Targeted Email Advertising Campaigns – Do They Really Work?
As a normal course of online business, we all want to increase our website traffic with buyers looking for our products, but none of us wants to increase our traffic just for the sake of using up our bandwidth. So, many businesses fall victim to the slick advertising of "targeted" email campaigns claiming that they have lists of opt-in customers looking for products like ours. Do you really believe these con men? How many people do you know that put their email addresses on lists asking to be sent about a specific type of product if and when some clown with a list of email addresses happens to come across that specific product? I get at least a half dozen emails every day trying to push Viagra and Cialis on me and I sure did not ask for information about products of this nature. I also get Hoodia advertisements that I never asked for. Did you know that the company that holds all of the patents for Hoodia as a weight loss product has not completed their testing of the product and does not expect to complete it for at least two more years? All the products claiming to have Hoodia in them have not enough Hoodia in them to aid in the weight loss of a field mouse, but they get away with their claims since they are sold as dietary supplements and not as prescription weight loss aids. Just another scam on the market.
Most consumers are intelligent enough to find the products and services that they want when they want them and do not want their email addresses used to push a hundred unsolicited products on them every day. I for one will go out of my way not to buy any product that I get unsolicited email advertisements about. I guess the spam email of this nature is really not much different than the invasive pharmaceutical advertising on TV. I know that a few months ago, my father kept a log for two weeks of every pill posting advertisement he saw on TV. Then, when he went to see his doctor, he got his doctor the list. His doctor asked, "What is this," to which my father replied, "It is a list of all the prescription medicines that said I should ask my doctor if they were right for me." His doctor got a kick out of it, and so did I, but in two weeks, he wrote down 79 different prescription medications advertised on the TV channels he watched, and he does not watch that much TV!
Over the past few years I have become increasingly irritated by the spam email I get, and I decided to challenge the ones advertising "targeted" email campaigns. I decided that if they really were legitimate, the entrepreneurs behind them would be willing to accept a challenge that would not cost them a thing to prove. I told each one of them to go ahead and launch an email campaign targeting customers of products similar to mine, with a promise from me that if I saw both an increase in my sales and website traffic, I would pay them for their campaign and use their service for future campaigns as well. Not one of them stepped up to the challenge or even bothered to reply to my email. They all "guarantee" increased website traffic and sales; some even offer money-back guarantees, but getting a refund can be a lot harder than paying after they have demonstrated legitimacy. When was the last time you paid for your car to be served in advance? Are you expected to pay your utilities in advance? How about your doctor, dentist, or bank loan? The point is, any legal service company, particularly one with no real monetary investment like the holder of a list of email addresses, should be willing to prove their claims without you providing a credit card number for them to charge to.
A few years ago, I actually paid to have a "targeted" email campaign run, and emails were sent to 3,000,000 recipients. I had no idea that 1% of the entire US population was interested in this particular product, but I was assured they were opt-in customers that requested to be sent information about products of this nature. In retrospect and after having been conned, I realize that statistically, there is absolutely no way that they could have "targeted" anything but a list of email addresses of unsuspecting customers. I did get an increase in website traffic, but not in sales. In fact, I got about 20 more visitors than normal over a one-week period, which is statistically just noise and can not be attributed to the email campaign at all.
People, these email campaigns are nothing but scams. The con men behind them are exactly what makes consumers suspicious of Internet marketing and they are preying on your desire to get your website traffic and sales up and they deliver nothing but empty promises. The next time you get one of these emails suggesting that their "targeted" email campaign will boost your sales, ask them to put their money where their mouth is and prove it BEFORE you pay anything.