Direct Marketing in the Digital Age – Emailing Client Lists?

Social Media channels afford businesses the opportunity to solicit followers by engaging prospective clients with interesting offers and dialogue on topics of shared interest.  This is great actually, but it’s not the end of the game, just the beginning.

Curves representing email volumes in 2013 versus 2014 during the all-important Holiday Season.
Curves representing email volumes in 2013 versus 2014 during the all-important Holiday Season.

Modern businesses have a plan for how to leverage sending direct email to their customer lists. Operating an opt-in “Newsletter” is one method.  But also — capturing contacts from staff email accounts and driving towards forms of customer relationship management by sending periodic communications to those addresses is absolutely legitimate.

More than legitimate, Direct EMail is critical.

MailChimp.com, a very popular email list management company (they have quite a nice free offer for small clients) reports that mailings this past holiday season through their service rose 72% from December 2013.  View their blog post here.

MailChimp.com is one example of an affordable, easy to use, effective "List Management" service.
MailChimp.com is one example of an affordable (free in many cases), easy to use, effective “List Management” service.

Earlier in my career I worked for a Mail Order clothing company.  Each season came with a huge push to collect current buyer names, merge those with past seasons and blend these with new prospects that matched our demographics. The company invested huge amounts of resources.  And it was effective. It’s still done this way, but with enhancements of course.

In this era, it’s quite a powerful thing to realize that marketing one’s wares isn’t just limited to our Web Presence. Smart operators are marketing directly to email addresses. Something powerful exists in a scenario as simple as having a satisfied client forward an email to a new prospect.

What’s changed is that this applies now to businesses with just a few hundred email addresses in their list. Small is beautiful. Why? Because if only a few responses are obtained, the small operator has the opportunity to personally engage each one uniquely.

It’s a consistent fear among clients we consult that emailing clients will result in being marked as a spammer. This can be true, if you abuse their inbox. But if a business has a relationship with a client, it’s more likely they appreciate knowing you haven’t forgotten them. Further, it keeps the Brand alive in the client’s awareness.

Remember, in the age of Symantec Search and burgeoning databases of information on each one of us — it’s become a “Market of One.”

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2 thoughts on “Direct Marketing in the Digital Age – Emailing Client Lists?

  1. Instantly I was asked “What’s wrong with sending client emails from an owners email account?”… well, okay … where’s the cutoff? How many is too many and why would you “graduate” to MailChimp, for instance?

    Here is our rule of thumb. If you’re emailing more than 20 addresses. Move to managed list services – so that at a minimum recipients have the opt-in / out option.

    Your emails will look better and you’ll end up with an action item list …

    Good luck!

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