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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Email & Electronic Marketing

I stopped advertising for my retail stores in 2001 and re-directed that money into products, customer service, and Email & Electronic Marketing; business has never been better. Email has the advantages of being:

-Effective & Measurable
-and did I mention FREEEEEE

I must admit that up until a few years ago I was scared of the whole concept, even though I used email in my professional and personal life. What in the world was I scared of? Cost? Time? Trouble? Yes, Yes, Yes. But, as with most fear issues, I was wrong.

I was afraid that outside email service vendors (those companies that the IPCPR and vendors use to send interactive and multi-media emails) would be too expensive. But, in fact they are CHEAP!!! (Sign up for the TU newsletter on our site and you will see how great our next Holiday newsletter is.) I was afraid of using Microsoft Outlook for other inexplicable emotional reasons, but that turned out to be easy as well.

Fortunately for retail Tobacconists, the IPCPR is working diligently to promote email usage, both for store marketing and political activism. This can be a significant challenge to an old-world, old-fashioned industry, but our future will depend on it.

Tobacconist University is developing rich content to educate Tobacconists on Email and Electronic Marketing. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact us.
EMAIL Marketing Tips:

-Spellcheck, Spellcheck, Spellcheck

-Be Consistent, not Persistent

-Hide (Blind Carbon Copy: BCC) all email addresses to honor privacy

-KISS: Keep It Short & Sweet

-Always have a catchy and succinct Subject Line: do not use all Capital letters

-Use professional language

-Gather Email addresses by raffling off a Humidor or box of cigars

-Have customer bring printed email into store to redeem Special Offers

-Use small and virus-free images: shrink your logos

-Setup a complete ‘Signature’ at the bottom of the email

-Setup a return email through your website: i.e.

-NO SPAM: The CAN SPAM Act of 2003 requires business to provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests.

PS: Since we started using Emails to announce special events in my retail stores, we have had record attendance! And customers thank us for it! And it is FREE.
*Contributors to this Article: Jim Luftman, Blue Havana II Cigars & Gifts, Chris McCalla, IPCPR

Jorge Armenteros, CMT

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