Build relationships with e-mail

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Name: John Funk Title: CEO & Co-founder Company: Quris Inc., Denver
With two e-mail service bureaus to his name—InfoBeat &—John Funk is considered one of the foremost experts on e-mail messaging. Now on his third venture, Quris Inc., Funk is using his extensive experience to create the first integrated electronic touch services company. He is also the creator and developer of Closing Bell, a highly customized e-mail stock news and information service.

Q: What are some recent significant developments in e-mail marketing?
One of the big trends that we're seeing is companies are starting to realize that the basic campaign offer and response model of e-mail marketing is becoming less and less effective. What consumers are looking for and really missing is the ability to create relationships with companies. The more sophisticated, leading edge companies are looking for ways to create information-rich, highly relevant communication opportunities to build a relationship with you, as opposed to just jamming offers down your throat. That is a much more sophisticated and grounded approach that focuses on lifetime value of the customer, not just on increasing revenues this month.

Q: What can marketers do about the e-mail saturation problem?
I think it's a matter of really getting smart and spending the time to think about how you can deliver value to that customer. How can you create an e-mail product or service that's desired? When you start thinking about what's in it for the company, you're going to start to lose the audience; rather, when you think about what's in it for the recipient, you're going to get through the filters.

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