If you have eMail then you definitely get your share of eMail SPAM. Today it is conservatively estimated* that 80 to 85% of all the eMail in the world is SPAM.
*According to www.maawg.org
With so much junk out there how can get our inboxes back?
The answer is with the use of Spam Filters. Over the years we keep looking for a better SpamTrap. We tried many client and server side options over the years.
Google has taken this enterprise level spam filtering and included it with their Gmail eMail service. If you’ve visited with me at all you know that I strongly recommend not using free eMail accounts for businesses mail for numerous reasons including:
- Free Accounts Appear Amateurish
- When sending from a gmail.com or yahoo.com or someotherfreeone.com it gives the impression that you aren’t taking your business seriously.
- Free Promotion
- Sending for your domain encourages people to check out your web site.
- You are the master of Your Domain
If you own your own .com you are in control. A company like mine can host your eMail, but if you ever wish to go else where you can take it with you. A free eMail account is lost if you move your service elsewhere.
So with the above reasons, why am I now telling people to consider Gmail?
Actually I want to just use Google’s filtering. You will still send and receive Mail from firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is how you can use the Google Anti-Spam technology for your own eMail server. You get a service that is at least as good as SPAMfighter, MessageLabs or Postini (a Google owned company) – for free!
Word to the wise (that is you). Call your web host before starting. This is pretty geeky and if you share this article with them you can both be on the same page.
1. Create a Gmail account
This won’t be an address that anyone sees. Something like: email@example.com would be just fine. This account will be the filter between your email server and your local email client.
2. Forward your eMail to Google
For our clients (or others using cpanel). Go to your cpanel. Click on forwarding and create a forward from your eMail address to your new Google account. This forwarding option might not work on all servers. As an alternative you can use the Gmail POP3 feature and let Gmail collect your email by polling your email server every few minutes. This works fine, but there are two issues this approach: Gmail leaves SPAM emails with virus attachments on your server and since you need to wait for Gmail to poll your email server, email arrives with a few minutes delay.
3. Configure your eMail client.
Setup your Gmail account info is the same software you used before you read this article. For most of you that means in some flavor of Outlook or the new Microsoft Outlook called mail. For those of you fortunate enough you will setup using Apple’s mail or similar app on your tablet and/or mobile.
The trick here is to enter Googles info for the smtp (or incoming mail server) and your domain info for the outgoing mail server info.
For our clients use: imap.gmail.com for the Incoming mail server and mail.yourdomain.com for your outgoing mail server. Note: replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain.
Disclaimer: Different eMail hosts differ.
If you see any errors or omissions, please let me know. Here is to your new spam free (or at least less) inbox. If (when) done correctly, your mail you will have dramatically less spam and a much cleaner inbox.
It is my job to help businesses with their marketing and communications needs. We are always on a quest to find cost-effective (with emphasis on effective) way to help businesses grow. Before you figure out what you marketing you need to first consider “who“ you wish to market to. I read many articles discussing ”Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention” Or what does it cost to get a new customer compared to the cost to keep and current customer? My conclusion. The best potential customers to market to, are those that you have already done business with. ~:-)
I recently found the following stats from Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company to back this it up.
- Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing customer.
- Businesses who boosted customer retention rates by as little as 5% saw increases in their profits ranging from 5% to a whopping 95%.
Now that we got the “who” to market to. What is the most cost-effective way to connect with our current customers. I found eMail to be the answer. Disclaimer: I know that not “Everyone” has an eMail account. But, I can’t think of a friend that I personally have that doesn’t have eMail. I Googled for some stats and according to Internet World Stats almost 80% of North American have internet access. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats14.htm
Back to eMail. I’m not suggesting that you starting eMail everyone in the world. That is SPAM. I don’t believe that sending SPAM (Unsolicited eMail) benefits legitimate businesses. I’m saying eMailing can be a few very effective to nurture current customers and potential customer who opt-in or sign-up for your eMail Marketing list. But, no one was to joining one of those so we created “VIP eClubs” for businesses. The eClubs help them say, “Thanks” to their customers and deliver value to their inboxes. Many of our clients have us send coupons, tip & tricks or newsletters or articles like this <GeekSpeak>.
The key to eMail marketing is to deliver professional eMails, consistently and to offer a genuine value. We’ve had the opportunity to help business that on have a just a few eMail address to business that have collected thousands. Regardless of the size of your list, eMails can be sent for a fraction of the cost of postage from the USPS.
