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Using High Quality Email for Marketing Campaigns

Reaching your customers with effective, relevant information is more critical now than ever. Providing a well-designed, easy-to-use, and informative website is a good first step, but offering targeted email takes an active approach to keeping your information in front of your client base.

Unfortunately, there are many ways mass mailings can go wrong:

The potential benefits of targeted mailing are clear. The problem is: "How do you provide value to your readers, drive your own sales, and avoid ostracizing any of your customer base with a poorly executed mailing list?"

Click to view full sizeSolution:
MNL Advanced List Mailing provides a solution to each of the problems highlighted above. The complete system is illustrated in the data flow diagram to the right.

Here are our answers to these common problems:

1. Relevant Information
There are many ways to send a form letter to a large number of people. But it is all too obvious that it is only that: a form letter:

From: WidgetCo Marketing <>
Subject: Sale on Generation 2 Widgets!

Dear Valued Customer,

Just this month there will be a might not care, because everyone's getting the exact same mail like this. We don't even know who you are.

With MNL Segmentation and Personalization in the messages, each user can receive email only when there's information relevant to them. More than that, each message sent out can be customized to contain details that user is interested in seeing (or authorized to receive!). And yes, it can even use their name, and not just "Valued Customer."

MNL built just such a system into "E-mail Alerts" for HP. Information on a user-selected list of categories is sent out at regular intervals, and only information for that user's market category. HP provides their partners with exactly what they ask for in a concise, informative format and keeps HP's brand in front of their market while doing it.

The secret is two key technologies: The first is linking the subscriber preferences (what format the reader wants their mail in (HTML or Text), whether they want to receive mail at all, for what types of information, etc...) to the existing client database. This ensures that the recipients are not just faceless email addresses, they're people. The second is a flexible templating system for the messages which allows each message to be easily customized for each recipient.

Click to view full size2. Invalid Addresses
Letting readers provide feedback is invaluable, but even with a moderately sized list, the "bounces" generated by expired mail accounts, broken servers, or simply bad input can swamp any reply address supplied. Performing a "mail merge" from the desktop would result in a flood of such responses, which would have to be picked through by hand. With MNL List Mailing, and automated agent processes the bounced messages and can unsubscribe users who have such invalid addresses. This keeps the list clean and saves time on future mailings by not bothering with unreachable recipients.

3. Determining Effectiveness
There are many reasons to send out a targeted mailing, and for virtually all of them you want to know whether it was effective. MNL List Mailing makes it easy (if you wish) for users to unsubscribe, which provides one key metric: which readers didn't want to receive your mailing. But far beyond that is the potential to track user interest in individual links provided in the mails through the use of a unique user token appended to each link. When your readers follow one of these links, your website can track that visit and correlate it back to the precise mailing that produced this result. That sort of data is invaluable in refining and perfecting your message and your mailings.

4. Unsubscriptions
An unwilling email recipient is an unhappy customer. Making it simple for readers to easily and definitely stop receiving mail guarantees you won't turn a customer into an adversary. Each mail can easily include a link to a user preferences page, where the reader can unsubscribe in just one click. There's no complicated login or confirmation email required as with other systems, because the link automatically generated contains the same unique user token used by the effectiveness metrics.

For HP, we integrated the targeted mailing data seamlessly with their existing underlying web user authorization and preference system to provide email administration tools similar to those already used for their web environment.

5. User Preferences
The user preference integration discussed above provides many benefits over a simple list of email addresses. The MNL List Mailing Manager provides easy tools for merging in new subscribers, and guarantees that a user's choices (e.g. to not receive mails) won't be "forgotten" should their address come up again on a subscriber list supplied for merging. Additionally, should a reader ever in the future decide they want to subscribe again, it's only one click away, and all their settings will still be saved.

The results of providing targeted, personalized, measurable mailings to your customers, partners, or even employees are increased brand visibility, user dependence on a valuable service you provide, and efficient dissemination of market-relevant information.

Using MNL Advanced List Mailing technologies for this provides: