Spam””The New Obstacle in Direct Marketing

[As more companies begin to explore the value of interactive websites, blogs, web-based loyalty programs, and other similar online programs, many of them are discovering something they weren’t expecting.
Resistance from their own customers.
A recent study showed that customers are becoming more leery of giving their email addresses for legitimate programs, like loyalty programs, because they are afraid it will trigger a new wave of spam.
So how do you get around that reluctance and get your customer to give you their email address? Here are some strategies we suggest to earn your customer’s trust””and to encourage them to provide you with their precious email address:
1. Tell them what you will do with their email address. Let them know up front that you will not share or sell their name.
2. Give them added incentive to receive information from you via email.
3. If they don’t want to provide their email address, give them an option to receive the same information via snail-mail.
4. Be creative and try to get their home email address. Many businesses have sophisticated filtering systems that make it difficult for legitimate emails to make it through.
5. If they want to opt out, make it easy for them to do so.
6. Scrutinize your subject line for any words or phrases that filters might block or “red flag.”
We believe a tactical online program should be part of every marketer’s marketing arsenal. They typically cost less, are immediate and flexible, and have a sense of familiarity that works to your advantage. Unfortunately, spammers have made legitimate email marketing a bit more challenging. But if you incorporate the above suggestions, your online campaigns should be able to cut through the sea of spam and successfully land in your customer’s mailbox.
Until next month…

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