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Dissecting a successful direct marketing e-mail

E-mail is the perfect media for direct marketing. Compared to regular mail, it is about hundred times cheaper. Yet, few companies manage to run a truly successful direct marketing campaign, according to Paul Soltoff. Paul has been in business of direct marketing for the past 20 years. Now he is a chief executive officer of SendTec, Inc., the parent company of DirectNet Advertising (DNA) and iFactz.

When asked about a perfect direct marketing e-mail, he points out to Omaha Steaks offer, which you can see here -

The subject line for the e-mail was 3 DAYS ONLY save 64% plus get 3 Free GIFTS. Good direct marketing e-mail starts with a good subject line. This one is short, concise, to the point, prompts to action (3 days only), offers good savings (64%) and three free gifts (that's quite some thing, I better check it out). Even though most folks probably understand that it is advertising they are prompted to open and read the message. And here is what Paul says is great about this message:

Bonus gifts (the ad reinforces the three bonus gifts, in both words and images) Nice grahics - (the main photo includes 23 individual items)

"Save 64%" is repeated for additional emphasis

Excellent wording - "All-American" is a nice, clean, patriotic phrase that imparts a good feeling on many people;"combo" is a great word that conveys a good deal and a quantity of items. It's better than a word such as "package"; the ad mentions "stocking your freezer," another way of saying the customer gets a lot of food.

Here are some more pointer from Paul - things that most companies usually forget:

This message lists a contact number for those customers who prefer to order by phone, the ad encourages recipients to pass along the message to people who would appreciate the offer, it gives recipients three ways to unsubscribe: electronic, phone, and postal.

Depending on what goods and services you market you may want to modify the message to fit your business better. But this e-mail offers good guidelines to follow - catchy subject line, nice graphics, compelling offer, call to action, request to forward the message. Follows these steps and your sales will multiply!

Next week: E-mail list segmentation
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What are keywords good for?

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