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White paper: Marketers are sending too much e-mail

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Large and midsize companies often make the mistake of over-communicating with customers and prospects via e-mail, according to a new white paper from iMakeNews, an e-communications company.

The white paper, “Lost in the Mail: Over-communication is Burying Your Message,” was released during the ad:tech conference in San Francisco April 26-28.

It addresses some of the common mistakes that large and midsize companies make when using e-mail and presents strategies for solving them.

“The first problem is that any enterprise or medium business has multiple sources of content,” said David Fish, CEO of iMakeNews, pointing to departments such as product marketing, marketing support and corporate marketing. “There is content push pressure to get the content out after it’s been written.”

For example, one of iMakeNews’ clients, a large technology company, has more than 1,000 content sources.

A second problem is that messages come from the entire business ecosystem, Fish said, including business partners and value-added resellers (VARs).

Another iMakeNews client is a technology manufacturer that sells through a channel. Its channel partners started complaining that they were receiving between three and five messages a day with information about the manufacturer.

A third problem is an overload of e-mail traffic as more companies use e-mail to communicate.

“When you combine all these content sources with messages from the entire business ecosystem and e-mail being used as a channel by more and more companies, you get a blizzard of messages going out to customers,” Fish said.

iMakeNews recommends three strategies to solve these problems.

First, Fish said, “customers should organize their content into a single meaningful content management system, so there is one repository of content.”

Next, “as you move content out to the business ecosystem, do so in a very coherent way,” he said.

For example, a manufacturer might communicate to a VAR with an e-newsletter, personalizing the content. Then, the VAR could add its own content and send that e-newsletter out to its customers.

Finally, “reduce the number of campaigns and messages by executing the campaign within a single layered message instead of multiple messages,” Fish said.

IMakeNews used this approach with an automotive client. Instead of sending out multiple e-mails, it sent out one e-mail with an editorial at the top to retain and engage the reader. Then, if the reader was interested in more product information, the newsletter had a link with more detailed information. Finally, if the reader had an intent to purchase, there was a call to action such as requesting a test drive.

To request the white paper, go to http://www.imakenews.com/ocwhitepaper/request.html

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