FollowUp EMail Campaigns with ocxQmail

This article talks about legitimately captured email addresses, how to use them to build loyalty, increased customer satisfaction, increased traffic and increased revenue.
Key to this article is the concept of followup email campaigns using Version 2 of ocxQmail from Flicks Software.

Email addresses are an important resource.

Anytime you capture a web-surfers email address is an instant opportunity to establish a dialog with that person. An email address is a valuable resource to communicate with the individuals in your audience as potential customers and repeat visitors.

When do people "surrender" their email addresses?

Generally surfers are averse to providing their email address.
However there are situations where they are more than happy to give you their email address. Examples are: Also offering pretty much anything for free generally can generate a significant number of sign-ups.

While many websites will send an email confirming the action, and maybe sign the person up on a maillist - if this is all you do then you are wasting an opportunity to establish a personalized dialog with followup email which can engage and attract them to your products and services.

Always treat a person's email address with respect.

Why is a personalized, followup email campaign useful?

I'm convinced - I want to create a personal relationship with every visitor who signs up

When a visitor leaves their name at your site, that is the time to press the advantage. If you get back to them regularly, they'll know you care and will buy from you.

How can I achieve this?

Subscriptions to listservers, regular newsletters, and frequently updating your website with new and compelling content can all contribute to creating an audience and building loyalty.

And a followup email campaign can point your visitors to these attractions, leveraging your investment. But a personal followup email campaign can be extremely resource intensive. Without an automated scheduling emailer product like ocxQmail, this could be prohibitively expensive.
With minimal cost and setup on your part, you can create a unique dialog that your visitors can appreciate.
With a timed sequence of targetted, personalized emails, you can really capture your audience

What tools do I need?

Some cutting edge on-line marketing companies are already offering this as a kind of bureau service, however if you already have in-house ASP software, and you want the flexibility to change and update your email sequences at anytime, ocxQmail from Flicks Software with its "FollowUpMail (TM)" capability is the perfect tool for the job.
It's easy to install, very cost-effective and comes with samples to help you get started.

What do I do now?

Design your followup mail campaign - examples.

As a premier supplier of Universal online data-widgets you have products available for free trial download.
Users can downloads a 30-day trial edition of your software. and you've designed the following email campaign, which begins with the initial signup for download:

That's a bit ambitious to start with, so the example below has just three parts and is compressed into a campaign lasting 12 minutes :-)

With a 12 minute followup email campaign, you can test out how it feels, and refine the messages without having to wait 30 days to experience the full cycle! When you are happy, you can extend the periods to real-world intervals.

Create your ASP files

Here we give an example of how to capture an email address:

GetEmail.htm <HTML> <body bgcolor=white> <TITLE>Get EMail</TITLE> <HTML> <HEAD> </HEAD> <P> <FORM METHOD="GET" ACTION="signMeUp.asp"> <PRE> Please enter your email address: <INPUT SIZE=30 NAME="recipient" MAXLENGTH=200> </PRE> <INPUT TYPE=submit VALUE=" Sign Me Up "> </FORM> <P> </HTML></BODY> </HTML>
And this is the ASP file which captures the email address, and initiates the followup email campaign:

