Day 8: EMAIL MARKETING: Internet is the fastest growing marketing medium today, simply because most of your prospects spend more time online than reading a newspaper/magazine, watching TV or other media. It makes infinite more sense to invest in online marketing today as it’s cheap and hits your prospects directly. If targeted correctly and message crafted aptly, e-marketing can help you deliver the right content to the right prospect at the right time in the selling cycle and continuously achieve high response rates from quality prospects. Perhaps, that would explain why Microsoft sends out over 20 million email marketing pieces every month. If you are still unsure, then here are the top 10 reasons, why you should invest in email marketing right away. 1. Global reach: No matter where you are or whom you need to reach, targeted emails pave the way. Borders are no obstacles in email marketing. 2. Lower cost: Costs incurred in designing, executing, testing, sending and receiving an email is up to 78% less for a run of 5000 over paper-based direct mail version. When you add e-mail to your marketing mix, you spend less time, money and resources than with traditional marketing vehicles like direct mail or print advertising. 3. Interactive: You can innovatively initiate campaigns using graphics, videos, music, quiz, game or whatever that will be of interest to your prospect, to grab his attention and interest immediately. 4. Highly personalized: Email enables you to personalize and greet every person you target. This helps in creating a special bond with the prospects. 5. Round the clock marketing: With an email the audience can understand your offering even when you are out of office. 6. Measurable results: Special tools are available that accurately measure click-through rate, conversion rate, how a person one arrived at your website, and more, to enable you to assess the success of different email campaigns. 7. Targeted marketing: Since prepackaged and custom-built lists are available, you could reach only those who might require your services, solutions or products without bothering those who do not. You can select each one of your targets based on geography, age, income, spends, and many other parameters. 8. Opt-in or unsubscribe options: Emails contain opt-in and opt-out options which help you to shortlist your prospects and reach only the ones genuinely interested in your offerings. 9. Faster response: Time to receive responses through email is one to three days, where you will get maximum responses on day one itself, while a direct mail campaign would take minimum 7 to 12 days to generate any responses. Further, responding to a direct mail is more cumbersome, while a person can respond to an email immediately. 10. Simplest: Executing an email campaign is simple and you can do it sitting at home without any extensive resources. Online marketing is a high response and opportunistic medium for communicating with customers, and if executed right, has the power to bring huge benefits to your business. Go ahead, initiate an extremely targeted e-marketing and see your profits grow. Many of your competitors are doing it already! E-mails have taken the world by storm. They have become vital communication media nearly replacing the conventional communication protocols of paper-based media such as the postal mail (snail mail). There are several advantages of email formats. All e-mail communications, both personal as well as business follow a specific email message format. There are two good formats of email that are widely used, one is the well-known Text format and the other one is the infamous HTML format or business email format. Text format, as the name implies is only text without any graphics or colors - it is just plain text. This format is a mostly sought after one for personal emails, i.e., mailing to friends and relatives that does not require flamboyant captions and vivid images. On the other hand, html email format is used for business purpose and makes up for the missing features in text e-mail format. Text Format Vs HTML Format The two formats being available, it is a difficult choice to choose between the HTML and text format. Of course there are advantages of email formats in their own perspectives, not to mention their disadvantages which shall be discussed in detail. Many find text email format advantageous over HTML whereas others think the other way around. As a matter of fact, the email message format that has to be employed is decided purely upon the offer one is going to present with the e-mail. Although both HTML and text are good formats of email, both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Text Format and its Advantages This is the oldest and inexpensive format for e-mail communication. Text email formats are easy to read, and they tend to load faster in a web browser or e-mail client no matter whatever is size of the e-mail, in other words, the bandwidth or the resources consumed by this email message format is negligible. Unlike HTML which requires rich formatting, text format requires no formatting except for basic character spacing of letters and the line alignment. As there is no rich formatting, the text is black in color with a white background - which is highly advantageous over the html email format. Coupled with that the file size of text emails are very small - highly helpful for users that have limited e-mail storage capacity. Disadvantages Although text e-mail is easy to read and faster to load, they have some disadvantages. The major disadvantage of text e-mail formats is that they cannot be used for effective email marketing. Lacking in stylish formatting and rich colors and graphics text e-mails make a bad model for e-mail marketing - this is where HTML formats are extremely useful. Another disadvantage of using text format e-mails in marketing is the inability to hide tracking URLs from the users. The users are mostly cautious on clicking the URLs, and most of them probably delete those mails which have a long URL suspecting them to be spam or irrelevant mails. Also you need some kind of tracking software to check marketing e-mails send in text format. The results of a recent survey showed that when people preferred HTML email marketing messages and newsletters, they preferred them because... 