Anyone who is thinking about deploying an e-mail campaign needs to understand just how the process works and what to look out for. Basically, there are three ways of deploying a campaign. Using an existing database of prospects or customers you can design and deploy the campaign yourself. Second, you can rent an e-mail list and have the list owner manage and deploy your campaign based on your specific geographic and demographic needs. Third, you can purchase an e-mail list and do the blast yourself, however this is NEVER a recommended process. First, you have NO idea if the list your are buying is clean, up to date. Second, deploying it yourself you will find that you can easily get blacklisted by various companies who track spammers and your website will no longer be accessible to people, OR, you will be classified as a spammer and your mail simply goes into the spam/junk folder either never to be read again. I have sold two e-mail lists outright in my 20+ years in business and have ALWAYS regretted the results. The client isn't happy, I'm not happy, the message is lost with VERY high bounce rates. DO NOT EVER DO THE THIRD CHOICE!!!!!!!!! Enough said.
If you do choose to implement a direct mail campaign you need to follow a specific set of guidelines. These are in some cases suggestions, in other cases what is written is mandatory for you to follow to ensure quality design and layout of the final message.
Once you know how many names are in your blast and the cost of those names, you will need to provide the company doing the deployment the following information:
- Text of the subject line (Make it powerful, it's what gets people to open the e-mail)
- HTML copy, formatted and ready to send (see the guidelines listed below)
- Seed list (A list of 4 - 5 of your own people who will receive both the test and final mailing)
- From e-mail address (This is to show who sent the mail and is a way for them to reply)
Timing: Once we receive all of the above listed information it will take approximately 72 hours to deploy the campaign. Tests are set up for your approval and once your approval has been given, the campaign will be put on the schedule for deployment
Pricing: The cost of the list and deployment are included together. Included with the list and deployment cost is any post campaign reporting including opens, click through reports.
You can also do a creative split for an additional fee where you send one basic message to two different groups with different copy to each group, but deployed at the same time.
Your campaign can be personalized (if this is available) with first and/or last name.
We can suppress an existing e-mail list from your rented list to eliminate duplicates.
A sample Tracking Report may look as follows:
Date Name Sent Opens / Open % Click / Click%
8/6/09 Gen Univ 25000 4902 / 19.61% 624 / 2.496%
8/12/09 Gen Univ 25000 7661 / 30.64% 838 / 3.352%
Keep in mind, opens and click throughs are only half the story. You need to develop a method of capturing each click through by designing a custom "landing page" that asks them for name, address, phone and e-mail address. This way you have a method of following up with them and closing the sale. Make an offer that is strong, something to motivate them to want to give you their information. This can include registration fee waived, discount on books, discount on the first semester tuition or something equally as powerful.