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''We've bought many lists in the past. I have to tell you that the list that you found for us has generated more than three times the sales of any list we've bought before.

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Last Quarter Collection

Secrets to Effective Email Marketing


DON'T recycle traditional direct mail copy. Even if it was successful.

Understand that the Internet is a completely new medium. The copy that pulled high response rates in the world of direct postal marketing doesn't get read on the Net. Especially not as email.

Here're the rules to effective email marketing. Use these copywriting tips to increase the response rate that you receive when sending out your email message:

The subject is the headline:
Write a succinct subject 'headline' - 3 to 5 words. Your subject determines whether your email gets read - or not. Tricky headlines (not related to your message) don't work. Internet users are smart and they know exactly what they want. They resent being tricked. It's a tough way to start a relationship.

Make it personal:
And compelling. People on the Internet want personal notes. Write for an audience of one. Use common conversation, and avoid formal speech.

Get to the point:
Keep it short and simple. Don't drone on and on for several paragraphs ... or pages. People on the Internet want information quickly and clearly. Paragraphs should be no more than 4 - 6 lines. Keep total length under 300 words.

Give them an incentive to act:
Provide a reason to buy or act NOW. People on the Internet tend to have short attention spans. They're in a hurry. Give them a compelling reason to visit your site or buy NOW (limited-time offer, free trial, free shipping, contest, discount, etc.).

Include a call to action:
Tell people what you want them to do. Don't leave them wondering what to do next. Point them to your 'most desired action'. Otherwise they may just surf around and forget what they're trying to accomplish. Then they bail.

Use your website:
Drive people to your Web site. Don't try to close the sale in the email. You want people to have (and ask) more questions. Questions require interaction, and interaction promotes relationships.

Build relationships:
Few (if any) customers worth having are interested in a 'one night stand'. Have a long-term relationship objective in mind. Listen to your customers. Treat them like you'd like to be treated (so long as you're not a masochist...).

Follow through:
Do what you say. Put your hands and feet where your mouth is. Deliver on your offer, 'cuz it's an ever-increasingly small world.

Remember: The Net is NOT a zero-sum game. The only way anyone wins is when everyone wins.

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