Ryan Allis



Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

In my last post, I talked about how we, as marketers, have to provide value with our messages. As Rich commented on my last post, “New ad techniques try to provide added value to complement whatever you were already focused on.” Providing value is absolutely essential to an effective email campaign.

If you want your messages to be powerful, you have to make sure you send to the right people. As consumers, we all know how annoying receiving spam can be. When we receive unsolicited emails, we immediately ignore or trash the message. I know I personally use extra spam filters to make sure the message was sent by an actual human being.

While spam messages may make money for people selling fake Cialis, any legitimate business must send messages that avoid falling into a bulk folder. For this reason, I strongly recommend sending only permission-based email, aka opt-in email. An opt-in campaign requires your users to click a separate link to activate their subscription. This helps ensure your messages go out to the right people. Why waste time sending your emails to the wrong people?

Permission-based marketing ensures that your messages will reach a person’s in-box, not their bulk folder. It helps you build strong relationships with your customers. Most importantly, it helps you provide value along with your advertisement. I have found that permission-based emails can often be the key to converting a one-time customer into a lifetime product evangelizer.

Next time, I will show you how to conduct a permission-based campaign in five easy steps.

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Five steps to a successful permission-based email campaign