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Handymailer - The award-winning Bulk Email Marketing Software
Mass mailing, HTML email newsletter delivery, and bulk email marketing campaigns - You can accomplish these tasks with ease
Handymailer is an efficient group email and bulk email marketing software for companies, ezine publishers and professionals, as well as individuals, to communicate with their customers, subscribers, and other email contacts effectively.
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With Handymailer you can design rich HTML emails, newsletters, and ezines easily, and deliver personalized bulk email messages to your customer base and mailing lists.
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Bulk Email Marketing Articles & Tips
Harness the sales power of email marketing
By Joanna L. Krotz She is the co-author of the "Microsoft Small Business Kit" and runs Muse2Muse Productions (http://www.muse2muse.com/), a New York City-based custom publisher.

Got $25? That's about all you need to send 1,000 highly personalized e-mail messages to specially selected customers. And that's both the good news and the bad.

When done right, e-mail marketing is not only breathtakingly affordable but also extremely effective. Depending on your metrics (opened messages, clickthroughs or conversion rates) and your targets (new, existing or best customers), e-mail marketing can yield response rates that range from a satisfying 5 percent to a heady 50 percent or more.

On the other hand, the cheap cost of entry generates a sea of spam--that is, the tide of unsolicited bulk mail messages or e-mail marketing done wrong. Spam has obviously made consumers wary and annoyed.

Increasingly, you must make sure to gain opt-in¡ªregistration, prior contact or permission¡ªfrom your recipient or customer before sending any e-mail marketing.

With that in mind, here's how to launch an e-mail campaign.

1. Define Your Goals.
No marketing can succeed with an unlimited or shifting horizon. You must set goals that will define your success. When it comes to e-mail marketing, campaigns tend to get better results when there's a clear call to action, perhaps with the added urgency of a time-sensitive window. Typically, e-mail marketing can:

? Announce special deals, sales or discounts.

- Invite customers to events, VIP parties, or conferences.

- Offer news or information that drives performance or decisions.

At the outset, carefully define what you want from the campaign. Then focus on the messaging and distribution that will achieve it.

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2. Connect with Customers.
Different designs and messages will yield different results. The idea is to customize batches of messages in order to emphasize benefits that speak to specific customer needs. Electronic tools make it much easier to segment customers and sales leads according to key characteristics.

You can quickly group customers into byte-size market chunks of similar demographics, purchasing history or other qualifiers by using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager. You'll find seven pre-formatted Account reports, such as Accounts by Rating or Neglected Accounts.

Or you can customize reports, and then export those tailor-made reports into Microsoft Office Excel 2003 for further analysis.

Should you need additional, targeted e-mail addresses for your campaign, Business Contact Manager integrates with the fee-based Microsoft Sales Leads service. This service lets you:

- Use a wizard to select the most appropriate sales leads from a database of more than 14 million businesses and over 250 million consumers.

- Purchase and download the selected leads at a low cost (ranges from $.10 to $.50 per lead depending on how exotic the query is).

- Import the leads directly into BCM using the compatible BCM file format.

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3. Manage the List.
If you're developing your own campaign, first create your mailing list. Then select the style of your e-mail publication.

You can avoid hassles by relying on the fee-based Microsoft List Builder service, which creates and sends out your e-mail campaign and then automatically tracks open and click-through rates, as well as opt-out information for you.

Forrester Research reports that companies that outsource both delivery and list management campaigns average a 6 percent conversation rate, compared to about 1.4 percent for internally developed solutions.

Don't forget to keep updating customer information. When a new customer contacts you, create an entry for them in Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager. Business Contact Manager enables you to consolidate all interactions with a given customer in the Contact History section, including e-mails, tasks, appointments, notes, and documents. If you send out your e-mail campaign to your Business Contacts in Business Contact Manager, this activity will be captured automatically in each recipient's Contact History.

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4. Personalize. Personalize. Personalize.
Recent surveys indicate that recipients more readily sign up for e-mail marketing when offered a prize, entry in a sweepstakes or the like. They're also more inclined to register and input personal data when they're already customers of the sponsoring company.

So the more you reward customers for giving you access to personal information and the more familiar they are with your products or brand, the better your responses tend to be.

To get customer buy in, try using name-personalization messages. Make sure you test several subject lines, message copy and landing pages before the launch.

That $25 budget, of course, only covers the most basic campaigns. If you want to use attention-grabbers like video or animation or audio, costs will rise. But you can still do quite a lot with text and links to a Web site or special landing pages.

Some message dos and don'ts:

- Make it short and compelling. Don't include detailed product descriptions or windy stories about the company's history.

- Use lots of short titles and bulleted points or highlights, so customers can take in information at a glance. You may want to set up a summary at the top and jump-link to information that follows, so users can quickly access what interests them.

- Always set up a way for customers to easily update their information or unsubscribe.

- Check messages from time to time to make see that the information is still timely and up-to-date. (Need we mention proofreading?)

- Never spam¡ªnot anyone for any reason.

- Match your format and message to your customers. Try to include some point of difference or attitude or special service that makes you stand out.

Finally, support your campaign. Don't simply send out your messages and sit back. Plan specific follow up, say, by sending automated bounce-back replies or by integrating the e-mail campaign with other channels, such as phone calls or direct mail. The last thing you want to do generate customer interest and then be unprepared to act on it.

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