I love to harness the power the the Internet and eMail to help businesses. Here are just a few types of business that we’ve had the honor to setup and manage eClubs for; Nail studios, Chiropractors, Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Professional Services, HVAC, Car Washes, Non-Profits, Retail Stores & Automotive Repair. Regardless of your industry a professional eClub should be part of your marketing plan. Want to see what one of these things look like? I thought you’d never ask. ~:-)
You can sign-up for GeekSpeak @ http://omoriginals.com/omoriginals/eclub
<GeekSpeak> delivers web + print marketing tips, tricks to your eMail inbox fresh each month.
To learn more about eClub for your business you can contact omOriginals and request a free 30 minute eClub consultation. omOriginals.com | 360.575.9839
Oscar Myre IV is the owner and creative director at the flourishing company, omOriginals Marketing! in Longview, WA. They’re local geeks and ad designers for this paper, who have esteemed clients from all over Cowlitz County (and the nation), and would be happy to chat with you about your own online marketing goals and thoughts. They can be reached at (360)575-9839 or online @ omOriginals.com
Welcome back to GeekSpeak. Last month I gave you a primer on Social Networking. For this month we are going to go “old school”. Before there was Facebook, before there was MySpace or Linkedin, even before Google- there was eMail. In preparing this article, my Dad and I reminisced about sending our first eMail back in 1986. It was with General Electric in a Fantasy Basketball league. (We drafted Michael Jordan 23 years ago).
The point is that eMail is old.
So why with all of the “new media” should you consider eMail marketing?
- Inexpensive: The cost per message is very low.
- Trackable: eMail marketing makes it easy to track the results of a campaign. You can tell who open the message and what links they clicked on.
- Effective: With the low cost of entry and the ability to track results, businesses can continue to fine tune their offerings to a targeted audience. The end results can be powerful.
Ready to start? I like your enthusiasm, but first some eMail marketing tips.
Let’s determine your audience.
The best place to start is with current your current customers. You can export addresses and names from your computers address book, add a newsletter subscription link to you website and if you have a retail location you can have a box on your front desk inviting people to join your list. Don’t forget the social networks, be sure to put invites on these sites for your eMail offering.
Delivering Value. Before we get too far we should figure out what your eMail is going to offer. Most people think they need to write a elaborate newsletter. This can be a lot of work. These same “most people” don’t have a ton a free time to invest in this type of project. But, they do have something of value that they can share with their customers. Sometimes it is information (as I hope you find this article) it can also be savings or coupons. When I meet with clients we determine how to deliver the greatest value to the readers with the best ROI (Return on Investment) for the client.
We can’t forget SPAM or unsolicited bulk eMail. I strongly recommend that only send permission based-eMail, that is opt-in mail. Sending SPAM will have a negative impact on any legitimate business. To learn more about SPAM and the whole eMail process I recommend that you read “Internet Marketing Best Practices.” See below under Speak with a Geek to see how to get a free copy.
Once you have an audience in mind and a plan for you offer please keep these 3 keys in mind.
- Personalization: How valued do your customers feel if a marketing piece is addressed to “Valued Customer?” With a up-to-date client list you can address the message to “Mike.”
- Branding: You want this eMail to clearly and consistently communicate your message.
- Call to Action: The “call to action” is one of the most important concepts in marketing and promotion. Simply put, after you’ve established that you have something of value to offer and that you’re the perfect choice to deliver it, you want to ask your prospect to take the next step. You deliver a call to action.
Realistic Expectations: Don’t expect to sell a ton of stuff with your first newsletter. You need to be in it for the long run. Try out some ideas and continually improve on your offer. eMail marketing allows you to build a positive relationship with your readers.
The reason main reason that I write GeekSpeak is to open your eyes about web and geek stuff and to let you know when your business needs it – I’m here to help. ~:-)
Speak with the Geek! If you run a business and want to find more customers—or connect more powerfully with the customers you have, I offer a Free Initial Consultation for eMail marketing to identify needs, opportunities and present a clear plan of action to succeed! I will also share with you a free report “eMail Marketing Best Practices.” A good read and valuable tool to read before starting a campaign.
~ Oscar is the Creative Director for omOriginals Marketing! You can take him up on his offer of a free consultation by visiting omOriginals.com or calling 360.575.9839.