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Email marketing is very powerful and useful but requires proper management and focus.

The idea: Give away something valuable and free, but to get it you need to create an account or give us your email address.

The basic steps
  • Give something away for free in exchange for email address
  • Setup auto repsonders to make your list feel like you are actually emailing them
  • Set them up to auto email at specific intervals
  • Keep offering good solid free information regularily (like a good newsletter) so the users don't unsubscribe
  • Mix in a little bit sales emails (like sprinkles on the cake) that actually sell something we make a profit on
  • Create a good landing page for the email
  • Create a good buy system that is easy to use
  • Create and or promote products that compliment the original purchase to upsell them on later
Once the life cycle of a customer has run the gammut you are done with them unless you keep coming up with new products to sell them that relate to why they signed up in the first place. You always require new fresh customers.

It works, that is why people do it. However it requires alot of work and focus, as much as we are doing with how we market now. I don't beleive we are ready for this yet but do beleive in the future its something we want to consider.

Until you are ready, just start gathering email addresses. DO NOT send them a sales email every now and then or you are wasting your time. If you have no real value to email them it is better to just leave the list quiet. This is because if it is quiet, people forget they signed up and won't unsubscribe. By sending the odd sales email they will see it as spam, think "Why do I want this?" and unsubscribe, or worse, report us as spammers.

Also there is an art to not getting black listed (people at IMC were dedicated to this). There is a huge list of things that will get an email stuck in a spam trap before it even gets delivered to the client. Also getting black listed with major email providers is a massive problem, its easy to get blacklisted and very hard to get out of the system once you are in.

Also there are so many email clients out there that do what they see as fit, if you have ever felt frustrated with the IE/FF/Safari thing, you aint' seen nothing till you try to format emails for hotmail, gmail, outlook, AOL etc. This is like the browser war on steriods.