Delighted to Receive Your Ad!

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted August 06, 2002
By Barry Stamos

Every day the average consumer is exposed to 3,000 advertising messages. They notice about 80, react to only 10.

All humans selectively filter messages based on what's relevant and of interest. The rest? Trashed or ignored.

Consumers value their time and money. Both are in high demand but limited supply and are shared only with trusted, privileged parties. Lives are complex; everyone's busy living the "Information Age." With thousands of time-takers vying for attention, there are endless solicitations and invasions of privacy.

The Quandary

How will your marketing messages:

  • Break through noise and clutter
  • Gain the attention and interest of your targeted audience
  • Not spam constituents
  • Be effective
  • Protect your brand equity
  • Respect consumers' privacy
  • Achieve desired results by better aligning with consumer agendas

To consumers, you're a time-taker. Their mind share is your goal.

The Challenges
Our formidable task is requesting people's time. This is especially difficult when everyone's shouting at once. Want to sound like everyone else? Compete on the traditional broadcast or print playing fields. Rest assured, your messages will be lumped into the 97 percent of less-effective advertising.

The Solution
Rethink media strategies. Which allow you to engage in permission-based transactions? To facilitate customer-driven experiences?

Opt-in email marketing is an obvious choice. "Seventy-three percent of media buyers that currently use opt-in email marketing feel it is the most responsive form of marketing available producing better results than television, radio, print and direct mail," says Opt-in News.

Opt-in messaging works. It's personal, relevant, and effective. Email is simple for everyone. It's interactive, not passive. People can sign up quickly and easily, then receive information conveniently, on demand, at their own pace, in their own place.

Adopt a proven model for relationship building in your campaigns, and keep your actions and messages aboveboard. The ABC equation is a good start:

(A) Respect + (B) Relevance = (C) Response

Respect
No one wants to be spammed. Consider how people can reach you conveniently, instead of you pursing them. Pull, versus push, marketing works. One method is search engine marketing. It allows people in the market for your offerings to easily find you online. Automated referral programs allow you to seek introductions from supporters and advocates.

Relevance
When requesting permission, make your privacy policy available. One-third of consumers don't provide permission due to privacy concerns. Offer alternatives. Let users dictate frequency and relevancy of contact and preferred communication channels. This is easily achieved via an email preference center.

Irrelevant content is the primary reason for opt-outs. Consider life-event marketing to ensure communications are both timely and relevant. Assess the life cycle of your targeted segments and identify times when people are most in the market for your offerings. Then, leverage cost-effective channels to connect and facilitate a rewarding interaction.

Response
To boost response rates, improve intimacy with customers. Merge marketing and customer service. Engage in relationship-building efforts. Continually reinforce your respect for their privacy. Doing so protects your brand equity. Communications segmented on broad criteria such as gender or age are broadcast mentality, not personalized, one-to-one marketing. Aggregate data. Build a consensual 360-degree view of the customer through data. Practice data-driven marketing with constant behavioral analysis refinements. Customize messages for individuals. Deliver high-touch services. Build trust and protect relationships.

Summary
Opt-in email messaging to targeted audiences allows your organization to be heard, loud and clear. Recipients are open and receptive as long as you deliver what people want. You can maintain an open line of communication and access their time and attention.

Opt-in email allows you to connect and engage in rewarding dialogue and interactions. Permission-based programs work, unlike the vast majority of advertising.

Barry Stamos is vice president of business development for Inbox Marketing, which specializes in permission-based, interactive direct marketing. He has handled multi-million dollar CRM technology solutions for Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies and was the co-director of strategy with a Big Five global professional services firm. Barry also performed services in London for the American Chamber of Commerce (UK) and the U.S. Embassy in London and against all odds, taught business to fifth graders in Chicago.

Rprinted from ClickZ.com.

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