Using Email Marketing to Increase your Site's Sales
We've gone over a few different methods of increasing your site's traffic & sales, however we often get questions relating to the best way to utilize email marketing to generate new sales, so this article should help clear some things up for you.
E-mail marketing has been around ever since email came along, and throughout much of it's history, has caught a bad wrap due to spam. It's important to make this distinction because a legitimate, and properly executed email campaign can be invaluable to your online business. There are even public universities that offer courses on email marketing these days (such as the University of Wisconsin's Web Marketing Series).
With all the hype that social media gets, it's important not to neglect your email lists. Once you have a contact list, your next step is deciding how you want to go about managing it. Simply sending out a large blast to all of those contacts will likely get your email blocked by spam filters, and never delivered. That's a quick way to lose half of your contacts in a matter of minutes. (also, you need to take measures to ensure your list is CAN-SPAM Act compliant) Nowadays email marketing has become a bit more complex, however there are companies that specialize solely in making this easy for you.
We've tried a few different options with our clients, and while most offered a far better experience than trying to go it alone, there was one company that we now recommend for our clients with medium to large sized contact lists that need to get delivered properly. iContact is an email marketing company that makes the process very simple for small businesses to import their contact lists, create professional looking emails quickly, and get all of those email delivered into their inboxes.
If you're still not convinced on why you'd need a third party service rather than trying to send them out yourself, consider this: After a server such as GMail, Hotmail, or AOL receive a given number of identical emails to different recipients, those emails are automatically 'downgraded'. This means that from then on, and with every future email sent from your servers, these providers will look at your emails as not important, and eventually get downgraded to be classified as spam. It's a very common problem, and without using a service that can tell you this information, you'll simply end up not knowing how many of your recipients are actually getting the emails, and how many are ending up getting filtered away. This is probably the most common problem with email marketing campaigns today, especially for small businesses who've been doing things their own way for years. However, with the low cost options available today, it's simply worth it.
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