The 5 Most Dangerous E-mail Marketing Myths
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
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
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 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
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
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
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:
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.
- 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.
- Be sure to proofread everything you send out at least a
couple of times. And get someone else to proofread it for you
- 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.
E-mail Marketing Myth #3: My Customers Will Think I'm Spamming
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
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
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.
- Growing and Managing Your Opt-In List
- Writing Effective E-mail Promotions
- How to Avoid Having Your Legitimate E-mail Promotions
Mistaken For Spam
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
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
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: Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses that attract more than 1.8 million visitors per month and generate over $6.6 million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling Internet Marketing course online.
To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very own profitable Internet business, I highly recommend visiting http://www.marketingtips.com/tipsltr.html
This guy really knows what he's talking about!
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