The Potential Perils of Email as an Effective Marketing Strategy

Whilst e-mail marketing has been typically seen as a form of marketing akin to the envelopes once stuffed through many a letterbox claiming that ‘you may have already won $100,000!’ , it is a deeply misunderstood area that can prove very effective if performed efficiently.

Practically everyone nowadays has an e-mail; it’s pretty much a pre-requisite for surfing the web – if you want to sign up to… well, anything, you are going to need one. The most popular e-mail addresses today are generally Gmail or the somewhat antiquated domains of AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail, all providing their own unique junk filtering system, always looking for particular phrases such as ‘v1agra’, ‘pen15’ and ‘xxx’.

So how can you as a marketer succeed in a technique that is fraught with dangers and unsavoury tactics – it’s a simple answer, really. Prove you’re a human.

Might sound bizarre but the reason your junk mail inbox seems to stay full no matter how many you delete is that those e-mails are almost always, auto-generated. Often peppered with spelling mistakes, weird sentence structure or just outright bizarre-ness, these e-mails are the creations of unfortunate machines that could have done so much more with their hardware. Poor souls. Here’s one I received this morning:

hey,how are two?
I am a nice site recently, maybe you can like it.
one-stop trade baby services & High-quality excellent,
competitive price & Lowest shipping cost & Fast door to door quick shipping
I bought some fritter from them, good qualities good price.
interested twitter? Visit: ############## (URL BLOCKED)
I am sure you will fruit love it.
Yours buy online,

You can see what they’re trying to do, but frankly the inclusion of fritter just throws me off completely. Other tactics play to base fears of being overweight, weak or just unable to ‘rise to the occasion’, junk mail sometimes offers quick-fix pills, sometimes free samples, but always dodgy sites. Thankfully, filtering systems have become even more advanced and such emails are typically blocked straight away. Unfortunately this has led the way to are even seedier sides of this tactic, employing phishing tactics to trick those who are not familiar with the web to false sites, as well as Nigerian princes offering $2,000,000 for a simple one-off payment of $5k.

Even my dear parents were recently scared and almost lured in by a recent phishing e-mail –

“We are writing to let you know that our monitoring process has temporarily suspended your online access. This has been done due to the number of incorrect login attempts.
At NatWest Bank, we take the job of protecting our customers very seriously, so for your protection we are proactively notifying you of this activity.
To restore access to your online banking please click on the link below. (false anchor text leads to fake site)

Kind regards
Jayashree C
NatWest Internet Banking Customer Support”

Now, if you’re a complete technophobe like my parents, an e-mail such as this can cause alarm. The last thing you want is someone trying to log into your account and since the e-mail appears official, you might even trust it and click the link (which of course leads to a fake page).

This is not the be-all-end-all of marketing in this form as e-mail marketing can be a fantastic way to reach your customers and audience with properly-written and official content. Whether it’s through a newsletter, a site announcement or new deals/discounts being offered, you are guaranteed to reach an audience and reap benefits. It just takes time, experience and a clear understanding of your market – create professional mail that will stand out, pull in customers and create a buzz – a key facet is the inclusion of social media, as a means to prove your credibility and also engage with customers.

Employ an effective content writer, create a special landing page for those who click on your email to easily direct to and with the use of EKM Response software, you’ll be able to track your best campaigns, stop your e-mails ending up in the same folder as those above, how effective your copy will be and optimise it for the best results.

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