EMAIL MARKETING, EMAIL SCHMARKETING

With billions of people logging onto their phones or computers daily, it’s important to understand the type of marketing your audience perceives as relevant and what is considered a quick “send to spam”. There are countless ways to capture the attention you want from your audience, from utilizing trending topics to funny memes. Email marketing brings it all home as you can directly reach the consumer in their inbox and when done right, leave a lasting impact.

When I receive a marketing email, I have realized I am more apt to open it if the subject line contains a witty anecdote, something relevant to my interests, or mentions an upcoming sale. Even if I don’t read the whole message, I’ll at least open it for these reasons. More often than not, I don’t take action when I read marketing emails. I find that the information sent to me isn’t anything groundbreaking (often, the information is posted on their site where anyone can see it – email list user or not) or it’s just simply not relevant to my current needs or interests. When I do interact with the email, it is most likely because it contains a sale coupon code or a link to exclusive products.

Here’s a great video I found that sums up how to be relevant in your email marketing in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxaX0bsbvho

My boyfriend, who’s a big proponent of email marketing, answered a few questions for me for this post.

Me: Do you still get a ton of marketing emails? How do you keep track of all of them?

BF: I sign up for almost anything as I’m shopping because they usually give me a sale code. I don’t open all of them though.

Me: Do you feel like you get too many marketing emails?

BF: Sometimes, yes. But usually it’s for stuff I’m already interested in, so it’s okay.

Some people don’t mind being inundated with marketing and having their inbox filled every morning. Personally, I prefer my inbox to be a little more curated and expressive of my own interests.

What is CAN-SPAM?

CAN-SPAM is defined as “the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003, signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003, established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions.” (wikipedia)

This act protects consumers from the heavy-handed marketer looking to drown you in irrelevant content and emails. It insures that you can easily unsubscribe from the content, that the content is clear and thought out, and that the “from” line is evident and true. This is extremely important, especially in today’s world of billions of social media profiles and users – when used properly, this act should keep important information relevant and protect the consumer from unwanted ads. Transparency when communicating with businesses is key, as it provides a level of trust between business and consumer. If you’re interested in hearing the flip side of this argument, check out this article from 2004: click here.

In conclusion, I think it’s apparent that scratching the surface of this topic is barely enough to cover every rule, regulation, and ritual. However, I hope to have provided some clarity on the significance of email marketing and what it can mean for your business.

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EMAIL MARKETING, EMAIL SCHMARKETING

You Might Be In a Secret Relationship With Your Dealer.

When I say dealer, I mean businesses that send you emails daily. You probably read them, you may get inspired by some and could potentially look forward to the next one. Coupons. Amazing, aren’t they? Unless, you talk to my fiancé, he may say something along the lines of me being a shopaholic but I consider it being smart and saving money.

This is where businesses strive. This is called Email Marketing. Email marketing is when a business promotes products and/or services. It helps develops relationships with it’s consumers and potential consumers. Think about it this way, remember when you got a coupon and an advertisement from your favorite store promoting a sale? Well instead of doing that through a stamp, they do it through a computer.

To see how well email marketing is, I asked three friends two questions.

Q. What makes emails interesting and worth your time to open and read? Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails?

A. Anne: I look forward to my Kohl’s rewards that come every month. And the savings I get when I watch for special sales on stuff. Sometimes I will get coupons from Pick n’ Save that give me a deal on my favorite yogurt. Kinda scary but kinda awesome. I definitely take my time going through emails and even categorize them.

Jesse: I think they are a waste of time and just delete them.

LZ: I don’t really open my emails. I have over 2,000 in my inbox. When I go shopping, I will search for coupons in my inbox but other that that, I don’t pay attention to them.

Email Marketing is Relevant

And probably will be for a while. It may even be more prominent then social media. While social media is great, email marketing is more direct while a post on social media could be missed by some. According to Hostpapa, 94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media. That is a huge difference.

CAN-SPAM And No It’s Not That Meat In A Can

Basically, it is a law where businesses have to figure out if their email that they are sending is considered a legal communication or an illegal piece of unsolicited spam. If businesses are like, eh, YOLO, and send unsolicited spam and get caught, they have to pay some hefty fines and get penalized. Obviously, we can all think of emails that we feel are unsolicited.

Businesses have to make sure that they really are who they are saying they are. They can’t lie in the subject line, they have to inform you that it is an advertisement, you have to let people unsubscribe from the emails and make sure to take them off when they want off. There is a lot of rules but it’s honestly a good thing because who knows how many actual unsolicited emails we would get. For more information, visit the FTC.

You Might Be In a Secret Relationship With Your Dealer.

$25 off, 100% in!

Who doesn’t love to save money?

I know that if I can save a little bit of my hard earned cash on a purchase, I’m all for it! Especially if it’s something that I need like sports equipment during a BIG AUTUMN SALE!

sale

Okay, quick back story. I’m a reseller of custom t-shirts so I understand how the wholesale to resale process works and it at times angers me a bit. So what if a business took the time to build a building, pay for overhead and fill their shelves with products for my convenience. I still don’t want to pay the near 50% mark-up over wholesale! But, I digress

I’m the kind of person that when in the market for a product, I will scour the internet for the best deal to beat the resale racket. I’m not cheap, I’m competitive! Sometimes to score a good deal though, means having to sign up for coupons on retailers websites. “25% off coupon, just add your email. By adding your email you agree to receive emails and yeah, yeah, yadda yadda” Just give me the coupon please!

Ask and thou shalt receive! shoes
This advertisement from Dunhams showed up in my inbox just this morning. What luck, I love Adidas shoes! Now, Dunhams may not know this, but this was the perfect email add campaign for me to see, because it hit 3 targets. It was perfectly timed, because I was in the market, it hit a brand preference, because I love Adidas and it was a good deal. Well done, Dunamhs, well done.

Now, while this particular email marketing advertisement was a positive, win win for me as a consumer and Dunahams as a business, it’s important to know that a business engaging in email marketing must comply with some rules and regulations.

The Can Spam act of 2003 is a set of 7 such rules that provides some safe guards for consumers receiving emails from being victims of shady or unwanted emails. These rules prevent false or misleading headlines, valid, physical postal address and options for opting out of receiving emails. More information can be found at Federal Trade Commissions Can-Spam Act 

 

$25 off, 100% in!

My love hate relationship with Emails!

I have a love hate relationship with emails. I love the challenge of creating success email campaigns for businesses and the financial benefits both the business and I reap from the campaigns. On a personal level I also love receiving great sales via email. It makes shopping decisions easier and shopping is only a click away! I hate the amount of emails I receive from politicians and companies that somehow got one of email addresses. I find that these emails are hard to opt out of and waste my time. I also hate how much money I end up spending on the great sales😊

On a professional level I’ve created email marketing campaigns for a variety of predominately retail businesses. I found that the campaigns with the best open rates had subject lines that were compelling, short, straight forward and had a fantastic offering. The most successful email campaigns were always a part of a multi media campaign. I liked to add email marketing to strong digital campaigns with display, pre-roll and social media. If budgets permitted adding print or TV greatly enhanced results. We did A/B testing and monitored the campaign results to ensure the campaigns were getting the desired results. I found businesses with smaller budgets can’t always afford to hire professionals to create and manage their email campaigns. These businesses highly recommend using Constant Contact. Constant Contact sells email templates and analytics to businesses so they can create and manage their own campaigns. Check out their video below or go to www.constantcontact.com.

Personally, I get a ton of emails, some of them are marketing topics that I’m interested in. I open these emails when I’m in the mood to focus on business or school.The emails that I pay most attention to are for sales from local businesses and Amazon, of course. The subject lines have to offer an enticing sale to get me to open them. Once I open the email if the sale is in fact a good one and nothing I need to try on, I make an online purchase. If the product is from a local store and I need to try it on or look at the product more closely, I go to the store.

I asked a couple of co-workers what made them open emails and if they took action on the emails they opened. I found that much like me, if the email was business related, they had to be in a business mindset to read. Good sale emails were opened faster and they reacted the same way I did. If it was a good sale, they made a purchase online or went to the store. The other person I interviewed was of the same mindset with regard to sales. She also receives employment updates and interview requests. Again the emails are only opened if the subject line has a good offer.

One thing we all agreed on is we hate spam! We were chatting about the different ways to handle spam and checked out google for more advice. We found some great tips on how to prevent spam on the Federal Trade Commission website;  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0038-spam. The FTC website also provided an email address to report spam:  spam@uce.gov.  We Googled Email Spam and found tons of information on Wikipedia about the origin of spam and different types of email scams. We also found information on the Can-Spam act of 2003, for more information check out the go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spam.

All in all I really love email marketing and think it can be an effective tool for businesses to gain potential customers, increase sales and obtain any other objective that suits their business. Oh and yes, I’ll always open an email that offers a great sale!

My love hate relationship with Emails!

Email Marketing: Spam or Not?

What is Email Marketing?

Have you ever opened up your email and found it flooded with emails from businesses? Some of them you may have signed up for, and others you may have never even heard of. So what is the point of these emails? Well, according to experienced business writer and business owner, Susan Ward, email marketing is the act of using emails to reach potential or current customers. These emails usually consist of the business’ on-going deals and sometimes even a coupon code along with it. But despite the emails having great information on what the hottest deals are, do people ever really read them? Or do these emails go straight to their junk box? I’ve interviewed three people and asked them what their thoughts are on email marketing. Their answers are provided below.

person using macbook pro on brown wooden desk
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

What Makes Marketing Emails Worth Reading?

