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Sat July 21 2007 21:14:45

Your Experiences with Email Marketing

By: David Steiner

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Do you market to your former customers through email marketing? If you do, do you drive them to your eBay listings/store, or your own ecommerce web site? We'd like to hear about the challenges you've encountered. How big is your list? When did you start emailing past customers? What lessons have you learned? Do you use a list hosting service, and if so, which one? What do you like/not like about them?

I'm publishing an article in Sunday's AuctionBytes-Update newsletter about finding a list-host service. Comments and experiences are welcome here.




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Bruce from the Bookshop Blog

Sat Jul 21 22:09:51 2007

We've been offering a dollar off a book purchased for in store sign ups. Our list is quite small (165) but it does bring people into our shop every time I send out a Newsletter (anything that helps our bottom line is nice). I highly recommend a Clicks and Bricks business to have a list. I'm not sure how well it works for strictly online businesses. As for the provider we use, iContact.com, I am very pleased with them. They cost only around 10 bucks a month and are a breeze to use. In fact I plan on doing a little review of them on my blog next week.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Dan

Sun Jul 22 20:54:25 2007

Ina, great article.  My suggestion to Auctionbytes is to add an email newsletter signup to your blog page.  BTW: I've been reading your newsletter for years and for some reason I am no longer receiving them via email....I know I never unsubscribed. . . this is definitely something to stay on top of once you have a huge list.  Keep up the great work!

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Sun Jul 22 22:10:53 2007

Dan,

Thanks for the comments. There actually was a subscribe link on the blog that got removed during an update. I've returned it to the blog page.

In regards to your subscription, email me at dsteiner@auctionbytes.com with your subscription information and I'll check the database to see what the problem is.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: K. Robinson

Mon Jul 23 19:45:23 2007

We have kept email addresses of everyone who has contacted us or bought from us for the last 5 years! And we have not once contacted them by email to generate business! We have the addresses disorganized, kept in the address books of our email programS (yes; that's plural- a few of us answer emails and we have several email address books! NOT GOOD!), not in a database- we don't know how to find a good database for this type of application. And I haven't been able to think of a good appealing email promotion, so I have been waiting! A lot of missed opportunity there I am sure!

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Great Deals

Tue Jul 24 10:55:53 2007

Ina

this is something I have been wanting to do for a few years now.  I am currently using ACT database to store all contact information for everyone who has purchased from me.  

Your article reminded me that I really need to get this going.  I have sent out some flyers on my own but find my ISP limits the number of emails to 20 at a time so I am looking for a turnkey provider who can send out the email blasts and handle all the creative design, etc.

I will make some calls today and see what is out there!

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Tue Jul 24 12:56:37 2007

K. Robinson,

The way you describe it, it sounds like it could be a fair amount of work extracting those contacts. Of course, delaying the chore won't make it go away.  

I'd suggest that you set a little bit of time each week and import that contacts into an Excel Spreadsheet. Most list hosting services will be able to import a comma or tab-delimited file which can be exported from Excel. I'd also suggest that you put as much information as possible about those contacts into the spread sheet, including what they purchased. It can give you some flexibility later on when you want to send email targeted to a specific market.

---

Great Deals,

You might want to check out this page: http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/pages/marketing . It gives a broad selection of list hosting services, and also some companies that can help you with marketing.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Charlene

Wed Jul 25 11:39:32 2007

I use Constant Contact to send out regular e-mail to my opt-in list. CC is easy to use, very flexibe, and has great customer support. I get a few orders from each mailing so it is well worth using e-mail marketing. I use it to shocase new items I have gotte im stock AND slow sellers I want to move.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: lt

Mon Jul 30 09:37:21 2007

I do mailings to about 500 previous buyers, and almost always get some sales from them. I link them to my site, not to ebay. It really irks me to have to pay ebay outrageous fees plus bring in my own customers! My methods are fairly unsophisticated, and I'm sure most are labelled spam and get dumped upon arrival, if not before. I'd like to learn more about doing mailings properly.
lt

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Joanne

Tue Jul 31 03:36:14 2007

We do an irregular monthly newsletter - the most successful ones feature our latest arrivals and include a promotion code for a discount.  We always link them to our web site, not our eBay store as it contains a lot more stock, plus discount codes usually don't apply to eBay purchases.  We used to use Constant Contact, who have a really easy email builder plus a few other nice features, we are currently switching over to Vertical Response, mainly because our list is very small and we found VR slightly better on price and easier to design our own custom HTML email.  They also have tracking available for the checkout so you can not only see click-throughs but also the sales dollar value which results.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Patricia

Wed Aug 1 16:58:08 2007

I have tons of addresses of my customers BUT I've never tried to contact them via email with any freebees or reduced prices, etc. because I felt that came under the title of unsolicited spamming.  Will someone correct me if I'm wrong?  I'm kind of confused here.  If I'm wrong is there a company that can distribute the emails for me?

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Luanne

Thu Aug 2 10:24:07 2007

I have 3 seperate mailing lists. I use Bravenet, where the customers have a double opt in. My website is hosted on shoppal,and they have a customer registration process, and the ability to email all customers at once.  I also have added to my auction invoices for 7 years for customer to email me if they would like to be on my mailing list. I prefer they sign up thru Bravenet as that is easier for me, but more probably just email me. The problem I have had with that is that in those 7 years my computer has crashed 3 times losing all email information. I also have problems emailing from my personal list someties as the list is so long. My outlook express won't let me mail tnat many at once. I am thinking of giving up in the personal list. Since I startted my website last November I have tried to send a monthly newsletter, although I have missed a couple. I always offer some kind of discount or free gift. I am open to any ideas anyone has about promotions to use via newsletters. My response has been pretty good. On Bravenet you can track the percentage of people that have even read the emails. I do very well on the % that read it. One time 115% which I assume means some people used the link more than once. It's eaasy to do a nice HTML newsletter on Bravenet. When it is mailed from them it does have some ads on it, but nothing too big or obnoxious. I then copy wnat I create there to mail to my own list & my shoppal list. If anyone would like to see a sample of my newsletter just email me & I will send you a copy.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Judy Paleologos

Mon Aug 6 07:57:14 2007

I use My Store Rewards at mystorerewards.com. It is an awesome service wherein I can automatically offer $$ back to my customers as well as devise opt-in e-mail campaigns. This way, I can stay on top of new customers, motivate return customers, and drag buyers to my offebay site.

So far, our results have been great. I fully expect a great marketing program as we become more proficient at targeting our marketing efforts.

This is certainly superior to blasting all of our past customers with unwanted spam. A large percentage of our customers opt-in for the e-mail list because they are motivated by the $$back offer (which is beautifully structured for those of us who don't have the time or the skills to set it up for ourselves).

I get great service from this provider and we are a very small online retailer with bigger dreams than budget.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Carlos Gutierrez

Mon Aug 6 21:40:36 2007

We also use Constant Contact, every time someone buys in Bulk or more than 1 item I politely ask them if they would like to be added to our wholesale list. We now have about 100 wholesale buyers, every email I sent I make about 100-1000 dollars on average. We do not flood this list, we only make sure we post to them when we have good deal for them.

Your Experiences with Email Marketing   Your Experiences with Email Marketing

by: Meghan

Mon Sep 24 11:47:28 2007

I have used Bronto (www.bronto.com) and they cater only people in the online retail industry.  They have great customer service who will also give you advice on emailing clients with all the fun tracking stuff.  They seemed to be good on price too. Check them out!



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