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E-Mail Marketing Campaigns

In response to a member's question on the best software packages to manage your e-mail campaigns and save a 'fortune', I have compiled a list of options. These are not endorsements of any particular product or company, but an example of what is available.

E-mail suffers from the shadow of Spam, and you always run the risk of being accused of Spamming users. As a result, any DIY campaigns could fall foul of spam blocking software, failing to reach the desired market. Specialist agencies are then worth employing, as they will use their skills to avoid this pitfall, maintaining your company's reputation to boot.

Don't let this deter you from running your own campaign. There are books, training courses and websites that can help. Look out for local courses too, as they can offer great value for money.

Software Programmes

Looking at the campaign tools – search on the web for 'Bulk E-mail Programmes.' The following is a list, in alphabetical order, of some of the products available:

Most of these packages come from the United States, where bulk e-mail has become a way of life. Even with the Can The Spam legislation, there is still a lot of unsolicited email flying around there.

Content Issues

If you do use one of these packages, you will need to give some thought to the content, as this is often the reason your e-mail will be seen as Spam and thus blocked. So avoid the following words:

5 Tips To Increase Your E-mail Delivery

  1. Become a trusted sender
  2. Understand e-mail filters
  3. Analyse your bouncebacks
  4. Monitor your 'reply to:' address
  5. Use a reputable e-mail marketing service

These tips come from Michelle Keegan, and the detailed list can be found at www.constantcontact.com/email-marketing-resources/hints-tips/volume8-issue6.jsp

Using The Experts

Can you afford to play with the reputation of your company or brand and make the common mistakes in e-mail marketing? If the answer is no, or you do not have the time to read up on the topic, or attend the courses, you ought to bite the bullet and get the experts in.

The original request claimed that the web marketing companies charge a fortune, but I would argue that if you manage them properly, you will be investing in your company (it's the old marketing value-add issue, is it a cost or an investment, as a Marketer, I say the latter!).

E-Marketing Agencies

I have collated a selection of e-marketing agencies that claim to do e-mail marketing campaigns. Again, these are not endorsements, and you may want to work with a local supplier, or ask suppliers and colleagues for recommendations. These are listed in alphabetical order.

Whichever way you decide to run your campaigns – good luck!

About the author

Thom Poole is a Chartered Marketer and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a member of the Marketing Society. A marketer with over 15 years experience in online marketing and web strategy, Thom is strategic marketing consultant for Jack Marketing Solutions, working with SMEs. He is just about to launch Howto-Websites.com to teach people web design from beginners to professionals. A regular speaker on the CRM and e-marketing event circuit, Thom has also recently written a book on ethical e-marketing, called 'Play It By Trust.' The book is available at the publishers as a hardback or download.

Article first published - Daily Telegraph Business Club (November 2005)

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