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Thanks to the say-anything-to-sell-anything sales tactics used to hawk permission e-mail marketing opportunities over the past few years, many advertisers in the business-to-business (B2B) sector have unwittingly embraced a faulty syllogism that often results in unsuccessful campaigns.

This flawed logic works as follows:

1. E-mail marketing is related to traditional direct marketing.

2. A traditional direct marketing campaign often consists of just one mailing.

3. Therefore, you can likewise limit an e-mail marketing campaign to just one mailing.

One could construct a similar syllogism to prove that all Internet stocks will rise, but that doesn't make it true.

In the traditional direct marketing world, advertisers often limit a campaign to one mailing because of cost considerations (creative, printing, postage, etc.), and, more importantly, because they can tell a complete story in one mailing.

For example, a mailing might consist of a letter from the CEO, a collection of favorable testimonials and press clippings, a feature comparison chart, an order form, and whatever else the marketing professional thinks might help close a sale. Recipients can read all of this material or only some of it, and they can read it out of order in a non-linear fashion.

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Neil Squillante founded and manages LandingPage Interactive, an online marketing agency in New York City that helps companies generate leads, sales and referrals. Prior to his online marketing career, Neil practiced law at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Contact him at njs@peerviews.com.