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Email Marketing Software - Is It Hurting Your Business? - Articles Surfing

Ten years ago I started my first online business venture out of the basement office of my home. I put together a Web site selling scrapbook products on my wife's suggestion that scrapbooking was emerging as a hot niche in the crafting industry.

Keeping up with the day to day chores of running my own business challenged me to manage my time wisely. Preparing my email newsletter each month consumed many hours of my time. I wrote the sales copy and made sure all the links in the newsletter worked correctly. Cleaning my mailing list of email addresses I dreaded the most.

I wanted to make sure that all unsubscribe requests got properly removed from my list. The software maintaining my list had no reliable way of accomplishing this task so I did it all manually. I broadcast my newsletter to my squeaky clean list but how much time did it take me to keep it that way? Answer: Way too much time.

Penny wise and pound foolish means being cautious with small amounts of money but careless with large amounts. What large amounts of money was I being foolish with? My time. Time is money and being cautious with my money by purchasing inexpensive email marketing software (penny wise) resulted in using way too much time (pound foolish) because the software woefully lacked features I needed.

Building trust and relationships is what email marketing is all about. A big part of that trust is built upon how well I managed my subscription lists. When someone on my list asks for removal, I want to respond accordingly. Not complying with these requests puts my business reputation at risk. But there are additional concerns.

Domain registrars are taking spam complaints more seriously and many openly provide complaint forms on their Web sites. Too many complaints reported to my domain registrar could give them reason to disable my domain. I didn't want to have my thriving online business suddenly brought to a standstill because my domain got shut down.

Also, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 dictates that email sent to the requestor's email address must stop within 10 business days. Each violation of CAN-SPAM provisions is subject to fines of up to $11,000. Ouch!

After several software trials, I found that Mailloop 7 from Internet Marketing Center met my needs of processing subscribe and unsubscribe requests automatically through a list of filters and rules. Now I maintain as many lists as I need to keep up with the demands of my business. But most important, I will never again worry about marketing to anyone who unsubscribes from my list as the software automatically maintains a 'Master Unsubscribe List' to make sure of that.

Another part of my online marketing strategy is using an autoresponder to cut down on the daily chore of answering frequently asked questions. Though I've provided the answers in a convenient FAQ, I still get email inquiries on a daily basis.

Autoresponders use my customers' desire for instant gratification to my advantage. A single autoresponder frees me from the tedious task of responding to each and every request'such as manually sending out purchase confirmations'giving me time to focus on more profitable areas of my business. But that's not all.

Unlimited sequential autoresponders enables me to send a personal response instantly; and then a personalized follow-up message a few days later; and then a friendly reminder a week later; and on and on! Using this method of communicating with my customers greatly increases my sales.

Cheap alternatives for email marketing abound on the Web but the question remains: "Are you being penny wise and pound foolish?" Think of a carpenter who frames houses for a living. Is he using a hand saw or a power saw? Is he using a hammer or a nail gun? If the carpenter doesn't take advantage of the tools of his trade that will boost his productivity, he will soon find himself looking for a new career.

If you are still using inferior software to help you maintain your subscriber lists, it's likely that you're wasting lots of precious time trying to maintain a competitive edge in your field. Find a robust software solution that is well worth the money invested in its cost. Compare it with other email marketing solutions in its class. Ask if it has spam checking, statistical reporting and my favorite, unlimited autoresponders. If you do your homework and invest in good software, you will save hours and hours of time that could be better used in more important matters of your business'and you won't be accused of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Submitted by:

Geoff Charles

Geoff Charles has over ten years online marketing and Web promotion experience and currently runs NetTopSites.com, a free advertising venue for Web sites. Read his review of Mailloop 7 for automating Internet marketing campaigns. http://www.nettopsites.com/mailloop.htm.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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