I picked up this book because I have always found e-mail to be an effective way to begin and develop relationships with interesting people I would never have otherwise met. That's one of the many reasons I like to write reviews on Amazon.com. Since most books about the Internet are extremely simple and out-of-date, I had low expectations. Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered that this book not only answered many of my questions (such as how to get started with e-mailing to opt-in lists of people who have given permission to be contacted with information in certain subject areas) but also provided information that I did not imagine existed (such as sites for posting e-mail press releases and statements of competency to reach the media). Best of all, the ideas here take little capital and expertise so most people who are active on the Internet can use them.
Here is the table of contents to give you a sense of how the book is organized:
Chapter 1: E-Mail Newsletters
Chapter 2: Discussion Lists
Chapter 3: Online Networking
Chapter 4: Signature Files
Chapter 5: Autoresponders
Chapter 6: Customer Relationship Management
Chapter 7: Promotions and Direct E-Mail
Chapter 8: Online Public Relations
Chapter 9: Advertising in E-Publications
Chapter 10: E-Mail Marketing Rulebook
Chapter 11: Technical Know-How
Chapter 12: Measuring Results
Chapter 13: Opt-In List Brokering
Chapter 14: Worksheets
Chapter 15: 20 Recommended E-Mail Publications
As a result of reading this book, I began to wonder if I should also offer a free e-mail newsletter of more analytical and detailed book reviews covering those books I like best, with the reviews organized to be easier to access. Your opinions on that subject are most welcome!
The technical support in the book can save you some money on implementing by allowing you to do more of the work yourself. You are also directed to examples and organizations that can help you. I wrote down more than 30 web sites I want to investigate as a result of reading this book. That's about 27 more than I got out of the last 400 books I have read.
Another positive feature of the book is that it is anti-Spam. If you are like me, you get about 40 Spam messages a day that have no connection to any interest you have and seem to be created by people with little talent. One reason I have been slow to use more e-mail marketing is because I am very anti-Spam and didn't want to become a Spammer even by accident.
The best advice from the book is to build your own lists from people who reply to you and give you permission to contact them again, and use those to establish and maintain mutually supportive relationships. That makes sense to me. My web designer has been urging me on with this idea for years, but I never quite got the point before. Now I see what I should be doing. Even though I have read and liked Permission Marketing, the idea just hadn't clicked before.
Even if you don't plan to do e-mail mass marketing, the ideas in here for online public relations will make the book valuable all by themselves.
The authors also offer you access to their web site for more information and help.
A revised edition is planned for a few weeks from now, and I suspect that it would be a good idea to see what is in that edition as well. I wouldn't wait for that one, however, to get started. You can make significant progress in the meantime with this edition.
After you have finished reading this book, ask yourself what is the one thing you could do today that would help get valuable knowledge out to those who need it most. Then take that action. I also urge you to make that question and action step a daily process thereafter. This book should make you very capable of doing this!