Five Reasons to Outsource E-Mail Efforts

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Whether your company has an e-mail database of 10,000 or 1 million names, you many not have an adequate setup in-house to send out e-mail anouncements. If there is any doubt about your capability to handle mailings, you shouldn't even try.

Even with the allure of "cost-free" distribution of e-mail on the Internet, you'll spend a lot more offline building your own e-mail engine than you will taking the capabilities of an outside company.

Here's a quick list of reasons why you should outsource your e-mail campaigns:

• Lack of in-house expertise. First of all, just as you're not the USPS nor are you a local Internet service provider, you are not in the business of distribution. The handling of e-mail broadcasting is not part of your "core competency." And it may never be because of the next point on this list.

• Technology is in flux. E-mail technology is changing too fast to make any kind of sound investment in an operating platform.

We live in a state of perpetual upgrade. We've moved from text-based messaging to HTML messaging in less than two years. Attachments with voice and video are becoming more common. Unless you can afford a top-notch IT staff on your payroll, having a state-of-the-art system may be out of your reach.

• Superior technology. Effective e-mail marketing is a combination of excellent technology skills with database marketing practices. Companies that do this well can personalize your mailings so that each recipient receives a message to match his or her profile. They also have "sniffer" technologies that can sense what format to deliver the message in, text or HTML.

• Superior reporting. In surveying e-mail companies, I've found that some can tell you much more about your e-mail broadcasts than you'd ever know by doing it yourself. Besides the standard counts on how many went out and how many clickthroughs there were, there are reports such as cost per click, buy rates per message, customer lifetime value and ROI metrics. You'll even know who did not read the message, enabling you to quickly send out a follow-up mailing

• Jump start your e-marketing. That list of e-mail names keeps mushrooming, and you and your staff keep staring at it not knowing what to do. Once you hook up with an e-mail company, you can focus on what you really do best - marketing -and let the e-mail techies do the rest.

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