Third-party companies also compile and sell contact information to companies and organizations. Customer surveys, public records, retail reports, and data software can all be used to collect demographic trends; other companies use only permission-based lists. These companies can usually narrow their mailing lists by demographic—for instance, to only working mothers who have children under three, with at least a bachelor’s degree, who own their own homes, have at least one credit card, a credit score of more than 560, and make $50,000 or more a year. Companies purchase these demographic lisst, and send their direct mail offers to this very targeted market.
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam.
When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, "This email list is totally opt-in!" This means the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time -- the list provider, for example -- by filling out a form or checking a box to receive more content from that provider.
A/B testing is trying two different techniques that communicate the same message on a small percentage of your list, seeing whether A or B performed the best, then using the better performing option when you email the rest of the list. It sounds complicated, but there are plenty of email marketing solutions out there that take all the math and guesswork out of it. (All you have to do is come up with the option A and option B you want to try.)
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.
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.