Implementing an Effective E-mail Marketing Campaign - Maintaining the data
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A third key element in success is to ensure the accuracy of the information on your list. As a minimum, the basic contact details - names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses - should be verified for each entry wherever possible. It may seem like an unnecessary waste of resources to check through a list containing perhaps many thousands of entries. What does it matter if a few are wrong, right?
Such an attitude of course misses the point. Even the most successful e-mail marketing campaign cannot realistically expect returns greater than around eight percent, and the figure is usually much lower. So any mail that is misdirected only serves to reduce a small percentage still further.
Besides which, it's a question of integrity. To maintain credibility in an industry discredited by the ubiquity of spam, you do yourself no favors by taking a casual or cavalier attitude to contact accuracy. Whether you like it or not, every marketing email that goes astray is potential spam. Do you want your company associated with this?
Leaving the spam issue aside, accurate additional information for your contact list entries can literally be the difference between a failed campaign and a successful one. To treat every contact equally is to ignore the fact that each potential customer is a real individual with his or her own unique requirements. Any action you can take to not only identify those requirements but to record them and associate them with the appropriate entry in the contacts database is likely to have a positive effect on the success of the campaign.
This includes activities such as tracking subscribers' surfing behavior on your web site to identify areas of special interest, doing the same for any e-mail or telephone inquiries received from contacts (and of course being sure, wherever possible, to add new inquirers to the database), and - for B2B lists - researching and recording background company information such as size, number of employees and areas of operation. All this can help to customize and precisely target campaign materials, the necessity of which is paramount. The more relevant the marketing materials are to an individual potential client, the more likely they are to become an active client.
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