Jae, age 22: Well, I usually don’t open up emails if it’s from a business or company. Most of the time, I open up these emails only to go to the bottom of the page to find the unsubscribe button so I never get their emails ever again… but I guess some people would like these emails to check out what’s new or what’s on sale? Not sure, really.

Malinda, age 38: I sign up for a lot of emails from businesses, especially if the business sells something that I am interested in. I have kids, ages 3 and 11, so I really like to keep up with what gadgets and toys are trending so I know what to get my kids for their birthday or for Christmas. I open up these emails often and they’re worth reading as long as it’s in regards to something I find helpful or interesting to my lifestyle. I mean, some places email me their newsletters and want to update me on their sales, but I’m like, “How did you even get my email?” because I’ve never even heard of them.

Wendy, age 18: I don’t personally get many emails from companies, but I do work at a place that requires me to ask every customer for their email in order to move forward in the transaction. This sometimes frustrates them because they know it’s just “spam” that is going to be sent. Most of the time, they say “no thanks” to putting in their email. I think some people do like these emails though because sometimes the emails offer discount codes.

Do You Ever Take Any Action?

Jae: I mean… sometimes. If I don’t immediately scroll down to unsubscribe then it has to really be something cool for me to stop and read it. Like if they’re offering a 40% discount code on online purchases, then yeah I’ll take action and use that code to get 40%. Who wouldn’t?

Malinda: I do if it’s a good deal and they send me a coupon for being a loyal customer or something. Usually, it’s only a 5-10% online code that I get from places, so I usually pass on those. If they send me something real nice though, like a coupon for a free item with any purchase in store or online, then I am right on that! I love free stuff and it makes me want to go back to that business to see their future promotions.

Wendy: I can’t really say I do because I don’t get those emails often, but where I work, people sometimes come in with coupons on their phones from emails, so I imagine not everyone puts these emails in their junk/trash folders.

business communication computer connection
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is CAN-SPAM?

If you’ve wondered if businesses have to follow a guideline when sending these marketing emails, here’s your answer. Yes.

In 2003, an act was passed called CAN-SPAM. This is basically an outline of what companies should and should not include in their marketing emails. A few of these guidelines include:

  • Giving a the consumer an option to opt out
  • Giving the consumer the physical company address
  • Giving truthful headers/subjects

More on these guidelines can be found here.

Because of the CAN-SPAM act, companies and businesses are required to follow the set of laws in order to run marketing emails.

Email Marketing: Spam or Not?

To Blog, or Not to Blog??

As far as myself, I’m not sure this is a hobby I would pursue. I’m too anal and then the OCD kicks in. It’s just too much for me. The first blog post I did took me 6 hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I read a post, on one of the blogs I follow, and she said she can spend upwards of 12 hours a day blogging. What!?! You have to really love what you do to work those hours. Out of the ones I follow I picked my top three favorite. If they spend anywhere near 12 hours a day blogging; well I’m thankful they do, because they make my day!

#1 IMOMSOHARD

These ladies are the funniest gals I have ever watched. You kind of have to be a parent, a mom especially, to understand their parenting struggles and get their humor. Their content took off so fast they were touring the U.S. within fourteen months of debuting. I guess, when you can engage every mom around the globe you’re going to rise fast. With their adult humor, real life stories and tell it like it is attitude I was instantly hooked. I like their boldness. Life is hard, raising tiny humans is harder. The fact that they vlog most of their content is the best. I’d much rather see them trying out Spanx, than read about and try to picture the hilarity of it. Check them out below. Or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You won’t regret it!

#2 Hip2Save

Hip2Save is for everyone. Well, everyone that wants to save money anyway. I came across this blog while scrolling Facebook a few years ago. This one is to the point, I’m not going to waste your time good. Their Facebook posts boldly state what you’re going to 28471285_10160114416095343_6341296690260794825_nfind if you click the link. So, when they post a 30% off code for Kohl’s I click and there’s the code. I really like the comments section, too. If there happens to be a deal Hip2Save missed someone in the comments section probably shared it. I stick to Facebook, as I don’t really have time right now to keep up with any others. But, Hip2Save can be found on Twitter, via RSS Feeds and they have an email subscription to take advantage of, also.

https://hip2save.com/

 

#3 SCIBABE

This is a newer one I came across. SCIBABE is a force to be reckoned with! As she says, she is an, “analytical chemist with a background in forensics and toxicology. Before working full-time as a science writer and public speaker, I worked as a chemistry professor, a toxicology chemist, and in research analyzing pesticides for safety.” Basically, she’s a know-it-all science geek that is rocking the internet and I love reading her blogs. The dirty jokes are a bonus. But, boy does she like debunking companies claims to do ‘this and that’, boldly and full of crass. She has the science knowledge to prove claims wrong, if they are, and that’s exactly what she does. If you are easily offended I don’t recommend checking her out. Everyone else, here she is! Otherwise, she’s on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

28783345_1180580795412027_1819031792179478528_nhttp://scibabe.com/ 

 

Obviously, I’m a big fan of in-your-face, inappropriate, vulgar, adult bloggers. Everyone has their preferences, right? If you need a laugh after cleaning up after kids, are in need of a coupon for Tide, or even just want to know if that new bracelet can really cure anxiety, these blogs are the place to be!

