Appending e-mails for higher ROI

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Direct marketing is all about uncovering return on investment for any given offer. Upon discovery of favorable ROI, your offers can be implemented with increasing frequency and then fine-tuned for even greater returns.

With this in mind, an e-mail append can best maximize your marketing returns by adding e-mail addresses to your existing customer database. When armed with e-mail, you are poised to resell, upsell and cross-sell to your customers like never before.

Pay only for matches. When you have an e-mail append done, your list of customer postal records is compared against an e-mail database and matches are added (appended) to your list.

Append vendors who follow best practices also include sending an e-mail "permission pass" on your behalf. The permission pass informs your customers that they will be able to receive your offers via e-mail and gives them the opportunity to opt out. The benefit is that you only pay for net matches of those customers who do not opt out.

Run the numbers. Clients are often astonished at how quickly returns can be achieved with an e-mail append. Often, the benefits of sending e-mails to existing customers can return the costs of an append on the very first campaign. And after the first campaign, further returns come with minimal costs.

In terms of the effectiveness of e-mail campaigns, customer response to appended e-mails can far outperform those from other prospect lists. After all, your own customers have already demonstrated the need, the interest and the will to purchase from you.

Additionally, you have precise information with which to customize or personalize campaigns with specific messages using customer information that already exists in your database.

Direct mail versus e-mail: Why debate it? Direct marketers should be doing both direct mail and e-mail. Together they can offer complementary results that are greater than the sum of their parts. There is nothing like getting your hard-copy mailing piece into the hands of your customers just as there is nothing like keeping yourself in front of them with an e-mail program that keeps them aware of special sales, offers and product information.

There are those in direct marketing who will argue the merits of direct mailing versus e-mailing in the same vein as Democrat versus Republican. But in the end, ROI speaks for itself and those who love this business love it because of its rational nature.

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