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==> Feature Article


The 5 Most Dangerous E-mail Marketing Myths


You know ezine publishing is really email marketing, right? And, despite rumors to the contrary, email marketing is not dead. As an ezine publisher you should continue to embrace email marketing techniques and not fall victim to what Derek Gehl calls "The 5 Most Dangerous E-mail Marketing Myths". You can read about them in his complete article below:


You may reprint this article provided you follow the instructions at
http://www.marketingtips.com/newsletters/?article=freecontent
and send the required e-mail to info@marketingtips.com.


The 5 Most Dangerous E-mail Marketing Myths
From Derek Gehl

E-mail marketing has gone through a lot during the past 5 years or
so. In the beginning, it was seen as the ultimate marketing tool --
inexpensive, instantaneous, and 100% measurable. Click-through
rates were the only numbers that mattered, and people were willing
to open -- and read -- just about every single e-mail they received.

How times have changed! Nowadays, most of the talk is about spam,
how e-mail marketing can hurt your business, and why click-through
rates are a fraction of what they used to be. Yet we still hear stories
about companies who, despite all the pitfalls, manage to generate
millions of dollars in profit every year using e-mail marketing.

So this raises the question: How do some marketers manage to earn
six-figure incomes (and higher) relying almost exclusively on e-mail
as their marketing medium? How are they able to get their messages
read and acted upon despite all the hurdles that stand in their way?
It seems that those people who understand e-mail marketing the
most are the ones who are able to profit from it the most.

With that in mind, I'd like to clear up some of the misconceptions
that you may be having. I've put together a list of some of the most
common myths regarding e-mail marketing, and answered them
using cold, hard facts. Pay attention, because if you've bought into
any of these myths yourself, you're in danger of of losing out on a
lot of potential profits.

E-mail Marketing Myth #1: E-mail Marketing Is No Longer
Effective

This is the most common misconception I hear when I talk to
people about e-mail marketing. Many think that the sheer volume
of e-mail that we all receive on a daily basis has ruined the
effectiveness of e-mail as a marketing tool. And the fact that spam
has received so much attention in the news lately also hasn't done
much to instill confidence in this medium.

In my opinion, the idea that e-mail marketing is no longer effective
really stems from people failing to make the distinction between
spam and legitimate, permission-based e-mail marketing. While
it's true that spam is not an effective marketing tool -- it never really
has been -- permission-based e-mail marketing continues to be a
tremendously powerful, easily trackable, and instantly measurable
way to market your product or service.

Need proof? A recent DoubleClick study reports that 69% of
American e-mail users have made purchases online after receiving
permission-based e-mail marketing.

That's great news for companies who continue to use e-mail as a
marketing tool. The fact that almost 70% of people have made
purchases as a result of receiving an online promotional offer
demonstrates that e-mail remains one of the most effective
marketing tools in history.

E-mail Marketing Myth #2: E-mail Promotions Will Damage
My Credibility

There is a pervasive myth among some small and home-based
business owners that using e-mail as a promotional tool will cause
subscribers and customers to have a lower opinion of your business.
Now, I'm not sure who started this rumor, but I'll bet that it was
someone who didn't do a very professional job of putting together
their own e-mail campaigns!

If you launch a poorly designed e-mail campaign, of course you will
damage your credibility. The same goes for a direct mail campaign
filled with spelling mistakes or an offensive newspaper advertisement.
However, if you spend some time creating a well-formatted
promotional e-mail that is of real value to your customers and
subscribers, you will actually enhance your credibility.

In a recent report, eMarketer found that 67% of US consumers said
they liked companies who, in their opinion, did a good job with
permission e-mail marketing. This is proof that an e-mail marketing
campaign that is well-designed and properly delivered will actually
enhance your credibility among your customers and subscribers,
as opposed to damaging it.

The key to delivering an e-mail promotion that your opt-in list will
appreciate is paying attention to quality. Here are three easy steps
to ensure that your customers and subscribers receive professional,
quality messages from you every time:

  1. Make sure that your offer is directly relevant to your
      subscribers' interests. If they opted-in to learn more
      about gardening, don't send them offers for candles.

  2. Be sure to proofread everything you send out at least a
      couple of times. And get someone else to proofread it for
      you as well.

  3. Sign up for a FREE e-mail address at each of the most
      popular e-mail services, like Hotmail and Yahoo!, and test
      your e-mail promotions to those addresses before you
      send out your mailing. This will help you catch any
      formatting glitches that might show up in those services.

Remember, if you are selling a product or service over the Internet,
e-mail is probably the only dialogue you'll ever have with your
customers and subscribers. This means that, along with your web
site, your e-mail messages are the only tools you have to build
trust and credibility. If you do a professional job creating and testing
your e-mail messages before sending them out, your customers
will get a great impression of your business, and feel comfortable
conducting business with you.

E-mail Marketing Myth #3: My Customers Will Think I'm
Spamming Them

Here's where we need to talk a little bit about the difference between
spam and legitimate, permission-based e-mail marketing. Spam is
basically unwanted e-mail that has been sent by a company with
which the recipient has had no prior contact. Spammers usually get
their lists of e-mail addresses by "harvesting" them from newsgroups
and chat rooms, or through a wide range of other unethical sources.

