Email marketing can be a very effective means of communicating on-line but one needs to be careful. With all the spam out there, it can be difficult. I recently sat down with the CEO of mobileStorm email and mobile marketing, Jared Reitzin and picked his brain.

Q. Tell us a little about your site and services.
A. mobileStorm has pioneered the concept of multi-channel marketing for the small-to medium-sized business. We provide a turnkey, hosted email and digital messaging platform backed by world-class support and expert digital marketing services.

We have created the most complete digital marketing solution available, enabling our customers to reach their audiences via email, text (mobile) messaging, voice messaging or fax broadcast from a single provider. Our service is web-based, and client can sign up and send their first campaign in less than 10 minutes.

Q Where do you see email/direct marketing going in the future?
A. Presence marketing. This is where I get emails, SMS messages etc.. that is related to my presence or location. For instance if I travel to New York, my usual Tuesday morning ticketmaster email wouldn’t have events in So Cal, but in Manhattan.

Q. How can local business use email marketing to help promote themselves?
A. Let’s take a restaurant business for example. They should be asking on their comment cards for someone’s email address. In exchange for the address, the restaurant will send out offers only available from their e-club. They can offer last minute weekend specials, 2 for 1 drinks etc.. they can offer real coupons that can be printed out and redeemed. Email marketing is the perfect medium for local business because it is easy to build your database and inexpensive to market to it. Ever bought an add in the LA times or a 30 second radio spot?

Q. How can one effectively email or direct market using your services without getting lost in all the spam out there?
A. It’s tough. Spammers have made it hard for legitimate marketers to get their messages into the inbox. The email inbox vendors like hotmail, yahoo, and AOL have an even harder job. They spend millions fighting spam. If their customer’s inbox is filled with spam, they will lose them, so they put very tight systems in place to fight spam. These systems aren’t perfect, legit mail gets blocked all of the time.  There is a war going on and the crazy part is that 90% of spam comes from 10 people/organizations.

Spammers are always one step ahead of everyone. The best thing a business can do is make sure they are following best practices , and working with an Email Service Provider (or ESP) like mobileStorm to ensure they have the best chance to hit the inbox. ESPs will offer things like authentication, dedicated IP addresses and whitelisting, all much needed services for email deliverability.

Q. For a business just starting out-how can they use your services or where should they start?
A. We built Stun! with the small business in mind. I actually wanted to make it easy enough so that my mom can use it. The first thing you do after you sign up is go through a 12 step wizard. Only one step is required, however if you do each step at the end when you log into the control panel, you will have your account set up and ready to go.

Our pricing is based upon the amount of messages someone sends on a monthly basis. We also offer a number of additional services to ensure your digital marketing success. A nice feature we recently added was a questionnaire at the beginning of our 12 step wizard. Based upon your answers we recommended services that will help your business grow.

Thanks Jared. This is a 2 part article that I am putting on the two blogs that I currently run. Part one of this article is about a number of “war stories” that I have read over the last few months, which I found to be very good. You can see which I picked at the ShowMeLocal blog.