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Someone voluntarily gives you their email address either online or in person so you can send them emails. They may pick certain types of email content they wish to receive, like specifically requesting email alerts when new blog posts are published. Opt-in email addresses are the result of earning the interest and trust of your contacts because they think you have something valuable to say.

A standard industry term used in email marketing to describe the act of "blasting" a message out to a group of hundreds or thousands of people simultaneously, similar to the act of "blasting" a verbal message out with a loud speaker. Typically used to differentiate between two-way email interactions (where a customer emails a question and the company responds), and one-way bulk email interactions (such as newsletters or promotions).
Does the difference in these terms and their definitions matter? No, of course not, it's semantics! But it is interesting to see how the scope of Internet marketing vs Digital marketing has changed over time. In my books, when discussing alternative definitions, I explain that, no it doesn't really matter, but the scope and responsibility is important to make the most of managing the opportunities. So the scope of digital marketing activities should be agreed within a business and/or between a company and its agencies. The biggest difference is whether digital marketing is simply seen as about communications (online marketing) or whether it is broader, looking at underpinning marketing technology and options for new online business and revenue models.
The fact is, a significant percentage of millennials like mail. It has a built-in emotional response factor. Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day. What’s more, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. Notably this generation will wield a combined $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, as reported by Accenture.
The DMA’s 2017 Response Rate Report finds that the response rate for mail sent to people on house lists (subscribers who opted in to mail) was 5.1% for the year, and the response rate for prospect lists (potential clients) was 2.9%. These numbers are up from 2003, when house lists drew a response of 4.4% and prospect lists a response of 2.1%. And even though online shopping has surpassed purchases from direct mail pieces, the DMA reports that 100.7 million U.S. adults​ made a purchase from a catalog in 2016, compared with 209.6 million people who made purchases online the same year, per Statista. 

Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty. 
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