Posted by: thepersistentassistant | October 23, 2011

Changing the Outlook of Email Marketing

As published in the 8.31.11 issue of The Woodstock Independent

Changing the Outlook of Email Marketing

In my opinion, email marketing has become overused and abused by a lot of business organizations.  Even the best email newsletters have the essence of spam.  They are sent too frequently and with weak content that is of very little interest or irrelevant to most people.  Adding to the annoyance, is the almost invisible unsubscribe button, over even worse, non-existent.  Another faux pas, is not using an email marketing company.  Small businesses will make the grave error of not blind carbon copying their contacts and therefore end up sharing them with the world.

So, when should email marketing be used?  For larger corporations, employee newsletters delivered on a weekly basis can be useful in communicating rather than the company’s own website or blog.  Detailed information can remain privately communicated within the organization and topics like special meetings and events will peak the staff’s  interest.  Additionally, it allows for the team  to remain aware, organized and on schedule.

Event notifications are another acceptable form of email marketing.  Local and regional emails sharing event information for concerts, farmers markets, parades, free seminars, etc. are extremely beneficial and typically wanted information.

Business to client direct communication can be imperative at times.  Whether it’s a new product update, new contact information, a relocation, a recall on a product, special event, or any type of communication that is not overly frequent, content rich, very specific and is not a direct sale is welcome to a regular client of your business.

So why are companies using email marketing so frequently?  Perhaps it’s an organization’s habit.  The concept of, “we’ve done it for so long, why stop now…” or new ideas of how to promote one’s organization are almost non-existent.

What should a business be doing instead?  Social media/networks have evolved, blogs and RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) have really taken off.  Although they have been around for years, even decades, social networks provide a means to more effective sharing of promotional content.  Twitter is useful for promoting blogs, events promotions, ditto for Facebook, however that’s about it in my opinion!

Using your client base to market to is a smart move indeed, as you know they are already interested in your products or service. What makes or breaks a campaign are frequency expectation and quality of message. If people know who you are, don’t hear from you too often, and expect quality messages products, e-mail marketing campaigns can be highly successful.

However, I challenge you to consider more creative solutions in your marketing plan.  And remember one thing, think before you hit “send”.

Laura A. Witlox is the Communications Coordinator of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and Proprietress of The Persistent Assistant and can be reached at




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