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Common Email Questions
 
Q: What do opt-in and opt-out really mean?

A:The email files that we rent to our clients are all PERMISSION BASED. The term   encompasses both opt-in and opt-out respondents to the list owners method of receiving permission to email third party offers. Acceptable opt-in respondents have checked a box manually or online authorizing the list owner (by indicating "yes") to send appropriate third party offers. Most opt-out respondents received a pre-checked acceptance box, which they must uncheck to decline receiving emails.

On the surface, the opt-out scenario appears to be a "softer" or more passive indicator of an individual's willingness to receive emails. This may be the case, but in most instances they receive a second message that verifies their status. At the very least, both opt-in or opt-out responses have the option to get removed from the list each time they receive a broadcast. Responsible list owners will always offer this option. It is important that the person receiving your message recognizes where the email originates. A "header" or "footer" will appear on the email to indicate the relationship.

Q: What is the best timing for me to broadcast my message?

A: We don't recommend sending messages during or immediately prior to holidays, long weekends or peak vacation times. Also, check your industry's event schedules and time your campaigns to be broadcast when there will be little chance of conflicts. If your offer is time sensitive (invitation to a webinar, seminar, etc.), make sure to have a good read on whether or not your competitors have scheduled a similar event close to or at the same time as yours. Most marketers avoid emailing on Fridays, and some avoid Mondays; Tuesdays through Thursdays are the preferred days of the week. We suggest early or mid morning broadcasts, which increase the probability of getting opened and read.

Q: How long should my message be?

A: For practical reasons you should keep your message to one page and, in typical text messages, fewer than 500 words. Be careful not to make the email too wordy and cluttered. Use bullets, asterisks and paragraphs to get your point across. Also try to keep any graphics from making the page look too busy. Avoid anything that will be a distraction.

Q: Should I use HTML? How many people see it?

A: Nowadays, most browsers accept HTML and about 75% of email recipients see the HTML version. Always create an HTML version of your blast -- HTML allows you to use color and graphics that can grab the reader's attention in a way that text cannot.

Q: What are the costs involved in renting email names?

A: For Business-to-Business files, email names can range anywhere from $100/M up to $500/M or more. Most of the lists that we work with fall into the $250/M - $450/M. Pricing based on volume is typically negotiable. This would include the cost to transmit the email. The minimum is typically 5,000 names. Consumer names will be priced lower from approximately $50/M - $200/M.

Q: How should the FROM line read?

A: This will be decided by the list owners. Some may insist that their own identifiers go in the FROM line and others allow the mailers' name instead. Unless your company is highly recognizable, the rule of thumb is to put the name of the list owner or publisher in the FROM line.

Q: Do I get the email names or a printout of them for follow-up?

A: No. Email names will not be sent directly to the mailer. Because the names we rent are "permission based," those names must always be handled by the list owner. Giving out those names to a third party would negate the list owner's permission-based status. By having the email come directly from the list owner, the recipient will recognize the source of the email and know that it was sent to them with proper permission. Even though you may not get the email addresses that your blast was sent to, you can collect information about your prospects by setting up click-thru tracking. This involves placing a tracking a code in the links within your email and it allows you to track the performance of each individual list.

Q: How much time does the order process take?

A: It's always best to leave 2 weeks or more, especially if this is a first campaign. Once your creative is ready, we will send it to the list owner for their approval. They may have you change your subject line or may require you to have a privacy statement on your website before given approval.

Once approved, the TESTING process begins. Typically two free tests are allowed with no extra charges. Re-tests give you an opportunity to make any changes to your copy. Once the test is approved, your blast date is set and the final email will go out on that date. Most list owners limit the number of emails their subscribers can receive in a given day, week or month. This can ultimately lead to delays in scheduling, so please plan ahead.

Bottom line: the clock starts ticking once the final creative has been sent to us.

Q: How does the response rate for email campaigns compare with that for direct mail?

A: Response rates for email campaigns will vary as much as they do with direct mail or telemarketing campaigns. Three factors that can influence any campaign are: the list, the timing, and the creative HTML/text.

When email first started, the response rates were very high. Due to proliferation of email, rates have tapered off. Click-through rates are now typically 1-3%. Remember, email campaigns save you the cost of postage, printing and creative associated with a direct mail campaign.

Still have a question? Register today to speak to one of our account executives. Or call us at 914-765-0700.

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