Permission-based e-mail is quite the opposite. Marketers who
practice this type of e-mail marketing have previously been in contact
with the individuals on their opt-in lists. The people who make up
their lists include current and former customers, as well as those
people who have left their e-mail addresses with the company for
the purpose of receiving e-mail from them -- be it a FREE eBook, a
newsletter, or promotional messages.

And studies indicate that e-mail users are well aware of the
difference between the two. According to IMT Strategies, more than
80% of people feel negatively towards spam, whereas 78% of the
people surveyed in a recent DoubleClick report said that they
wanted to receive e-mail from their favorite online merchants.

Now, if 78% of people actually want to receive promotional e-mail
from you, you're doing terrible damage to your bottom line if you
aren't using e-mail as a marketing tool. And unless you really are
spamming, you don't need to worry that your customers will think
that you are (as long as you follow a few simple rules like providing
clear unsubscribe instructions). Your customers are smart enough
to tell the difference.

E-mail Marketing Myth #4: People Will Unsubscribe From
My List If I E-mail Them

Another really common concern among online business people is
that their customers and subscribers will start unsubscribing from
their list if they receive promotional e-mails. The only time these
companies e-mail their customers and subscribers is when they
want to notify them of a some company event, like a move to a
new location or a total redesign of their web site.

It's true that if you never send any e-mail to your customers and
subscribers, you won't get any unsubscribes. There's nothing for
them to unsubscribe from! But what was the point of collecting all
those e-mail addresses if you aren't going to use them? The fact of
the matter is that people who leave their e-mail addresses with you
fully expect to receive e-mail from you. Why else would they have
given you their contact information?

Still not convinced? According to a joint study recently released by
The Direct Marketing Association and the Association of Interactive
Marketing, 63% of companies surveyed reported that e-mail
marketing was their most effective customer-retention tool. A
"customer-retention tool" simply refers to a method of preventing
your customers from buying products or services from your
competition rather than you.

Customer-retention is one of the most important aspects of any
business. Losing a customer to your competition is very harmful
to your bottom line, because one existing customer is more
valuable than a list of potential customers.

And remember, a few unsubscribes here and there aren't going to
destroy your business. In fact, people who unsubscribe from your
list as a result of responsible, well-written e-mail marketing
campaigns are actually doing you a favor! After all, why would you
want to waste your valuable time and resources on people who
have no interest in your offer?

E-mail Marketing Myth #5: E-mail Campaigns Are Difficult To
Design And Deliver

Whenever I'm talking with someone who insists that e-mail marketing
doesn't work, I always ask them if they've ever actually tried it
themselves. Most of them admit that they haven't. When asked why
they haven't tried it themselves, the answer is almost always the
same: They think that the process of creating and sending out an
e-mail promotion is too complicated or too difficult.

Those of us who do use e-mail as a successful marketing tool know
that nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you've learned the
basics, the process is a breeze. And there are new tools being
created all the time that make the process even easier.

When we conducted a comprehensive survey of our customers and
subscribers, we asked what some of the biggest challenges you
faced as marketers were. Here are the three of the most common
answers:

  1. Growing and Managing Your Opt-In List

  2. Writing Effective E-mail Promotions

  3. How to Avoid Having Your Legitimate E-mail Promotions
      Mistaken For Spam

I thought it would be a good idea to address these topics in greater
depth in the next few issues of the "Marketing Tips" newsletter. So,
in the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you some of my most
coveted e-mail marketing secrets that address the most common
challenges people face when putting together an e-mail marketing
campaign.

In our next issue, I'll address your Number One Problem:
Growing And Managing Your Opt-In List. I'll talk about how to build
a huge list of qualified, targeted prospects from scratch, using
simple tools on a shoestring budget. By applying these methods to
your own business, you'll discover why finding and managing good
prospects never has to be a challenge ever again.

I hope you'll keep an eye out for these upcoming issues, as I'll be
letting you in on some tips and techniques that I've never before
been able to share with the public. These are strategies that have
proven time and time again to produce solid results -- not just for
me, but for thousands of my clients and customers as well.

Final Thoughts:

Armed with some basic information and a few simple tools, any
business can make e-mail a profitable component of their marketing
programs. The truth about e-mail marketing is that it remains an
incredibly powerful and cost-effective way to sell goods and services,
despite what the people behind the myths would have us believe.

The key to making e-mail advertising work for your business lies in
understanding how it can help you build and maintain relationships
with your customers (and customers-to-be). The responsible use of
permission-based e-mail will allow you to tap into the profit-generating
potential of your opt-in list more efficiently -- and cost-effectively --
than any other marketing tool.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you the secrets to
extracting the maximum profits from your opt-in audience. There's
a lot to learn, but the steps to a successful e-mail marketing program
are easy to follow and are guaranteed to grow your business. If you
already have an e-mail marketing program in place, I hope to be able
to provide you with some new ideas that you may not have thought of.

------------------------------------------------------------------
About the Author:
Derek Gehl specializes in teaching real people how to start
profitable Internet businesses that make $100,000 to $2.5 Million
or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable
marketing campaigns, strategies, tools, and resources that he's
used to grow $25 into over $40 Million in online sales, visit:
http://www.marketingtips.com/tipsltr.html






********** Additional References **********

The MOE Manual - complete guide to ezine publishing

Your Lucky List - build your Optin lists for free!

EZ Money With Ezines - comprehensive guide to starting your own profitable ezine.

Viral Email Matrix - free list builder with RSS feeds.



Best wishes for your online success!

Stan Smith




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