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Targeted Email Marketing ProTips #1

Targeted email marketing is a specific style of marketing that involves finding some way to get people to “opt-in” or subscribe to your emailing list. Once you’ve gotten them to opt-in (many services even require them to do it twice), you essentially have their permission to send them email without being legally considered ‘spam’. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to take a close look at opt-in targeted email marketing, starting with the beginning: how to get people to opt in.

Permission To Market is A Valuable Thing
Studies say that modern Americans are exposed to an absurd number of commercial messages every day — upwards of ten thousand. That means a few things. First, your commercial message had better stand out if you intend to get any attention at all from the numbed minds of the American public. Second, people are sick and tired of being sold things — so getting their permission to shove more “buy this!” messages down their throat isn’t going to come easy. You absolutely must offer them something they can actually use — essentially, purchase their permission.

What Do Offer?
Well, there’s really only one logical option — a product that can be copied at no cost, distributed instantly anywhere in the world at any time, and doesn’t cost that much to create in the first place: information. Depending on how you package it, it could be called anything from a “short report” to a “7-part e-course” to a “tele-seminar” to an “free membership to an exclusive community of enthusiasts” — but in the end, it’s all content. You create content, and you only give it to people who opt-in to your mailing list.

Of course, you have to adapt the content you offer to your particular market. If you’re trying to use targeted email marketing to offer executive training to major corporations, you’re probably not going to get any traction with a ‘short report’ — but if you relabel that exact same product as a ‘white paper’, you’ll find that you get a lot more traction. If you’re offering PPC management to Internet entrepreneurs, on the other hand, the ‘free community membership’ to a group of similar individuals where they can share their experiences (and get occasionally ‘guru-posts’ from you) might be very attractive, whereas a ‘white paper’ would get pooh-poohed.

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