Email/Mail/Phone Calls - best order to use when marketing?

Hi, I sell a service that lets guests to an event call a toll-free number and leave stories and well wishes for the guest of honor.

Those stories are then provided on a keepsake CD. I market the service to wedding and event planners who then make their clients aware of it.

I’m starting by marketing to bridal consultants. I have a list that enables me to call them, email them, and send them postal mail.

I’m new to selling, and am wondering what order would be most effective in marketing. If I email, I have software that tells me when they open the email (it’s not 100% accurate if people don’t download images) and what I’ve been doing is sending them an email, and then shortly after they open it I give them a call, guage their interest and then follow-up by email with some literature (4x6 flyers they can give their clients).

Is this the right strategy? If you were me would you do that in a different order?

Do you have their permission to email them? If not, this sounds like spamming to me. Directed spamming (is there such a thing?) of course, but the image thing is used by spammers worldwide to gather names for their infernal lists.

I would stick with a direct mail piece, with a website that they could respond through if they were interested. Then email the responders. You need to be very careful when it comes to email marketing.

Well, I have their contact information because I’m a corporate member of a professional wedding planner association, I’m contacting wedding planners that are also members, and getting their contact information is one of the benefits of paying to be a corporate member.

The only reason that I’m able to see if they open the emails is that I’m using contact management software called SugarCRM. From what I understand, although spammers use the technique nefariously, getting statistics on who actually opens your emails is a common practice in professional email campaigns.

Out of curiosity, when you say “You need to be very careful when it comes to email marketing.” are you saying that because of anti-spam laws? All the email comes from my primary email address, and I respond to all the replies. I currently send about 30 emails a day and then follow-up by phone.

Assuming they actively opted in to receiving such e-mails when they joined the association, I see nothing wrong with e-mailing them. HOWEVER I think the trick of using remote images or web-bugs to determine whether someone has read a message still falls into the “sneaky” category if you’re using that information to decide whether to contact them by other means. Not everyone realizes that the fact that they have read an e-mail can be determined (if they have remote images turned on) that way.

Send them an e-mail and then let them answer you IF they so choose. If they’re not interested, they won’t answer.