A few weeks ago, we looked at the advantages of contacting prospects by email and suggested a way to craft a letter to achieve results. This week, we’ll look at ways to automate some of the work that’s involved saving you even more time. Address Harvesting
If you’ve already got a terrific email address database, skip this part and go straight to the Bulk Emailers section below. On the other hand, if you’re new to the profession, or if you’re now looking for a new category of prospects, keep reading. Effective email — email that is seen to be personal, rather than spam – requires effective targeting. Recruiting for sales reps, using a database of IT professionals isn’t going to help. But it can take days to manually search the ‘Net for email addresses of those involved in sales and marketing – time you often can’t afford. Some software (Super Harvester and SnatchIt, for example) allow you to collect email addresses from newsgroups alone. In my mind, this is not necessarily the best approach given the huge number of untargeted postings on newsgroups. On the other hand, for far more money, but with better results, Atomic Harvester, Dynamic Web Wizard, and Spear let you use search engines to find Web sites by keywords and extract addresses from there. Bulk Emailers
All bulk emailers let you send a ton of email with ease, but not all are appropriate to your needs. When examining these programs, some questions to consider include:
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- What types of files are your email addresses in and will those file types work with the bulk mailer?
- Will you have to convert your address database to fit the program?
- Is the mailer compatible with your computer? Most are Windows-based – not available for Mac.
- Will the mailer allow you to create personalized, mail-merged correspondence so you can start with “Dear Bob” instead of “Dear candidate”?
- Does the mailer come with the ability to automatically delete the names of people who ask to be taken off the list?
- Will the mailer also extract addresses?
- Does the mailer require that you send mail through your ISP or can that be avoided?
- Will the mailer eliminate duplicate addresses?
- How many emails can be sent in an hour?
- If your computer disconnects before all mail is sent, can the program pick up where it left off?
Over the next two weeks, we’ll look in depth at a couple of bulk emailers – their advantages and possible pitfalls.