28%- HTML email newsletters can accomplish a more effective layout 24%- Color can be used in the email newsletter 21% - Images can be included in the email newsletter 20%- Ads can be more effective in HTML email than text email In the "other" reasons, people brought up the fact that embedded links are more effective in HTML email for two reasons: 1) they can be hidden behind the text and are therefore less intrusive, and 2) links can be shorter avoiding the "zillions of characters long" link problem that affects many text-based mailings. They also mentioned that text just can't do some of the things that an HTML email marketing can, such as the ability to embed forms into the email itself. Clearly the benefits of HTML email are in how layout, color, and images can affect the reader's ability to process and enjoy the content WHEN IT IS DONE WELL. The Text reader feedback was also clear - don't distract me with too much chaotic layout, color and images or worse yet missing graphics or broken links. So what does this mean? Why doesn't everyone prefer HTML email markeing? There are two possibilities here. One possibility is that overall, HTML emails are done so poorly that the use of color, layout and image actually obscures readability, driving more people to pick Text. A second possibility is that some people just absorb information differently than others and that even if HTML emails were optimized, they'd still pick Text. Either way, there are a few lessons to be learned. 1. Give your readers a choice of HTML email or text I thought it was most interesting that people were split almost down the middle in their choice of HTML vs. Text. This sends a clear message. There is no obvious winner so your best bet is to create two versions (or more to compensate for email client variations) of your email and allow the recipient to specify which one he or she wants. Good Email Marketing S/w programs allow you to do both first give your readers the choice, and if a choice is not specified, then send multi-part. We have provided you a list of Mailing Softwares along with the Data base.Follow them in order to achieve the similar results. 2. If you are doing HTML emails a. Think simple. I believe it is human nature to try to do more. More color or more images or more layout blocks is not necessarily better. Think simple when doing your HTML design. Decide what the single most important part of your message is and design all the other elements around it, but make sure the main message stands out. Ask someone to look quickly at your email and tell you without thinking about it which part of the email grabs their attention first - if its not the most important part, go back and try again. b. Don't forget about mobile readers. Even if someone has picked HTML because they normally read their email at their desk, they may also periodically read it on a mobile device. The problem is that you won't know when they do. If you can, see what your HTML email looks like when viewed on a mobile device like a Blackberry or a Palm. Consider minimizing the HTML tags at the top of your email, or use a multi-part format. c. Test, Test, Test. Sadly, HTML is not yet a truly universal format. Your layout may look perfect on your own reader, but less than perfect on others. At the very least get a few free email accounts set up and test your campaign before sending it. This is especially true if you are embedding forms or if you are using other advanced HTML techniques. A recent study showed that almost half of the email messages sent did not display properly because they had missing graphics or broken code. 3. In your Text emails... You can make text look good. The more people you have who choose Text emails, the more time you should spend on your Text version. If a significant percentage of your audience is choosing Text, take the time to do it well. Your layout options are limited - you can't change colors or fonts when you use text, but you can use interesting spacing and characters to create an illusion of a more sophisticated layout. The bottom line is that you CAN take the best of each format and merge them into your email marketing. Remember it's all about your audience. Think of them as you create your email marketing messages - keep things simple and clear. Before you send an email message, ask someone what they think, and don't forget to test, test, test. Text Emails Text emails are basically any email message sent with just plain text. No graphics, tables, or sophisticated anything. They're like watching black & white TV - pretty boring. But they can be effective in some cases. It is common to send a "text" email message with an attachment such as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file, but the reader must take an additional step to view your attachment (extra steps are not good) and they must have the appropriate software on their computer to read the file, which is not always the case. In addition, some email programs don't allow attachments to be downloaded or opened by the recipient (user choice). • • • • • Rather than sending text messages to some members and HTML to others, most email programs allow us to send both in one "multipart" message. Sending both lets the recipient's email program decide which one to open (user preference default setting). If you don't see any graphics in the email you receive, your default may be set to text instead of HTML. Text files have a ".txt" or ".doc" file extension Given text email newsletters are on their way out, my recommendation for those just getting started is go with HTML. As HTML becomes the standard (we're almost there), you won't need to first learn text emailing, then start over in a year or so and learn HTML. You're already ahead of the curve! PDF or "Portable Document Format" • Basically, PDF files enable documents to be distributed on different computer systems while preserving the layout of a document. The documents look the same on everyone's computer whether it's a Dell computer or a MacIntosh computer. • • The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems. PDF files are electronic documents that must be read with Adobe Acrobat software. You can download the software program from the web for free to "read" PDF files. It comes already loaded on most computers and more than likely, Adobe Acrobat "reader" is on your computer. The naming convention for PDF files is Mydocument.pdf (the ".pdf" extension tells your computer to open the file using Adobe Acrobat software. HTML - Hypertext Markup Language HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a document format language used on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read HTML code and so do most email programs. Using HTML allows you to bring together text, pictures, sounds, video, and links. • • • HTML files have ".htm" or ".html" file extensions HTML files can be created using a simple text editor such as Microsoft Word or numerous others; many are available for free on the web When you're looking at a web page, you can "right click" your mouse, click on "view source" (or "view page source") and you'll see the HTML programming code. By the way, you don't need to know how to write HTML code any longer to create an email newsletter. But it definitely helps to understand the basics. Follow the guides in DATABASE 1 & DATABASE 2. You can understand. Please be aware of th spam rules. Its your responsibility to come up with the Local Spam rules. Do not spam and do not forget to add the Unsubscribe at each and every Email. For more tutorials, Please check out in the other Cd’s we have provided.
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