 E-Marketing Tips for
Link your Web site with as many relevant sites
as possible, such as exhibitors.
Do not make visitors navigate through your
association or corporate site to get info on a specific show
– point them directly to the show’s home page. In fact, use
a unique URL to bring them right to a targeted page.
Avoid complex graphics and other "flash" that
tend to increase download time. Aim for no more than 12 seconds
download on a 56K dialup system.
and apply it consistently. Always offer a way to opt-out (that
is, to say they do not wish to receive any further e-mails
from you). Acknowledge this request by sending a "sorry to
lose you message."
Understand how to use search engines effectively,
but do not pay for preferred position.
Be careful with the Subject line of any e-mail
you send out. Certain words (such as FREE) may get your message
bounced as spam. Mention the name of your show plus promise
a benefit (such as 128 Innovative Products at Widget Expo).
Personalize the e-mail from a real person
(Jane Smith, Vice President) rather than from Marketing Department,
Widget Expo. Also, embed personalization within the e-mail
text (such as Dear Jane Doe and mention her firm name).
Say right up front – "Here is the information
you requested about Widget Expo." Put your best sales pitch
in the first sentence (many recipients will be using a form
of page preview).
Never use rich media (audio and/or
video) within the e-mail -- link to a rich media web page.
Keep the e-mail short -- no more than one
screen and never include an attachment. Link to pages
on your web site to give them more information.
Don’t look like a spammer – keep your tone
friendly and informative. Avoid overblown (hyped) language.
Finally, keep your e-mail prospect list clean.
Send a post card cleaner twice a year. Plus, collect every
bounced message and either correct the address or delete it.