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Opting-in at the Chicago Auto Show

2005_cas_logoThis past weekend I went to the Chicago Auto Show. Over the years this show has become more and more interactive as car makers attempt to scale their customer intuition efforts. It used to be that sales people from area dealerships staffed displays. There's no selling at the show but reps could collect contact info and follow-up with prospects after the show. Now trade show renta-reps dressed all in black collect addresses to mail or email brochures to prospects. Carmakers are trying various tactics to get information and a conscious or unconscious opt-in from show attenders.

Some use attractive premiums like, no kidding, giant red stuffed animals to get people to register for a free drawing. Others use higher tech methods like offering "free" pictures that require visitors to visit and register at manufacturers websites to receive their "free" picture.

These real world practices are analogous to the online challenges of opt-in e-newsletter marketing. Some offer cool premiums that drive sign-ups but have little or nothing to add to a potential customer relationship. Some use bait-n-switch like tactics to offer something for free that comes at a hidden cost. Others engage people as people and offer a fair and reasonable exchange of value that begins a lasting relationship.

So where are you on the scale? Are you building a big list with a high churn as people opt-in for a premium and then opt-out just as quickly? Are your list building tactics bordering on deceptive? As people get savvier to the techniques of list building it becomes more and more important to market real ongoing value to opting-in.

Beyond links to privacy policies, no spam pledges and required opt-out or unsubscribe links it is important to be transparent in presenting the value of being open to hearing from you in the future. Are you just looking to send out brochures and promotional email or are you looking to build a lasting mutually beneficial relationship? How do your prospective list members know what you are doing?

February 22, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, Current Affairs | Permalink


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