Recently I spoke to an agency owner who tried to launch an e-marketing campaign. He used a high-profile agency marketing firm’s e-mail platform, and purchased 30,000 e-mails from a vendor they suggested. He sent messages over the course of a few months and received absolutely no opportunities–only spam complaints. The agency was not aware of any of the following critical components to a successful campaign:

  1. Message content: Cannot be sales-oriented or the e-mail will likely be seen as spam.
  2. Sending frequency: Too many e-mails will wear out your list and again make you look spam-ish.
  3. Scrubbing your list: Nearly a third of the aforementioned list was useless, but the vendor still changed them.
  4. Opt-in/Opt-out: It must be just as easy to opt out of a list as it is to opt in.
  5. Domain spoofing: Bulk e-mails to a dirty list are an invitation for domain spoofing. Make sure you are protected.

E-mail platforms are not useless, but purchasing one without the required e-marketing expertise is dangerous. If a surgeon hands you a scalpel, that does not mean you know how to operate, and if you purchase an e-mail platform, that does not mean you know how to launch e-mail campaigns. Hire an e-marketing expert or find a solution that provides the required experience. Don’t just pick up the scalpel and start cutting.

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John Scranton is an insurance agency marketing expert and vice president of StartUpSelling Inc., which helps small businesses with lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information and tips from Scranton, visit www.StartUpSelling.com, or go to his blog at http://startupselling.com/blogs/johnscranton.