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Year 2004 - what's next for e-mail marketing?

No one knows the future. At least folks who claim they do often turn out to be crooks. We can, however, build assumptions and project trends. Most experts agree that year 2004 is likely to become a year of spam legislation and lawsuits. Most likely this will not stop the tsunami of spam, but is very likely to hurt the business of legitimate e-marketers. Inevitably, the existing e-mailing practicea will have to be changed. Here are three creative ways to harness the power e-mail marketing without risking being accused of spam.

1. E-zine ads.
There are thousands of e-zines and newsletters out there. Ad space in most is very affordable, starting at ten dollars or even less per spot. Of course, it's going to be difficult to find out which e-zines will work and which ones won't, right away. It will take some time trying and testing different titles or even various categories. If you have no experience placing e-zine ads, a great place to start is http://www.ezineadauction.com/. This website brings together e-zine publishers and ad buyers together. As a buyer, you can place your bids to stay within you ad budget. E-zine publishers can use the service to sell surplus ad space. There also are numerous e-zine directories available, so you can always contact newsletter owners directly.

2. E-mail courses.
E-mail courses have been a major hit in year 2004. Just enter the key phrase in Google, and you will find thousands of courses, ranging from Parenting your Aging Parents" (an e-mail course from a senior citizens care center) to "Dating Fast" (an e-mail course will "show you how to start meeting, flirting and dating people)". These free e-mail courses, but they contain promotional material. The appeal of e-mail courses over newsletters is that you won't keep receiving e-mails on and on. After the course is over, so are e-mails. As a marketer, you get a great chance to contact a person 5-10 times to persuade him or her in using your products or services.

3. Autoresponders and Signature files.
Most people don't use autoresponders at all. The ones who do use autoresponders, use this tool only when they are out of the office for a prolonged period of time. Autoresponders can, however be fantastic sellers, 24 hours a day on duty and asking no pay! Average person gets 5-15 e-mails from different people each day. If everybody from your company starts using autoresponders, imagine how many people you can market to over the course of the year! Another tool that can do that is your personal signature file. It does not have to be limited to e-mails only - forums, newsgroups, guestbooks and so on.

Relevant links:

    • Email Verification Software
    • Extract faxes and phones from web sites

Next week: Setting Marketing Preferences for 2004
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