Universally, marketers love to use e-mail marketing for nurturing and cultivating future opportunities with their target audiences. On the other side, I’ve heard numerous speakers and bloggers declare e-mail marketing dead. That’s simply not true.
E-mail is a one-to-one medium, nothing more, nothing less. The development of an effective e-mail program depends on how much you know about your target audience and how well you use that information to tailor a relevant message. The key is message relevance and program execution.
For example, I get some numerous e-mails from companies that know me (in some cases I’m their customer!) but their e-mails don’t show it. Their "creative" and graphics laden e-mail messages don’t speak to my concerns at all. So each irrelevant message (my vendors and potential partners) send is basically programming me to delete future messages from them.
My point? Be relevant with each e-mail message. Your objective should be to take full advantage of the unique characteristics of e-mail in creating meaningful communication that is at once attention-getting and informative… in a style easily perceived to be directed exclusively to me, the recipient. It should feel like it came from a human being not a mailing list.
Here are a couple of good resources on e-mail marketing that came out this week:
If you have a larger audience, this article explains some testing concepts to improve your messages. BtoB Online: E-mail testing
MarketingSherpa just released their annual report on e-mail marketing. Be sure to read their free executive summary, it contains useful tips for B-to-B lead generation. You can download a free executive summary of the e-mail marketing report(pdf).