Tuesday, December 19, 2006

International Business Email Mistakes

If you have read the archives or previous posts within this
Import Export Business blog you will (or should) have gotten
a clear message that Email is a lousy way to prospect for new
customers in this business
.

The opinions expressed about Email have "always" been based on
EXPERIENCE and not conjecture. I have been using email in this
business for nearly 10 years now - so give me a little credit,
as this information is only meant to help you.

In the past month those "opinions" were vindicated and fortified
by news from Reuters news agency when they reported:

'9 Out of 10 E-mails Are Now Spam'

Here is the link to the full story - do yourself and your
business a BIG favor and go read it (but be sure to come back):
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/11/27/uk.spam.reut/

Import Export Business Email Mistakes

Mistake 1. Sending "any" email to a prospect without first
running it through a SPAM filter email tester - these are
free and one will be posted in our next update to this blog.

Mistake 2. Sending "any" email to a prospect without first
sending a copy to:

a. Your "personal" email account or a free email
account like hotmail or yahoo

b. An email account outside your company's email program

c. Sending a copy to another email address within your
company to see if it passes your spam filters

Why is this testing so important to the success of your email
Import Export Business marketing? Because by doing these
tests you gain the following knowledge:

a. First you get to see if your email will make it through
the various levels of spam filtering with your company's email
program, a free email program or a standard email. All three
of these tests may provide you with different results and it
is best to modify your message to meet the filtering that is
the hardest to overcome.

b. You get to see the formatting of your email - often it
does not look the same on the receiving end as it does on
the sending end.

c. It gives you an opportunity to see how long it takes to
open if you have pictures attached to it and if your personal
ISP is a dialup or slower than cable service, you get to
experience what the receiver will be experiencing (or not if
they hit the delete button when it starts tying up their
computer).

Mistake 3. Trying to sell your product or service in your very
first email.

Instead of using your email to establish or open a line of
communication with someone who may very well be interested in
your product/service, you try to ram it down their throat with
large attachment files or huge photographs that either get the
email filtered or deleted automatically.

Mistake 4. Believing that your email has a better than average
chance of getting in front of the eyes of the person who makes
the decision about purchasing your products or services.

Literally, 70% or more of all email is filtered in some way,
shape or form. This means that 7 out of 10 emails you send will
NEVER find their way to the intended person.

Mistake 5. Believing that if an email bounces back to you that
this prospect is probably no longer in business.

Email addresses have the highest turnover or drop out rate of
ANY part of the contact information for a person or business.

EXAMPLE: Of the subscribers to our Global B2B Updates who have
DOUBLE Opted in to be a subscriber (means they had to go through
2 steps to sign up) - One to one and a half percent (1 - 1 1/2%)
are no longer valid after ONLY ONE WEEK!

This means that 50% to 75% of these committed subscriber email
addresses will no longer be valid after one year.

Mistake 6. Believing that an importer, exporter, manufacturer
or other international trade related business owner, manager,
CEO or whomever is sitting in front of their computer with
baited breath just waiting for your email to grace their life.

Mistake 7. Your lucky seven - is NOT having a web site for all
those great big files and photographs mentioned in mistake 3
above.

Having a web site that does not need to be fancy, flashy or
other nonsense that just makes a prospect want to click away
when it take so long for them to load is also a BIG mistake.

Have a NO FRILLS web site with JUST THE FACTS, Descriptions,
prices, shipping, availability, your name, your address, your
telephone, your email, your fax number.

A NO FRILLS web site that has the information that is
important to the visitor, not you. You are already sold on
what it is you offer - look at the web site from your potential
customers point of view.

The bottom line is this...there is no bottom line...the Internet
is an evolving technology. Nothing guarantees your email will
arrive at the person's computer you intend it to when you hit
send.

It is MUCH more impressive to me when someone calls me or faxes
me and references where they found my name and contact
information.

Think about a fax to the prospect. Which bit of information
do you think has a better chance of getting his or her attention?
A single line email that might be stuffed among 10's or 100's
of others or a fax that comes into their fax machine?

Once you establish or open a line of communication - EMAIL is
by far the very best way for communicating with your clients or
potential clients that has ever been invented.

Email in the Import Export Business can be an incredibly
effective tool, if used correctly and wisely.

Keep visiting this blog for more ideas and tools on increasing
both the delivery and open rate for your email. And, be sure to
check out the archives and previous posts for more valuable
and FREE information to help you and your Import Export
Business succeed.