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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Business Card in Hand Doesn’t Mean “Opt-In”

By Chip HouseVice President, Marketing Services, ExactTarget

The business card has long been an important instrument to a salesperson attempting to build his or her network, and in turn, success. This was true long before email marketing came to be, though the collision of the two hasn’t always been pretty. Big surprises are ahead for the unwary salesperson (and company) who doesn’t carefully manage contacts derived from business cards.

What’s the Problem?

According to Jupiter Research, the average B-to-B delivery rate, not counting bounces, is 89 percent. What factors are driving businesses to block or eat emails at such a rate? In addition to the general rise in spam, the business community is to blame. At least in part, I think it has to do with the poor way that many businesses have managed their lead acquisition campaigns. In many cases, a significant amount of a company’s prospects come from personal meetings, tradeshows, and other events where business cards change hands. This makes sense. But what doesn’t make sense is adding all of the email addresses derived in this manner to the company marketing database and beginning to send weekly sales pitch emails.

How You Get the Business Card Makes a Big Difference

Certainly the way you capture the business card has a lot to do with how you might use it. If it is captured in a face-to-face meeting with a handshake, then you’ll have implicit permission from recipients to contact them ...

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