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The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from The Advertising Research Foundation by Robert Barocci, Taddy Hall, Steve Rappaport, Joseph Plummer

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Email for Relationship Building

“The fundamental purpose of email marketing,” analyst David Hallerman writes, “is to enhance a company’s relationship with its customers and regain lost customers” (eMarketer 2006a). Marketers build and maintain the relationship through a variety of communications: newsletters, special offers and promotions, and customer services.

Let’s focus on the word relationship for a minute. Ethical email marketing is permission-based, meaning that brand customers explicitly allow marketers to engage with them. “Yes, I’ll accept your email, Mr. Marketer,” or “Thanks, but no,” or “I’m no longer interested—please stop emailing me” (or words to that effect!). Customers are choosy about what they want to hear from individual marketers and how often. Good email marketing is a two-way street: a feedback loop where customer and brand continually refine their understanding of one another, but the consumer is at the controls.

Email marketing is all about relevance from the consumer’s viewpoint. Campaigns that connect with subscribers at the levels they want them to get better results than those that interrupt the email activity without invitation.

Email pushes information out and pulls subscribers in and through to your brand’s website, microsite, community and social networking destinations, or other location you choose. It’s easy to get caught up in sending when your brand wants, but remember that brands engage in relationships with their email subscribers. Through ...

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