Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How To Create Compelling E-mail

If you want to create a dynamic e-mail campaign, you have to offer your clients more than a simple announcement.

If you want customers to buy from you, you are far better off offering “special deals” or a “special offer” than simply offering an announcement.

An announcement says, “Hey, I have a new product!

Wow, that’s terrific!

But what’s in it for the customer?

You have to think about what your customer’s needs are and how you are filling them with every contact you make.

An announcement doesn’t take these needs into consideration, and that’s why far too often Announcements fail to produce results.

An announcement also lacks a call to action or an incentive for customers to contact you.

It doesn’t make sense to contact someone unless you are going to offer him or her an incentive to buy your product.

Keep this in mind when creating your next e-mail campaign.

Types of Promotions
So now you know you have to offer incentives.

Now, what kind of incentive do you offer in your e-mail campaign?

There are many different incentives to offer. Most people rely on the special discount offer.

You don’t always have to offer a discount however, to get people to buy from you. You can for example, offer a new product to your customers. Say for example, you offer them a free publication, like a subscription to your newsletter if they buy your product now. Or,you can offer them 20% off your latest publication when they order.

You can also offer special deals by recognizing some special event in your personal life. Most customers appreciate e-mails that include some personal information about you. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming birthday or anniversary to celebrate. In your e-mail,mention this.

Say, “Because it’s my birthday today I’m offering you a special discount.” This will help your e-mails appear more personal in nature.

You have to share personal information if you want to build trust with your clients. Let them know something about you.

Say for example you are sharing your 10th anniversary with your partner. Let your customer’s know you are offering a one-time deal because of this.

Another promotion you can offer your clients is the “special sale.”
In this special bonus offer, e-mail your clients a day or two after you send out an
Then let them know you forgot to tell them something in the previous “announcement”, so if they order now, they can take advantage of your mistake.

Then offer them something. Then after a couple of days send them a last minute reminder. You can phrase it similar to, “We almost sold out,and we only have a few hours left, so act now so you don’t miss out. Remember, you’ll be reaping A, B, C benefits.”

Special offers are great during holidays, like Christmas, Halloween or even Valentines Day. Speaking of Valentines Day, remember your offers don’t have to be discounts. They can be something unusual, crazy or fun. Like on Valentines Day, offer your clients a rose or chocolate for ordering that day.

Your goal should be to keep things exciting and fun. Keep all your promotions on an event.

Another way to produce more feedback from youre-mails is to send customers FAQ e-mails. Let’s say for example, you send an e-mail that creates some questions you’d like to respond to.

You can send an FAQ offer or follow up e-mail that answers all their questions and presents a new offer or special deal for your customers.

How Often You Should E-mail Clients?
How often should you e-mail your clients? If acustomer consistently buys your products andservices, you should send frequent e-mails.

If however, you are sending a special promotional offer to someone that has never
ordered from you, don’t waste too much time on it.

These are just a few things you can do to spice up your e-mail campaign. The bottom line is this… whenever you send an e-mail, you have to create much more than a simple announcement.

An announcement isn’t going to call people to action. You have to carefully craft your e-mails, to encourage your customers to act.
You want to offer your customers some incentive so they act on your e-mail immediately.

And one last point... Don’t reveal your price in the e-mail.Your job is to entice, compel and motivate your customers to buy.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

SC permits banks to charge up to 49% interest on card payment defaults

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed MNC banks to charge hefty interest up to 49% on defaulted credit card payments, ending the respite that lakhs of card holders have had since September last year when the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission capped the penalty at 30%.

The SC stayed the apex consumer forum’s directive to banks not to charge more than 30% interest on defaulted payments on credit card purchases. The SC had last year refused to heed the appeal of banks against the NCDRC’s order. A Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, G S Singhvi and Aftab Alam on Tuesday suspended the relief to card holders on a plea by a coalition of foreign banks — Citibank, HSBC, American Express and Standard Chartered — that their business was suffering immensely because of the “unwarranted’’ cap on the quantum of penal interest.

Ironically, the plea of banks may have been allowed because of a lapse by the very same NGO ‘Awaz’ that was instrumental in getting the NCDRC order pegging the penal interest at 30% last year.

Though the bench had issued notice to the NGO four months ago, it has yet not put in its response, possibly helping the court to see merit in the argument of the banks that no penal interest rate, they were only following the guide
lines issued by the RBI.

The banks teamed up to apprise the apex court of their compulsions to charge between 36% to 49% interest on defaulted payments on credit cards. “No bank as a credit card issuer would charge undue interest rate as, apart from the regulatory framework that applies, the market would not sustain the same by reason of competitive force,’’ Citibank said. In its application, filed through counsel Rupinder Suri, it said facility of credit cards could be availed of without any interest for a certain stipulated period and it was only after the expiry of that period that penal interest was levied on default of payments.

“The credit card holder is aware of the same at the time of applying for it. It is also relevant to note that credit card transactions de facto constitute unsecured credit availed of,’’ the bank said justifying the high interest rate permitted by RBI on defaulted payments.

The July 7, 2007 order of NCDRC had ruled that “charging of interest rates in excess of 30% per annum from credit card holders by banks for the former’s failure to make full payment on the due date or paying the minimum amount due, is unfair trade practices.’’
It had also said that penal interest could be levied only once for the period of default and should not be capitalised while terming the practice of computing interest on monthly basis as “unfair trade practice’’.

The banks justified the
high interest rate on default payments by credit card holders by listing as many as 27 factors that included even the SMS alerts it sends to the card holders.