Conventional wisdom says that email is no longer a viable marketing medium. It’s true that spam email has created a global problem and that mobile marketing is becoming increasingly popular, however, email is anything but dead provided it is done the right way. Remember that ExactTarget reports that 93% of people who regularly utilize the internet also subscribe to opt in, permission based email.

David Hallerman, the principal analyst for eMarketer, the digital analytics research firm, has just released a new report, “10 Best Practices for Email Marketing.” Hallerman states that best practices for email marketing can be summarized in one sentence, “get accurate and detailed data from people who want to hear from you, and then automate the numerous steps involved in sending them relevant messages.”

Marketers should always endeavor to send the right message at the right time to the right person. But how do you accomplish this?

The Critical First Step

One of the most effective ways to accomplish the critical first step in getting the detailed data from people who want to hear from you is to set up a consumer loyalty and rewards club. There is a very high interest by consumers today in loyalty clubs which is an unprecedented opportunity formarketers to gain insight into the consumers’ areas of interest by properly utilizing the loyalty club’s sign up process.

The sign up process is the best time to harvest the consumer’s data profile when their interest level and curiosity is highest. The consumer needs to be further motivated to complete a detailed profile with the reward of an immediate discount or bonus. The goal is to make that consumer’s profile the key to effectively marketing to that consumer.

As soon as the consumer opts into the loyalty program they need to be immediately sent an email with a brief, customized list confirming their preferences. The consumer must be able to easily and quickly complete their profile and know that by doing so they will only receive information that is of specific interest to them. Remember they also need to be motivated to do so with an immediate bonus or reward.

Just What the Consumer Wants

The advantage to a business is without precedent – a detailed consumer profile of the consumer’s specific interests, when, how often and how they want to be contacted. Any business, with the right technology, can now send marketing messages by email that are timely for the consumer and about products and services in which they have expressed an interest.

In a new report, Experian Simmons, a leading market research firm which is part of the global credit reporting agency Experian, states that US internet users said they are more likely to click on links in marketing emails than on competing marketing formats like banners or online video ads. It is also interesting that consumers also believe that email messaging is complimentary to the newest social and mobile marketing mediums.

Today’s consumers never leave home without their cell phones and are constantly checking their email and text messages. Marketers have a great opportunity to make sure they are sending highly targeted messages to consumers when they have the necessary profile data to create those messages. With the right technology, any business, large or small, can capitalize on this marketing opportunity.

Source by Bill Hamlin