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“We do not use email for acquisition purposes. It just doesn't work for us!” says one marketer.

“We have tried it in the past and it just doesn't work. It bombed!” says another.

If I only had a nickel for every time I heard these two statements, I wouldn't have to write about how wrong they are.

Believe me, it is certainly not easy to make email acquisition work. It can, however, be done. How do we know? We do it every day for our clients. How do we make it work? Let me tell you.

First and foremost, you need the marketer to be committed to the medium. They cannot rent one list from a sweepstakes-type list (because it was inexpensive), see minimal conversions, and then proudly announce “EMAIL DOESN'T WORK!”

You must convince them to stay the path. They need to follow the same strategies they adhere to when implementing a postal mail plan. Yes, it does take a small investment, but moreover, it takes a large commitment by the marketer to the medium.

Secondly, you need to test, test, and test. It is critical that the marketer test the numerous variables (one variable at a time) that combine together to create an effective campaign. These variables include the offer, the creative, the list, the links and the landing page.

The offer is critical when creating a strong, successful email campaign. The marketer needs to give the recipient a compelling enough reason to want to act upon the email. For example, history has shown that a marketer who sells merchandise online has a significant increase in conversion when employing a promotional offer.

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John Hammersley Mr. Hammersley is General Manager of Walter Karl-Interactive. He can be reached at John.Hammersley@WKInteractive.com.