Email Marketing: the Finer Points

I have done email promotion for a couple clients over the last year and a half and each time I launch a campaign I learn something new and incorporate a slightly different strategy. First, the components I begin with:

1. comprehensive blog search inside the target industry

2. spreadsheet of blogsites and contacts within market

3. well crafted email

Not very complex, right?

Sounds simple enough my mother could do it…..

NOW, a year and a half after my baptismal promotional campaign, here’s what I’ve learned:

1. a target industry doesn’t cover all the possibilities for link-backs and traffic–there are plenty of other blogs and forums outside the “target” market that could even be better traffic generators.

2. one well-crafted email is great, but I never “blast” emails to hundreds of contacts. ick. I really believe that anyone with a well-tuned ear can hear a carbon-copy email a mile away and avoid it like the plague. I make each and every email a genuine opportunity to reach out to a particular blogger. Yes, it’s time consuming. But good links can be a very valuable investment in your time.

-if I use my specially written email I always include the blogger’s name (as it appears on their blog, plus the blog name) AND I take a few minutes to actually explore a few posts. Just becuase a blog may exist topically in a certain market doesn’t mean it is a good place to promote your website, blog, whitepaper, etc.

-I customize my email whenever possible. The best way I’ve found to do this is to address a particular blog post or comment on an issue to which the blogger, website author, etc. may be sympathetic.

-I sometimes ask for feedback. Promotion is not a one-way street. If you’re genuinely engaged with your subject matter then it’s very appropriate to invite dialog. I’ve even edited content based on feedback. Relationships online are very powerful levers.

Here’s something I just learned from a Marketing Profs newsletter: how to logically “segment” my email list and create a set of “triggered emails” to match my needs.

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