I recently began engaging with a fellow StumbleUpon user, robertpriolo, through the “send message” feature in the interface. Robert, also known as RobDogg, runs How to Rule the World, a blog that allows users to “learn from [RobDogg’s] experiences and share in [his] wealth of knowledge,” which consists mostly of internet marketing and e-commerce concepts.
We began a very interesting dialogue, which soon turned into a more immediate conversation through instant messaging. RobDogg was a little hesitant about the effectiveness and state of today’s email marketing, mentioning that “spam is the biggest concern I have with email marketing.” The conversation got so interesting that I decided to share it with you, to show you that email marketing is effective.
RobDogg: I read that you do emarketing. what field of practice?
Erica: I’m a relatively fresh graduate, currently working in the field of e-marketing. I have begun to educate myself on various forms of internet marketing and have become quite proficient in many areas. However I haven’t yet chosen a niche to focus and specialize in.
I suppose the medium I am most familiar with is email marketing, as I created a full, two day course on email marketing, all the way from the initial research to the final copywriting of the workbook of the course.
You can check out my blog to read more about me and what I do.
RobDogg: Yeah I read your blog. I see a lot on email. I have never had much luck with email marketing. Is there still a market for that stuff?
Erica: Oh there’s definitely still a market for email marketing. Do you receive any email updates/ promotions from a favorite store, or email newsletters (any of which that do NOT run off RSS). If you do, you’re unknowingly participated in email marketing.
Also, if you’ve tried email marketing with Outlook, then you probably would not have as much success as you would if you would try out email marketing with an email campaign management tool, also known as an email service provider (ESP).
Email’s never going away. While the medium exists, why not take advantage of it and market through it?
RobDogg: [I only recieve emails] from very select stores send me email, even then they are annoying and usually end up in the trash.
Erica: Well, you do receive them then. And if you don’t want to receive them, simply opt out with one of the links at the bottom. Nobody wants anything they consider “trash” in their mailbox. Not everyone is the best target for email marketing.
However, it’s not just you. If you’re receiving promotions but are not enjoying your experience, its partly the advertiser’s fault for not personalizing the messages so you get something of value.
RobDogg: I would say spam is my biggest concern with email. I’ve had to trash many email accounts due to it.
Erica: I totally agree with that, which why the CAN SPAM Act was created in 2003. Email Marketing is NOT spam. Email marketing is legitimate marketers obtaining permission to contact potential or current customers. Spam is simply something that came out of email marketing, similar to how “splogging” grew from the adoption of blogging.
RobDogg: Yeah I know. I was into spam emailing back when it was legit.
Erica: Many people confuse spam with email marketing. It’s a common misconception.
RobDogg: Well, even the ones that I do want to sign up for sometimes take advantage of [my email address] as well.
Erica: how so?
RobDogg: Well, you sign up, you get the occasional email, then they decide to ramp it up and email you every other day. [They] probably hired a more aggressive email marketer.
Erica: Right! Well, in that case, as I mentioned before, the email marketers are not doing a very good job of email marketing.
If at any time you aren’t happy with how an email marketer is treating you, then I would suggest simply opting out. It’s a matter of finding the right fit between the subscriber and the marketer.
RobDogg: Well that’s assuming you signed up for a legit email list, who isn’t going to allow you to unsubscribe or sell your email. I still get about 50 emails a day with no possible way to unsubscribe.
Good ol Gmail and their spam filter.
RobDogg: Truly the problem.
Erica: It is important to remember that if you are receiving an email that does NOT give you a way to “opt out” at the bottom of the message, then it’s spam. NOT email marketing.