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E-mail, an evolution of mail, is now used by millions of internet users around the world for personal communication and work. It is the preferred form of communication among people who still have access to a modem. It is widely used for sending and receiving commercial messages, newsletters, e-mails, personal messages, as well as bulk mailings. It is a very cheap way to communicate.
Email Marketing is STILL Innovative
There is no question that the advent of e-mail is responsible for many, if not most, of the innovations in communication. In fact, more and more people are discovering the advantages of e-mail. People are sending and receiving messages online faster than you can say — “the wild west.” E-mail is still the main communication tool of the world wide web.
E-mail has come a long way since its inception. Remember the days when you had to carry around a book full of letters and hope that it would get opened by the person next to you? Now, the technology is amazing you! People are sending messages and images wirelessly to anyone around the world in mere seconds. The ability to send text as well as multimedia messages, has given birth to what has become known as — “trendy.” It is as if everyone is reading their e-mail on a television set that is being viewed on the big screen, a screen.
It Has Come A Long Way
E-mail has come a long way, and I bet you feel the same way I do — email marketing is welcome, so long as it is used correctly. The same could be said for millions of people online. Even the way e-mail is received has evolved drastically in the last five years. It used to be that people would read their e-mail in a small window on their computer screens, on a dedicated machine that was their sole means of communicating.
Today, people have multiple screens, which means a lot more e-mail is received simultaneously. People also receive e-mail on laptops and cell phones that they carry around with them wherever they go. There is no better way to send a multi-media message than with an e-mail.
Email marketing may not be the “original” form of communication online, but it's definitely one of the most powerful (especially when combined with video marketing!). In today's fast paced, attention starved world, there is no reason to take your message to the user in a traditional manner, in a slow, paper based way. Email is fast, and here's why:
* “We've received your order.” — First, if you've received a customer's order and have a tracking number, simply send them an e-mail and say “thank you!” as a greeting. This takes the order processing out of the order entry process. It's the first thing the customer should see.
* “We're shipping immediately.” — Then, simply click the attachment to your e-mail and the tracking will update and the customer will be notified to expect their order to be shipped immediately.
* “We received your package.” — And then, you've done the delivery run for the order. Send them an e-mail that says “your package is at the post office.” This confirms that the package was delivered successfully.
* “It will be here in 5 days.” — This is your delivery window and the time frame that you should keep in mind. When you set the delivery window, you're taking your order and your tracking and telling the customer how long they should wait before checking their order.
* “We've sent your tracking information.” — Now you'll start getting responses back. This is where the customer will be able to track their order. If they were interested enough to place their order, it should show up on their tracking at least once.
* “We've received your tracking information.” — Then, you'll be able to see how many packages were delivered. If your tracking includes an email indicating that the package was delivered, then you know that it was successfully delivered.
* “Your tracking information is unavailable.” — This is a good reason to take the order and tracking information that was received when you placed the order and confirm the same when the order is placed. You can also do this at any time. If you change what you're shipping and tracking information, you'll need to immediately update your tracking information.
With all that being said, there are certain rules to follow when you practice email marketing. And they are CRITICAL!
If you forget these rules, then your customers may have more confusion on their hands (or worse!). It's a good idea to re-send the order and tracking information whenever you make a change for eCommerce.
And if you're using email marketing (expecially in BULK), please remember that there are spoken (i.e. LAWS) about how you do it, and also what I call un-spoken rules associated with it.
One of the greatest un-spoken rules I point out to our Chiropractic clients is… don't spend energy trying to make people who DON'T want your message receive your message. If people don't want to hear from you, don't force it. That never works. You may be able to find a way to get your message to them, but do you really think they will buy from you at that point? (HINT: nope.) You'll have wasted your money and time trying to reach un-interested parties. Instead, focus on people who WANT your message. If you're doing a great job (and I bet you are!), then there will be people who will WANT to receive your emails. Focus on them.
But I Want A Big List!
Sure. But what you really meant to say was: “But I want a big list of people who want to hear from me regularly!”
What not a lot of people realize is that you can have a solid, satisfying business with even a small list of engaged recipients.
In contrast, a huge list of people that don't want to hear from you? That's no business at all.
Returning to the rules, the big SPOKEN RULE is a US law called CAN-SPAM. The FTC publishes a page of very handy tips to help you. Basically follow that list, be real, be true, be ethical, be honorable, and you'll do fine. Good tips for life in general, really.