Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You've Got Marketing!

If you're at all attuned to marketing, you realize that we're soaking in it. We're bombarded with marketing messages in all sorts of media, and even when we happen to glance at a cereal box in our own kitchen. It makes you wonder how to break through all of the clutter with your own marketing messages. Which means that we see lots of marketers trying to sell ways to break through to other marketers. (More confusion reigns...) One of the tools touted is email.

Email is one of those mixed blessing that technology tends to bring us. Yes, it's a wonderful, free way to get important messages from other people or businesses. At the same time, its very nature (free) has led to a vast pollution of spam. Some days you just don't know whether to take your cheap! no prescription needed! Viagra before or after you help that Nigerian businessman get his 56 million dollars into this country. If you think twice before using email to market your products, you're doing the right thing.

Certainly email used correctly will help your sales and not leave a bad impression on your customers. One thing to watch is the frequency. Some companies seem to think that if a little email brings good results, then they should do a lot of it. Perhaps they assume that, hey, if results drop off at some frequency level, we can always just dial it back a little. The problem with that assumption is that many users will have opted out in disgust at that point, never to return. So go easy on the emails to your existing customers. Keep your emails brief, and to the point, and give them information that they will be interested in: New product releases, special deals or offers. Make sure your customers have opted in to your mailing list.

When you think about sending emails to people who aren't your customers, you have to tread carefully. First off, how will you be seen as "this isn't spam?" If you can't answer that question convincingly, you should be prepared to see your company's reputation suffer. Second, where are you planning to get your mailing list? There are lots of places that will cheerfully sell you the use of your lists, and that cost has to be weighed against the potential returns. Are you getting a list of people likely to be interested in your products? Did the names on this list opt in to get emails from companies they don't know?

Bottom line: Email to your customer base, but sparingly, and make it meaningful. Emails to those outside your customer base... tread very carefully.

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