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Direct Email: Opt-In for Your Campaigns
Kevin Kwasnik is a Web entrepreneur who developed, designed and
manages two small businesses online. In the six months since
next-generation Internet directory,
debuted, Kevin has grown his site traffic to over 30,000 page views
"Most first time traffic to Gee-Wiz is a result of links that are
freely given to my site's internal pages, and from the massive amount
of subscriber-based or Opt-In email that I generate," remarks Kwasnik.
Most of my link-originating traffic comes to list their web site URL,
but through email, I've been able to successfully target and get
conversions for my low banner ad rates from advertisers."
Gee Wiz is not alone. There has been noticeable activity on the
e-commercial front as businesses work to surpass personal fourth
quarter revenues and gear up their product visibility for the holiday
season. By embracing per-click banner advertising and Opt-In direct
email packages as their prevailing modes for promotion, web marketers
are signaling that they are not comfortable with taking substantive
financial and uncalculated audience behavior risks this season.
Driving a successful direct email campaign requires working through
six important steps. Do you know them? Let's discuss.
Campaign Objective - it is worth saying again.
It makes sense for every marketing campaign, regardless of the
promotional vehicle being used, to begin by asking the question why.
Why are you spending the money? What do you hope to achieve? Where do
you want to be in relation to where you are now? The answers to these
questions will be your proverbial campaign crutch, and the central
point that your must re-focus upon whenever you need to make a
decision about how to progress. Do you want sales, leads or
visibility? Will you be happy with five sales or five hundred? What is
the cost of one visitor to you? If you can't determine these answers
alone, consult someone who can help you.
The most obvious error made in direct email pieces is verbosity - much
like this newsletter. The objective should be to get the qualified
candidate to return to your web site, not for them to be able to
complete a question and answer session post-email. Face it, not every
recipient of your email is going to be interested in what you have to
say and many of those that do click-through to your web site may not
respond positively. For this reason, your email must be specific
without being scholastic, entertaining without frivolousness and
compel action without begging for it. Mention your web site URL and
company name and spring directly into the benefits of your
Targeting - no spam.
Choose only Opt-In email houses to distribute your announcements
through. Opt-In subscribers request information on the topics that
you're mailing about, so tap into their inboxes. Be creative in your
messages. If you are a travel agency announcing a travel promotion to
Bermuda, you may want to target categories beyond the boundaries of
travel. You may target Communications: tradeshows for coordinators
seeking a new location for an annual convention; upon teaming up with
a Bermuda business; target Business: opportunities with an expose of
the business opportunity and a special fair and hotel rate for
interested parties; Internet: webmasters telling them that they need to
spend less time in front of a computer and more time sipping Pina
Colada's on the beach. Realistically targeting each of these
categories in the manner mentioned above requires distinctly crafted
messages about the promotion. Using your imagination to target in this
way broadens your targeted email horizons.
Fulfillment - are you ready?
Do not partake in the business of offering false promises or not being
able to handle the results of your email campaign. Expect the worst -
or better yet, the best. Anticipate a 50 percent response rate to
prepare yourself for time consuming phone calls and emails. Insure
that your inventory is sufficiently stocked to fulfill every order in
a reasonable amount of time. Hot leads require immediate attention.
Tracking - Fulfillment: the sequel.
To satisfy all of your site's visitors, offer multiple channels for
communication, including a lead qualification form. Provide an
opportunity for hesitant visitors to participate in your campaign by
requesting further information. For best results, create a unique URL
for tracking incoming visits. Do this by developing a URL that mirrors
your home page, like www.yourdomain.com/index2.html or /epromo.html.
Simply copy the page that you want to drive traffic to, paste it into
a new HTML page, rename the page to something new, then upload it to
your Web server. This technique allows you to track the daily traffic
to your unique URL via your server logs. Establishing this custom
approach to your tracking system allows the origin of your site's
visitors to be determined and accountably assigned to specific
promotional tools. In effect, you will know the efficiencies of your
online marketing campaigns. This elementary step is often overlooked
by marketers, but is the key to refreshing or modifying your messages.
As your traffic diminishes as a result of a promotion's end, you will
now be able to calculate the immediate cost of the campaign to you in
real dollars. It is hard to assign a dollar amount to branding and
residual or future purchases that may result from any campaign.
Follow-up - Fulfillment: part three.
Advanced Internet marketers build relationships with their clients,
They are less concerned in benefiting from single points of contact
then they are in warranting their products and services and surveying
for quality and customer assurance. To make impressions that last, you
must follow-up with your customers, whether via email or phone. Be
careful of email autoresponders. Often they are interpreted as
artificial interjections of gratitude, sent solely to promote
additional goods and services than to examine satisfaction levels.
Responsible marketers care about feedback and use it to improve and
re-construct. Sincerity is as simple as an anonymous and optional
feedback form placed prominently on your web pages.
If you're in the market for Opt-In direct email, visit