The State of Email Marketing and Best Practices

Towards the end of 2010, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), TouchBasePro and Email Connection released the Bulk Email Deliverability Report South African 2011. The report is extremely important for all South African enterprises that make use of email marketing, which despite waning popularity is still remarkably effective. According to the report, up to 20% of the budget spent on email marketing is wasted, i.e. it doesn’t get through recipients.

Cordell Brewer, director of TouchBasePro attributes the wastage primarily to poor domain name reputation, which means that emails don’t make it past spam filters. An article on SA media and marketing news portal Bizcommunity cites statistics from Europe, Asia and the US, which show that 14 – 20% of email marketing messages don’t make it past spam filters, and Brewer believes that similar results could be found in the South African market.
Email marketing remains popular because it’s cheap and it’s effective. US statistics reveal that email marketing is the most effective form of direct marketing, delivering double or triple the ROI of other direct marketing methods. However, to be effective and achieve maximum ROI, emails first have to break through the barriers and reach consumers. As a result, there are a number of best practices which have been recommended for online marketers. The Bulk Email Deliverability Report outlines 10 of these best practices:

1) Improve data collection and check opt-in history: some spam detectors measure the quality of a sender’s reputation by the quality of its email programme. Ensure that you keep proof of opt-in, date of email acquisition and the date of each email campaign and monitor results and inconsistencies closely.
2) Manage expectations and relevance to reduce complaint rates: subscribers need to know exactly what they’re signing up for; if possible they should also be given the opportunity to decide how they want to receive information – html or plain text, daily, weekly or monthly. All relevant information should be clear and concise and above the fold on the registration page.
3) Unsubscribes and complaints: subscribers must be given the option to change their minds. Tastes and needs change and what was once considered vital news could become spam, before your emails get reported as such, rather provide subscribers with an easy method to opt-out of your emailing list. Unsubscribe links should be clearly visible. If you have a problem with being reported as spam, place the link at the top of the page where it is not likely to be missed.
4) Check inactive recipients for spam traps: these are fake or abandoned email addresses that are intended solely to catch spam, which is ignored. Some spam filters are able to detect spam traps in your email database and may decide to block you as a matter of course.
5) Monitor your sender reputation and blacklists: this is the most important factor affecting email acceptance. ISPs tend to use external companies to check sender reputation data and it’s a good idea to sign up to these companies so that you can also get an idea of how your email campaigns are perceived. Check regularly to see that you have not been blacklisted on any blacklist operators websites.
6) Use the infrastructure that works for you: this means you can either manage your email campaigns internally or outsource them. If you outsource, ensure you go with a reputable company, if you keep it internal make sure you have all the relevant checks and systems to stay on the right side of the spam filter.
7) Conduct pre-broadcast testing: this entails testing for delivery issues and format issues. It’s also important to monitor your inbox delivery rate.
8) Certification: certification schemes certify the integrity if email senders and can help campaigners get by spam filters. Note that certification does not guarantee that you’ll make it to the inbox; you still have to jump through hoops and maintain other best practices.
9) Manual whitelisting: this entails analysing delivery patterns and determining where problems consistently occur, then, quite simply, you have to create a contact list and work your way through it to have your company removed from the spam list.
10) Build up your reputation slowly: this requires time and patience and religious adherence to best practices.

