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Wise use of e-mail needed today

Today, let's forget about political sound bites and address an enemy more calculating than Al Qaeda and more sinister than Iran. I mean spam and e-mail. I mean I can’t wait to receive my daily offers to get my free credit report, start eating healthier, help a scam in Nigeria or enlarge a certain part of my body!

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like anyone who wants to hit my computer with some offer I don’t want can beat all the blockers. I used to get just a few unwanted e-mails a day but it seems these days I spend as much time hitting “delete” as clicking through.

What’s happening? Clearly, spam and the use of e-mail for newsletters and the like are growing faster than airline cancellations. For example, the Washington Post recently reported AOL blocks more than 780 million spams daily. That’s an incredible 100 million more messages than it actually delivers!

Spam now accounts for nearly 50 percent of all e-mail and the reason is easy to understand – it’s so cheap and easy. The only limit is the number of e-mail addresses one can buy. Essentially, the costs are fixed so blasting out volumes is easy. Moreover, statistically, even a 1-in-100,000 response rate could turn a profit. So blast away!

If you think I’m suggesting dealers stop using e-mail, I’m not. To the contrary, today e-mail is a key promotional tool. In spite of the volume on the internet these days, dealers should be using this tool. It works. Creative use of e-mail to promote special events, sales promotions, new product introductions and other useful information can be particularly effective in reaching customers and prospects. A key is to make it exciting and informative so recipients want to open all e-mails coming from you.

To that end, Associations Now magazine recently reported on an e-mail marketing study by MailerMailer of some 300 million e-mails sent out by 3200 companies. Here are four tips from what the study found:

1. Forget Fridays! E-mails sent on Fridays had the lowest percentages of opens and click throughs.
2. Love Mondays! E-mails sent out on Mondays had the highest open rates.
3. Tuesdays, Too! E-mails sent out on Tuesdays had the highest click through rates.
4. Short is Sweet! E-mails with subject lines of less than 35 characters outperformed those with longer subjects lines.

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