In 2002 the European Union (EU) introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Article 13 of the Directive prohibits the use of personal email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive establishes the opt-in regime, where unsolicited emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient; this does not apply to business email addresses.
A wide variety of organizations and companies employ some form of direct mail marketing. For example, you might already receive an envelope from ValPak, a direct mail company that sells space in its envelopes to a variety of local businesses offering coupons and discounts. Additionally, they entice consumers to look through these coupons by promising that $100 has been inserted into 10 random envelopes.
Perhaps you're a new company and don't have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you're sure that people will love... if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!
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Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
Direct Mail Printing and Addressing: Depending on which printer -- online or local -- that you work with, costs will vary. There are also other variables that will impact cost, including size of your direct mail piece, as will your use of color vs. black & white, type of paper used, whether your marketing list will need to be cleaned up, and other caveats.
Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. (This is a part that so many companies get wrong.) Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.
Just like with any other form of advertising, you will need to hit people with your message more than once in order to maximize effectiveness. Your first send might pique their interest, but people are receiving mail at the same time they are getting home, and are facing many distractions. By consistently sending marketing messages, you increase the chance that they will convert.
This ties into the first 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – even if you have what you feel is a great and well-defined target list, you won’t truly know how great it is until you test it. If you operate a business in a smaller community, this won’t be as critical – but if you’re in a medium or large city, it can be crucial. Using the example above, even if you know that the Life Alert bracelet offer is meant for seniors, in a city like San Francisco or New York, you wouldn’t want to send it to everyone over the age of 55 citywide. Instead, select one (or in a very large city, several) small area to test the market out. Start small and measure the effectiveness and ROI along every step of the way.
There are several web-based programs which send out email blasts and which also help the user to remain in conformity to anti-spam laws. The best and most versatile service is Aweber. It charges a flat rate of under $20 per month and everything is unlimited. For smaller email lists, MailChimp is excellent and one can use it for free if there are fewer than 2000 subscribers on the email list, and one only needs to send out a few blasts each month.
Now, for a lot of people, this may sound like spam, and while there are some similarities, there are also some important differences. An effective email blast/newsletter will actually attempt to offer value to the reader, whereas spam is essentially junk. Additionally, spam is sent randomly to a mass of email addresses with no particular rhyme or reason behind who they send it to; with a business email blast, the whole idea is to target people that, for one reason or another, are assumed to be interested in the topic. Sticking to the fundamental rules for email blasts can help keep them distinguished them from spam as much as possible.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences. Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.
Publishers can offer advertisers the ability to reach customizable and narrow market segments for targeted advertising. Online advertising may use geo-targeting to display relevant advertisements to the user's geography. Advertisers can customize each individual ad to a particular user based on the user's previous preferences. Advertisers can also track whether a visitor has already seen a particular ad in order to reduce unwanted repetitious exposures and provide adequate time gaps between exposures.