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Worst e-Business practices or the fastest way to kill your business

There are a great number of websites, articles and newsletters that teach "the right way" of doing e-Business. It seems to me, however, that people should learn the big NO-NOs of e-mail marketing first.

1. Hype.
MAKE 700 Dollars A DAY!!! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!!! JOIN THE MILLIONAIRE CLUB RIGHT NOW!!!! If this is how you position yourself, you are not very likely to make a single sale. Sure, this is a grossly exaggerated example. However, using phrases like 'huge selection,' 'friendly service,' and 'lowest prices' can be very counter productive, especially if you don't have the largest inventory, sociable staff and sell products without trying to make a profit. You will become just another sleazy salesperson. It's hard to do business this way. Solution - be honest in your ads.

2. Spamming
Most e-mail marketers are law-abiding companies and individuals that adhere to strict rules and privacy policies. However, a handful (when compared to the number of legitimate marketers) of digital outlaws, who are engaged in spamming, make the whole industry look bad. It is in your best interests to distance yourself from them. Don't buy generic databases with millions of e-mails. Do practice permission-based marketing. Don't sell questionable goods and services. Do provide quality content and services. And ALWAYS give your subscribers an option to unsubscribe.

3. Impersonal and untargeted marketing
Targeting and personalization are probably the most difficult issues in e-mail marketing after improving CTR and ROI values. Personalization does not necessarily mean inserting names of recipients into e-mails. It means knowing interests, needs and desires of the target audience. And it means forming friendly informal relationships with your clients.

4. Failing to gather and analyze statistics.
This is the number one reason why most e-mail marketers don't get the results they want. Gathering statistics, though difficult and sometimes expensive, does quickly pay off. Only statistics can show what the best format for your messages is, which marketing offers do work and which ones don't, what the proper frequency of mailings should be and tons of other valuable data. Keeping statistics also helps avoid or quickly solve problems, like mailing list "tiredness" or falling click through rates.

Relevant links:

    • Obtain new e-mail addresses for your campaign
    • Email Verification program
    • Extract faxes and phones from web sites

Next week: Getting a newsletter off the ground - how to grow a subscriber list
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Direct Marketing Online

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