An individual or organization wishing to conduct an email marketing program must first decide what it seeks to achieve by doing so. It has to choose between conducting the program in-house with the marketing and IT staff, or whether it is necessary to engage the services of an external consultant.
Questions to be asked are whether the existing staff has any experience conducting a program of this nature? Could they manage with help from a consultant? Or, is it necessary to contract the job to an outside agency?
Email marketing costs are not exorbitant. Costs should not be a restraining factor. On the other hand engaging the services of a consultant to carry out the work maybe a bit expensive. If you do not want to be burdened with the program, you could give it to a company. They have vast experience carrying out programs of this nature and could enhance your revenue and profitability by a wide margin.
Whatever method you adopt, the first thing to be done is to categorize your products or services giving priority to the existing high contributory fast moving items. As any marketing strategy is designed to increase sales, you must figure out what has gone wrong in the past. It may be that you are carrying a load of obsolete stock. It is very unlikely that you would be able to sell this stock via an email program. It should be sold by tender as a stock lot to the highest bidder. This would release resources with which you can purchase the faster-moving items. It is a cardinal rule that you should not tie up your working capital on very slow moving or obsolete stock.
If you have decided to use an external consultant you should check his credentials and referrals from his customers. He should have sufficient experience working with companies such as yours. If you have engaged a professional marketing company, you could ask for a list of references and check as many as possible asking for their opinion on the companies’ work.
When the work begins, you would be presented with a questionnaire. This set of forms is designed to provide the marketer with information on the products you sell. How long they have been in the stores, slow moving items if any, the real movers that are sustaining the company at the moment.
The marketer would gather all this information and design a skeleton email. Your team would need to sit with him and decide on the length and content of the mail. The marketer would then finalize and send out the email to prospective clients. Such a program would allow you to cover a large area geographically.