Network Marketing – Direct Sales Recruiting

MLM-Network Marketing-Direct Sales RecruitingRecently I have noticed that many in the MLM-network marketing industry are having some real struggles with their recruiting efforts.Many say it is the times, the economy, it stems from 9-11, it is hard than it used to be, and people have changed. These reasons are resonated over and over again. It does not seem to make a difference whether you are experienced and proven, or are new and just starting out, or you are a man or a woman.Fact is people are still people as they have always been, few things have changed. Fact is this poisonous lack of belief is what is killing your recruiting effort and every ones paycheck. So because of this lack in belief, I feel compelled to express my opinion why I believe this is happening.The path of easiest belief – the path that most people in this industry will take. It is easier to believe it will not happen than it will happen. This is also the path many will take through life. It is easier to make excuses than to take the time to grow new beliefs that will attract success vs. repel it. When you have this new belief your prospects will feel it radiate from you and from your voice.1) Do you believe in normal or abnormal? Success is the abnormal. Normal is succumbing to the beliefs of others; you can succeed in building a business, only a few make it to the top, and if you succeed it will be short lived because it is against the grain. Recruiting is the process of building relationships, positive beliefs and convictions creating the abnormal…success.2) When times get tough in the MLM industry you begin to believe the things you are told a lot rather that that told only a little. Things such as you will never do it, it is too hard, and it is not a real job. This is what everyone hears. What we really need to hear is you can do it; you have what it takes, listen to the ones that have succeeded, not given up and just do it.3) Believe in you-not others when times are tough, when recruiting we begin to believe that others are smarter, know more, are more educated, and so on. This will impact your recruiting efforts in a bad way. We have much family, friends, people who will and can influence us. The big question is can they take you where you want to go or can they stop you from getting to your goal. The answer to your question is the clue.4) Do you believe or leave? Most people do not stay in network marketing or in life positive path. The reason is because all through life we have been taught it is easier to leave than believe. It is so much easier to find and excuse to be normal than a new belief to be abnormal. We all fall prey to this in our life and in our network marketing (MLM) business. With today’s technology building your MLM business is easier than ever before.When recruiting you cannot enter it with exit signs in your eyes or approach. People feel your beliefs first, then see and hear you. So you must enter the recruiting process in a positive belief mode.You do this by embracing the technology made available via the computer/internet age. You cannot fear recruiting, that is what you are there to do. Remember this is a new age, no more warm markets, no more cold calls or rejection from poor purchased leads. The technology will not recognize failure. So let it work for you.One technology that will create a positive belief with you and in your contacts would be a method that uses the newest technology to your advantage. It will automatically generate quality leads daily from a truly interested target market and pay you in the process, now what is easier or more positive than that. This program will not only build a strong relationship business, but will build in your contacts a strong belief in you. It will allow you more time for Income Generating Activities (IGA’s).A technology like MLM Formula will not allow you to fail. It will boost your confidence. This program will build for you with minimal effort, a strong relationship business for now and well into the future. This technology will eliminate the exit belief and replace it with a new path to success.You can do it and it is easier than you think because I will show you everything you need to do to make it happen step by step. All you do is just follow the video at: and you can achieve whatever level of freedom and lifestyle you desire.

How Dentists Can Profit From Direct Mail

Direct Mail is a powerful tool when used properly, but beware sloppy direct mail can do more harm than good. Dentists don’t use direct mail as effectively as they could in many cases. There are a few essential rules for successful direct mail. Below I have listed some action points to ensure your direct mail campaigns work effectively.

1) Set up a good database

There are some very cost effective pieces of software around these days which are easy to use for managing databases, many practices have complete client management systems, but do make sure you have a system where by you can update and target specific groups of people.

Not having a decent database is criminal in any business. This is the most cost effective and personal way of marketing to your clients and prospects.

Without it your business will also be worth a lot less if you ever want to sell.

2) Test and measure everything

This is the only way to determine whether your campaigns are successful and should be rolled out on a larger scale. You should start testing a new Direct Mail campaign with a small number. Depending on the size of your business this may be a few hundred or several thousand.

3) Mail your existing clients

These people are important, keep in contact with them. Use their names and make the letter feel personal maybe even mention the last treatment they had so they feel you know them.

4) Always include a letter with a brochure

Statistically a letter with a brochure has been shown to improve the response, but follow the sales letter principles below to ensure a good response.

5) Talk about your clients needs

The first thing people will read in your letter is the headline so don’t make this about you, make it about them and fulfilling their needs.

6) Benefits

Which brings us on to – Make sure that your mailings focus on the benefits that your clients will get from buying your product. You can include the features but tell them what they will get out of your service.

7) P.S and Coupons

Test P.S and coupons in your mailings both have been shown to give higher response rates, but remember don’t change other aspects of the mailing at the same time or it will skew your results

8) Don’t just mail once

If you get a good response from a mailing repeat it, people are likely to respond again.

9) The Value of a client

Look at the life time value of a client – If you target new clients and your average client spends £1,000 over their lifetime with you, a mailing costs you £500 and get’s you 2 new clients the average you’re likely to generate from those 2 clients is £2000 this is a 400% return on your investment, not bad!

10) Use mailings to build relationships

A mailing does not have to sell something directly it can be a Thank you letter or a Client Satisfaction Questionnaire but make sure it builds your credibility with your client.