To Blog, or Not to Blog??

The Importance and Effect of Email Marketing

465640-email-marketing

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the targeting of consumers through electronic mail (email.)  Any email sent to current or potential consumers can be considered email marketing.  Nearly everyone gets some type of email marketing. So why is email marketing Important?  Email marketing is the most commonly used digital marketing channel, along with social media, used by companies.  A company can segment consumers for email marketing, tailoring the emails perfectly to the potential reader.  They segment consumers by location, purchases, and more.

What makes an email worth opening?

For me, if it’s informing me of something, such as a sale, concert or event, or a new product reveal, in the subject line of the email I’m more likely to open it.  I also asked three other people and these are their responses to what makes an email worth opening for them:

  1. If it’s college or school related or shopping related. For college if the subject line talks about what they have to offer or financial aid related.  For shopping if the subject line talks about a current sale going on, I’m more likely to open it.
  2. Other than work, school, or financial the only reason I would open an email was for the sale from a company I like.
  1. Well the only time I open marketing emails is when there is a sale with an interesting tag line in the subject line.  For example, my favorite makeup store is holding an event and this brand I like is having a sale or is introducing a new product.

Do you ever take action as a result of the emails?

For me, if there is a sale running, or a new product release I usually tend to click on the email to read more.  For concert and event promotions then I open and read the email, but I don’t usually have a reason to click through.  I asked the same three people this question as well.  Here are there answers:

  1. Yes, shopping clicks on website and buys something because it’s a good deal or sale running.
  2. If I take action from an email it is because the sale or offer is intriguing to me or is worth the offer
  3. I don’t usually take any action even if I open the emails because I’m already stocked up on all the products and clothing items I need, but I’m still interested in seeing what my options are. As well as if there is anything worth pursuing in savings.

You can see from these few responses that a lot of people focus on the subject line of an email to tell them what is going on for them to even want to open the email.  They want the email to be informing them of something.  Whether it be a sale, a new product release, or informing them on how a school may be right for them, they want to know what their being informed of right away.

What is CAN-SPAM?

CAN-SPAM is the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act that was signed into law in 2003.  What this act did was set the first national standard of sending commercial email.  This is important because it stopped a lot of spam from running or even flowing into your inbox.  If the government considers an email to be unsolicited spam, it’s considered illegal and the U.S. government will subject the sender to potential fines and penalties.

There’s a pretty simple check list for making sure that a companies emails are compliant with the law. This check list is from Comm100 and has more information listed for each step on their website.

Step 1: Be Who You Say You Are!

You can’t pretend to be another website or company just to get a user to open an email (or to avoid emails going to junk). This is a popular trick offshore spammers use to get through spam filters, but it’s illegal.

Step 2: Don’t Lie in the Subject Line

This one is easy. If your email subject line says that opening the email will give the user a daily quote of the day, then that’s what needs to be in the email.

Step 3: Tell Them That You’re an Advertisement

You can do this many ways, including small print at the bottom of the email. However, somewhere in your email, you need to make it clear that the email is an advertisement.

Step 4: You Need to Have an Actual Physical Location

This one is also simple. Somewhere in your email you must provide a physical postal address (street or postal box) where you can receive communications via mail.

Step 5: You Have to Let People Know How to Opt-Out

You cannot (and should not) send a marketing email without letting users know how to stop you from sending future emails to them.

Step 6: When People Want Off Your Email List, Take Them Off.

When somebody requests an opt-out or unsub from your email list or lists, you have up to 10 business days to remove them

Step 7: Make Sure You Know What Your Marketing Agency is Doing!

Also make sure that you know what your affiliates are doing! Make sure that you know what anybody who sends email on your behalf is doing!

Another good list to check out can be found from the Federal Trade Commission and Forbes

Final Thoughts

1.

picture from Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing is a huge part of marketing today.  Whenever you check your email there’s always something there to catch your eye.  It’s an effective way for marketers to also keep customers up to date on current sales, or even just keeping them in the customers mind.  It’s a powerful marketing tool that I think won’t be going away any time soon.

The Importance and Effect of Email Marketing