Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it infinitely more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization is so much more than inserting your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
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.
A pillar of content and copywriting is to write as if you’re speaking to one single person at a time. This isn’t feasible with mass email marketing, but segmenting your list and messages helps attain the same sort of feeling. Email marketing segmentation transforms generic email into personalized and tailored messages more likely to resonate with your recipients.
Different jurisdictions have taken different approaches to privacy issues with advertising. The United States has specific restrictions on online tracking of children in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),:16–17 and the FTC has recently expanded its interpretation of COPPA to include requiring ad networks to obtain parental consent before knowingly tracking kids. Otherwise, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission frequently supports industry self-regulation, although increasingly it has been undertaking enforcement actions related to online privacy and security. The FTC has also been pushing for industry consensus about possible Do Not Track legislation.
Push marketing is a proactive technique that enables e-marketers to "push" their product/service information to Web visitors or shoppers without their requesting it. Banner advertising, pop-up advertising, e-mail promotion, and spamming belong to push marketing. For instance, e-marketers can rent designated space from Internet service providers such as America Online or MSN for their banner or pop-up ads. Using animated graphics, appealing messages, and links, e-marketers try to lure visitors to their sites to buy their products or services. Many Internet users, however, find such ads annoying and employ software that blocks pop-ups and banner ads. <