Best practices are the path to the inbox

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Marketers that follow best practices have a higher return on investment, Sundeep Kapur of technology firm NCR Corp. said in a panel he hosted at DMA*06.

In the panel, "Seek, Ask and Serve: How to Use E-Mail, Surveys and Search to Succeed," Mr. Kapur gave examples of how e-mailers should apply these practices.

"You should be able to tell a person five reasons that you are sending them an e-mail in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator," said Mr. Kapur, director of strategic marketing at NCR Corp, Dayton, OH. "If not, then you are not e-mailing correctly."

Mr. Kapur cited a men's clothing store that gave five such reasons to customers in order to gain both e-mail and mailing addresses. For every 100 people who gave their e-mail address, 83 gave their mailing address as well. This information let the retailer query its database and update existing catalog profiles as well as create new clients for e-mail and direct mailing.

Other e-mail best practices discussed were employee training on the benefits of e-mail, immediate response, control groups and testing, as well as designing good subject lines and tracking the response to these headers.

Search best practices included keeping up on back links so that when a customer finds a firm while using search, the right landing page is found.

A client response is also an important occasion, Mr. Kapur said.

"It is worth it to see who responds and [for marketers to] take the time to answer and respond, which will create a circle of friends within the clientele that you can reach out to in the future," Mr. Kapur said.

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