E-mail is most widely used as a prospect conversion and customer retention tool using an opt-in house list of prospects and customers that have given permission to an organisation to contact them. For example, Lastminute.com has built a house list of over 10 million prospects and customers across Europe. Successful e-mail marketers adopt a strategic approach to e-mail and develop a contact or touch strategy which plans the frequency and content of e-mail communications as explained in Chapters 4 and 6. Some options for in-house e-mail marketing include:
• Conversion e-mail - someone visits a web site and expresses interest in a product or service by registering and providing their e-mail address although they do not buy. Automated follow-up e-mails can be sent out to persuade the recipient to trial the service. For example, betting company William Hill found that automated follow-up e-mails converted twice as many registrants to place their first bet compared to registrants who did not receive an e-mail.
An individual agrees to receive e-mail communications.
A list of prospect and customer names, e-mail addresses and profile information owned by an organisation.
• Regular e-newsletter type - options are reviewed for different frequencies such as weekly, monthly or quarterly with different content for different audiences and segments.
• House-list campaign - these are periodic e-mails to support different objectives such as encouraging trial of a service or newly launched product, repeat purchases or reactivation of customers who no longer use a service.
• Event-triggered - these tend to be less regular and are sent out perhaps every 3 or 6 months when there is news of a new product launch or an exceptional offer.
• E-mail sequence - software can send out a series of e-mails with the interval between emails determined by the marketer.
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Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.