E-Mail Marketing: Proceed Thoughtfully Book Review

The Constant Contact Guide to E-Mail Marketing

By Eric Groves
John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, Sept. 2009, 224 pages, $24.95

This new book is a look at the expanding world of e-mail marketing. It has practical advice and good counsel that should be considered carefully.

The author, Eric Groves, is senior vice-president for Global Market Development at Constant Contact. The company is a premier provider of e-mail marketing software for business and nonprofit organizations. There is some puffery for the company, but the good messages of the book are not overshadowed by it.

The strength of the book is taking common sense marketing principles and translating them into action-oriented steps to conduct an electronic outreach to customers. The four stages of building customer relationships are uncomplicated and critical to building a loyal following:

-¢ Acquiring the customer -“ making the first contact with the person and offering a quick explanation of your product or service.
-¢ Connecting to the customer -“ finding a common interest with the person and demonstrating the value of what you provide.
-¢ Nurturing the relationship -“ building on the initial contact and informing the person about how you can meet his or her needs over time.
-¢ Trust and growth -“ performing consistently in a way that the individual will return for your product and bring others to see its value as well.

In our electronic age, there is real marketing potential in using all the resources at our disposal. Regarding e-mail, the author does a good job of developing the possibilities. The author delivers the core message around 10 key elements for a successful e-mail marketing approach -“ each of which is explored in some depth:

-¢ Only send e-mail to people you know.
-¢ Treat e-mail addresses like a relationship, not just an address.
-¢ Only send relevant content with value to your recipients.
-¢ Engage your audience in the content you send.
-¢ Maximize your delivery rate by avoiding the “junk folder.”
-¢ Never share your e-mail list with anyone.
-¢ Set the expectations with your recipients on what you will deliver.
-¢ Make all your communications look professional.
-¢ Develop systems that respond quickly when you are contacted.
-¢ Build in a review process to evaluate the effort.

An important topic for all business leaders is assessing if a new approach can increase revenue or reduce costs. Groves provides a solid discussion of the economics of e-mail programs and how to analyze such efforts.

Communication technology continues to explode, and the potential for marketing grows with it. This book will help with e-mail marketing now. Success with e-mail efforts should offer insight into newer mediums -“ Facebook and the growing list of social networking sites.

Bob Clark is the president of RWC Consulting LLC and has more than 30 years experience in labor-management relations. He provides consulting help in labor relations and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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Richard Blanchard
Rick is the Managing Editor of Corp! magazine. He has worked in reporting and editing roles at the Port Huron Times Herald, Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News, where he was most recently assistant business editor. A native of Michigan, Richard also worked in Washington state as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Anacortes American. He received a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix.