Experts suggest these tips for retailers considering e-mail marketing, or those with programs currently in place:
upons or graphics. Then, if they want the customer to view a new program or something that's important, they can provide links to Web sites.
Provide value: Ensure that customers are getting the information or discounts they normally would not have.
Maintain consistency: All marketing media should carry a consistent appearance, so the tone and message of e-mail should reflect the look and feel of the retailer's print, banner and broadcast campaigns, according to Jupiter Communications, New York. Nearly half of the on-line consumers said they were more likely to respond to an e-mail marketing message if they had seen an ad or commercial for the company or product recently, according to a Jupiter study with marketing information services firm NFO Worldwide, International.
Consider rich media, or Hypertext Markup Language files, which allow marketers to include graphics, audio and video within the e-mail. As the number of homes with broadband access increases, retailers should give shoppers the choice of receiving either HTML or text files.
Aggressively pursue e-mail addresses: Jupiter's report says companies must leverage "all available" channels, including the Web, phone and retail to capture e-mail addresses from consumers. "Marketers must integrate e-mail collection efforts into all points of contact with consumers aggressively on-line and off-line," according to Jupiter.