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13 November 2010

Miscellaneous

Why Use a Professional Agency to Manage Your Next E-Marketing Campaign

By now, you probably already know about the undeniable success of e-marketing. You've heard how it's made millions for other companies. You know it's helped your competitors to build better, more loyal relationships with their customers and transformed their futures, but you've just not got around to embracing it yourself yet.

But the beauty of turning to a professional to deliver the goods from start to finish, from copywriting to distribution, is that you don't have to find the time or devote any creative energy to it whatsoever. Ask Ola Holidays (link to their case study?) - they're making ï¿¡4 for every ï¿¡1 they spend on their emails with us!

So, why shouldn't you try and do it for yourself?

1.    No one will know you've not done it yourself

This is one of the things businesses worry about most - but we can send the email as if it's coming directly from your company - they won't know that we're involved at all.

2.    Are you a quick learner with a good grasp of technology?

No? Well, you'll need to be if you're considering tackling this yourself. Yes, there is email software out there for this very purpose, but even the more basic versions require you to set proper time aside to read through and understand each step. Get it wrong and it could be extremely embarrassing and have the reverse effect of what you were trying to achieve in the first place.

3.    What if something goes wrong?

Picture the scene. It's past midnight, and you're still sat there, frustrated, mentally exhausted, but still grappling with the software that promised it was ridiculously simple. Who can you call? At FDC, we employ highly-technical specialists who can spot an error at 20 paces, and usually before it's had chance to happen. And if there is a problem, they can usually sort it out within minutes. And it's all included in the deal.

4.    How successful was your campaign?

If there's one golden rule in marketing everybody should abide by, it's the importance of measuring your results. And then acting on that information to improve your performance next time. Too many companies are guilty of failing to do this for their off-line marketing, but there are no excuses when it comes to mass e-marketing. Use DIY email software, and you will have to pay extra for this. With FDC, we won't charge you a penny to tell you how many emails were delivered, how many were opened, how many times, when, and who exactly opened them.  And all so you can go chase them up and maximise the potential of all those warm leads. What's more, this kind of information is worth its weight in gold if you're buying data from a marketing company and want proof of its validity.

5.    Do you have 5 members of staff sitting there with nothing to do?

To be blunt, if you want a smooth-running e-marketing campaign, you're gonna need them. That's how many marketing professionals it takes at FDC to write, design, test, distribute and monitor a single campaign. Can you honestly spare the time or resources?

6.    Do you see what I see?

One major hurdle to cross when sending out hundreds of emails is cross-email browser compatibility. What we mean by this is that just because you've tested that the email looks fine in your own email browser (say, Outlook of AOL, for example), it might not reproduce properly in another one used by someone else. It might look terrible. But how can you test it? Unless you happen to have the right, sophisticated software, it's a case of cross your fingers and hope for the best. But at FDC, we have the capability to test your email against 14 different so-called email clients - which just about covers all of them.

7.    Going it totally alone?

If you're feeling really brave, you may have decided to go it completely alone and just send out your emails using your normal email programme. But apart from bringing your system to a standstill for hours, you also run the risk of getting blacklisted. Suddenly sending out a high volume of emails from your IP address will alert suspicion. Don't take the risk!

8.    What will your Internet Service Provider say?

Similar to the last point, a mass exodus of emails from your PC will also alert your Internet Service Provider to extraordinary behaviour. They may make the assumption you are being hacked into and may close your account down to protect you.

9.    First impressions

Imagine you've got everything right, and you're about to press the big red button. How much thought have you put in to your subject line? How do you know it won't activate spam filters? Is it tantalising enough to encourage someone to open and read? Get a professional copywriter on the case, and your chances of success will be a lot higher. Ditto for the body copy too.

10.      Spam, anyone?

And on the subject of spam, we check your email against 11 different spam filters to ensure the chances of your email not being resigned to everybody's junk list are minimal. This is something you're unlikely to be able to do yourself without a lot more time and hassle.

11.     Directing people to your website

Now, as with most things, there are several ways of doing this. For most people with a basic grasp of technology, the only way you are going to be able to direct people to look at your website is by giving them the basic IP address. But if you put your email in the hands of us professionals, we can tailor your email to be very specific in terms of where it directs people to within your site. And we can tailor the copy and write around whatever elements you particularly want to draw attention to.

12.     How often should I do this?

In order to keep open the lines of communication between you and your customer base, we'd recommend at least one communication a month. Can you honestly say that you will be able to set aside the requisite time every four weeks to achieve this? Consistency is vital.

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