Today, we’re going to talk about how your business can do email marketing in ways that will serve its interests – and the interests of its customers – in a much more valuable manner. There’s a long list of “don’ts” in email marketing and a very, very short list of “do’s.” With all that said, it’s best to start with what you should do to ensure that your email marketing campaign succeeds and your customers benefit from it.
To many people, receiving unsolicited emails can be an annoyance. You’ve most likely been a victim of it in one form or another. Everyone can empathize with the guy whose inbox is full of junk. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In other words, there are people interested in engaging with your company and finding the latest deals and added services. Let’s take a look at what will help make your campaign successful without throwing your company’s reputation in the bin!
Wikus Engelbrecht, a writer from GraphicMail, presents us with these tips:
- Get an ESP that fits you – Email service providers, or ESPs, come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them work better for a small gadget company and others work well for a massive online store. Regardless of the size of your business, there are things all good ESP’s have in common: an online/offline support system, training via tutorials, and a sturdy infrastructure.
- Use an opt-in system – One of the most annoying things you can possibly do is to email your newsletter to every email address that has ever touched your site. This is often practiced by amateur companies and isn’t a good way to keep a loyal client base. Instead, create an opt-in system where clients that are actually interested in your services can subscribe to your newsletter.
- Send emails based on interests – While users are logged in to your site, things they browse through might show you what they’re interested in. While, in some cases, this doesn’t work with your business model, you might be able to pull it off. Let’s say you own a store that sells electronics and PC stuff. One visitor might have browsed through speakers last week. You can send him and everyone else who browsed speakers an email with promotional prices on some of your stock. This raises the bar a bit and attracts them, since you’re talking about something they were interested in a while back. You can cluster up email addresses according to interest to tailor your emails to each particular group with an interest.
- Watch your address list – If your company gets an email back that a particular address no longer exists, remove that address immediately. Sending consistent emails to “dead” addresses tells ISPs and ESPs that you’re a spammer. You don’t want that kind of reputation.
- Don’t forget your mobile customers – Many people are now starting to view their email inboxes via their smartphones and tablets. Don’t forget to make your emails compatible with mobile devices. It will help develop a better customer relationship with those customers that are always on the go.
- Write compelling subjects – You might need a writer to help you out with this. The subject should be the topic-maker and the first thing you write in the email. Make sure the subject tells the customer what to expect and give the subject a sense of urgency without making false promises. Here’s a good example: 10% or more off on all items from July 20-25!
- Don’t be afraid to experiment – Get your creative side going! Try a different series of subject lines in each marketing email you send and see how many customers actually click through. Your click-through rate, or CTR, should help you determine the percentage of customers who read the email and actually became interested in what you had to offer.
- Send your emails at the right hour – Depending on the tendencies of your customer base, you might have to schedule emails according to when they usually open their inboxes. A good ESP can tell you when a customer has opened an email and let you schedule your marketing emails according to an average time when your clients seem to be around their computers.
- Let them opt out – Make your “unsubscribe” link clear and visible. They should be able to remove themselves from your system if they wish. If you don’t do this, they’ll start reporting your emails as spam. The more reports you receive, the more damage you take when you’ll want to pursue new customers.
- Update your customers consistently – The most successful campaigns send out emails at least quarterly. This is a kind of “hey, I’m still here” to your customers and lets them know you still exist.
As long as you keep to these guidelines, you’ll have a marketing campaign that will ensure a tight relationship between your business and your customers. The more transparent you are about what you do, the more trust they’ll have in you.