Online Marketing: Can You Do It Yourself? Should You Hire A Professional

I don’t see many people doing email marketing by putting email address in the “cc” or “bcc” line of their email program anymore. More and more smart businesses, small and large, are using professional services companies to manage their email campaigns and other outbound marketing (lead generation, web sites and more).
Fluency Media is one such company that helps their clients find out how to maximize their email (and other) marketing campaigns.
Marketing via email is more than just sending a weekly or monthly newsletter, it’s about planning your goals and objectives and putting specific strategies in place to meet those goals.
Fluency Media has some very excellent and practical tips you can use:
Make the most of your existing relationships.
For many businesses, increased business from existing customers can increase revenue at one tenth the cost of attracting new customers. Instead of trying to reach NEW customers why not try to market to your existing customers and get them to buy more from you.
Let them know you know them.
An email with a person’ s name in the subject line can result in 30% more messages being opened. Also keep in mind that you must provide something of personal value when you send an e-mail. Maybe your newsletter goes to chocolate lovers. What you could put in the email is Dear (customers name) the last chocolate you bought from us was (chocolate name). This week, we’re bringing to you a new flavor.
Some other valuable tips from Fluency Media include…

Let your fans tell the story.
Once you are connecting with customers that already are fans, build your email lists by adding a “forward-to-a-friend” feature that brings additional prospects in contact with your brand and your local franchise. This type of viral feature can enable a database boost of 40 percent to 100 percent in the first month.
Develop a closer relationship.
Some messages are national like a new product announcement, some are local like community charity events. With the right tools, email can tell both stories quickly and inexpensively, helping local teams add value and control and connect directly with your customers.
Get answers without asking.
Testing makes each email a passive survey by testing a number of variables against each other like variations in offer, creative and local response. Send half the list a message with version ‘A’ of that variable and the other version ‘B’. A more complex technique called regression testing can indicate the most powerful combination of these elements for maximum response.
Frequency is only good if it’s good.
Test your market to see at what point you stop becoming informative and start becoming an annoyance. You can determine that point by monitoring the unsubscribe rate. When the number of unsubscribe requests start increasing by more than one percent, you’ll know you need to pull back on frequency or you’re not offering enough value. Test increased frequency and other more risky techniques with only a small segment of the data base (perhaps 5 percent).

Constant Contact
helps over 100,000 small businesses with their email marketing needs and you might wonder, “why not use them?”. I think the answer is similar to your choice in how you build your web site.
You can build it yourself using a tool like Homestead or Office Live. However, when you want to take things to a new level or get more from your web site you really need to hire the services of a professional who is dedicated to web site building.
Constant Contact, Feedblitz and other do it yourself email marketing services are excellent tools for sending email newsletters and building a relationships with your customers. If your email marketing needs grow beyond what you can manage you need to turn to a professional company such as Fluency Media.