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Lessons Learnt

  • • Do not require your consumers to guess your domain names. Find domain names that speak directly to them.
  • • Watch out for all the possible derivatives of your domain name and buy all the possible domain names in order to prevent cyber-squatting and typo-squatting beforehand.

E-mail Marketing can be an excellent way to directly connect with consumers who are interested in your products/services. However, there have been many misunderstandings about e-mail marketing. It is helpful to first define what e-mail marketing is not, rather than what it is. E-mail marketing is not sending lots of e-mails to consumers who do not have any interest in your message. It is not about putting your message into a whisky bottle and throwing it into the ocean in the hope that somebody somehow finds it and contacts you. E-mail marketing is about communicating with consumers who are most likely to be interested in your products/services. The expected result is to eventually direct interested consumers to the company’s website via the links embedded in the company’s e-mail.

There are two ways to acquire the e-mail addresses of interested consumers:

  • (1) Companies can create their own lists by asking consumers for their e-mail addresses and permission to contact them. However, without understanding consumer interest an e-mail marketing campaign’s behavioral targeting will not be successful. Consumer targeting requires deep and fastidious data mining in broad areas of consumer interests, shopping histories, geographical locations, demographic configurations, etc. If an e-mail message, or its content, does not fit the targeted consumer’s interest and expectations, company e-mails may be seen as spam. Although e-mail marketing can be seen as almost costless by companies it can create very high psychological costs for consumers and sometimes even destroy the company’s reputation in the eyes of consumers.
  • (2) Companies can also buy more targeted e-mail address lists from service companies to communicate with potential consumers. Service companies collect consumer information and e-mail addresses for different reasons from different sources and classify their lists according to consumer interests, location, shopping habits, etc. The price and value of e-mail lists are generally determined by consumer response rates and how many sales are generated by such e-mails, as well as by the level of consumer permission given (either opt-in or double opt-in). Again, however, spam is a problem—not just consumer misperception and misinterpretation of company e-mails, but also spam filters. Some spam filter algorithms are highly sensitive and increasingly able to filter out any unwanted e-mail. Thus, companies need to understand the way spam filters work to be able to access their consumers without being quarantined and deleted by spam filters.
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