signMeUp.asp <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Send Mail</TITLE> </HEAD> <body BGcolor=#FFFFFF> <!-- By Kevin Flick, kevin@flicks.com --> <% Set mailer = Server.CreateObject("ocxQmail.ocxQmailCtrl.1") %> <CENTER><H2>Send Mail</H2></CENTER> <P> <% mailServer = "mail.yourserver.com" fromName = "Kevin" fromAddress = "kevin@yourserver.com" 'priority = "Low" returnReceipt = "" recipient = Request.QueryString("recipient") ' make sure the user has not typed in obvious garbage result = mailer.PreScreenEmailAddress(recipient) If "" <> result Then response.Write("Email address is not ok, because the email address " & result) response.End End if toAddressList = recipient 'ccAddressList = "partners@netcom.com" ' optional 'bccAddressList = "sales@widget.com" ' optional - useful if you want to secretly see your stuff being emailed out 'attachmentList = "z:\zip\addurl.zip" ' not often used in this context whenToSend = now ' redundant - the default is now mailer.SendAt(whenToSend) messageSubject = "Universal Online Data Widgets Tip of the Day" ' we construct the message here so you can see it ' we could just as easily pull it out of a file using CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") messageText = "Dear " & recipient & "," & vbCRLF & vbCRLF & _ "Thank you for downloading the free 30 day trial " & vbCRFL & _ "version of Data Widget from Universal Data Widget" & vbCRLF & _ "Congratulations, you've made an excellent choice." & vbCRLF & _ "This version is a complete, full-featured product." & vbCRLF & _ "It will operate for a 30-day period from the time" & vbCRLF & _ "of your download. Try it out and discover how " & vbCRLF & _ "easy it is to widgetize your data." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "TIP O' THE DAY- ONE BUTTON STICK" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "Data Widget 3.0 includes the Widget Revolving Skewer Stick" & vbCRLF & _ "built in. Simply press the Skewer Stick button" & vbCRLF & _ "the tool bar and instantly see the changes to your widget." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "FREE TECH SUPPORT " & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "We are always happy to answer any questions you may" & vbCRLF & _ "have about out products. Send your comments and " & vbCRLF & _ "non-technical questions to us." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Thanks again for choosing Data Widget and " & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Mr John Reed Universal" & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF result = mailer.Q(mailServer, _ fromName, _ fromAddress, _ priority, _ returnReceipt, _ toAddressList, _ ccAddressList, _ bccAddressList, _ attachmentList, _ messageSubject, _ messageText) ' response.Write("<BR> Sent mail, scheduled for " & whenToSend & "<BR>Message is <br>" & messageText & "<P>") whenToSend = now + (1/240) ' one day divided by 24 divided by 10 - Six Minutes time mailer.SendAt(whenToSend) messageSubject = "Create a rotation in the default Widget" ' we construct the message here so you can see it ' we could just as easily pull it out of a file using CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") messageText = "Dear " & recipient & "," & vbCRLF & vbCRLF & _ "Have you tried the 30-day trial version of the" & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Data Widget that you downloaded " & vbCRLF & _ "15 days ago? If so, what do you think of it? Please " & vbCRLF & _ "use the address below to send us your reactions. If " & vbCRLF & _ "you haven't tried it yet, please do so soon - there" & vbCRLF & _ "are only two more weeks before it expires. " & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "TIP O' THE DAY- CREATE A Rotating Widget" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "From the Rotate Menu on the right go to Rotator" & vbCRLF & _ "Now Enter the number of degress per minute you want." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "EXTENSIVE HELP! " & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "Check out our excellent help section. Our extensive " & vbCRLF & _ "help file shows you everything you need! " & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "SPECIAL OFFER" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "To reward your interest in our products, here is a " & vbCRLF & _ "special offer for people who have downloaded the trial" & vbCRLF & _ "version. When you purchase Universal Data Widget for $22,489.95 " & vbCRLF & _ "plus $9.95 shipping and handling, we will include " & vbCRLF & _ "BlowOut, an easy to use Java Widget kit that" & vbCRLF & _ "helps add excitement to Rotation and Widget Manipulation " & vbCRLF & _ "operations. " & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "EASY PURCHASE" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "1) Visit https://orang-utang.widget.com/weborders/promo/promo2.htm" & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Thanks again for choosing Data Widget and " & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Mr John Reed Universal" & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF result = mailer.Q(mailServer, _ fromName, _ fromAddress, _ priority, _ returnReceipt, _ toAddressList, _ ccAddressList, _ bccAddressList, _ attachmentList, _ messageSubject, _ messageText) ' response.Write("<BR> Sent mail, scheduled for " & whenToSend & "<BR>Message is <br>" & messageText & "<P>") whenToSend = now + (1/120) ' one day divided by 24 divided by 5 - Twelve Minutes time mailer.SendAt(whenToSend) messageSubject = "Widget Expiration Alert!" ' we construct the message here so you can see it ' we could just as easily pull it out of a file using CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") messageText = "Dear " & recipient & "," & vbCRLF & vbCRLF & _ "Warning - your Widget trial version is due" & vbCRLF & _ "to expire tomorrow. You'll want to avoid the " & vbCRLF & _ "inconvenience of interrupted service. Now is the " & vbCRLF & _ "time to take advantage of our purchase Special Offer." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "TIP O' THE DAY - TIP-O-MATIC" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "Another great tip!" & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "SPECIAL OFFER" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "When you purchase THE WIDGET for peanuts, plus " & vbCRLF & _ "$115.95 shipping and handling, we will include a free hat." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "EASY PURCHASE" & vbCRLF & _ "=====================================================" & vbCRLF & _ "1) Visit https://orang-utang.widget.com/weborders/promo/promo2.htm" & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Thanks again for choosing Data Widget and " & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF & _ "" & vbCRLF & _ "Mr John Reed Universal" & vbCRLF & _ "Universal Widget Co." & vbCRLF result = mailer.Q(mailServer, _ fromName, _ fromAddress, _ priority, _ returnReceipt, _ toAddressList, _ ccAddressList, _ bccAddressList, _ attachmentList, _ messageSubject, _ messageText) ' response.Write("<BR> Sent mail, scheduled for " & whenToSend & "<BR>Message is <br>" & messageText & "<P>") %> <% If "" = result Then %> <P> Please check your mail <% Else %> <P>Mail was not queued, error message is <H2> <%= result %> </H2> <% End If %> <P> <HR> <P> <EM><B> <a href=a href="/">Flicks Software</a>. </B> </EM> </FONT> </BODY> </HTML>

How do I use the FileSystemObject again?

Just so you don't get frustrated trying to mess with all the double quotes, here is a fragment of code that allows you to read the message text out of a file.
	Set readWriteFS = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
	Set readMessageFile = readWriteFS.OpenTextFile("c"\messages\message1.txt", 1)
	readIn = readMessageFile.ReadAll
	messageText = messageText & readIn
	readMessageFile.Close

Summary

Followup email campaigns can be an important contributor to the effectiveness of your website - whether you choose to implement them or decide to outsource. Excellent bureaus can create, setup, customize and manage your followup emails for you - Lassoo is among the best (tell them I sent you :-).

Another good choice is to use ocxQmail with "FollowUpMail (TM)" and the examples provided above.

Don't waste the opportunity to create that personal touch, and carefully pamper your surfer signups with appropriate tips, tricks, pointers and information. Remember that a hard sell isn't necessary between friends!

By Kevin Flick
Flicks Software