Spam isn’t good in a frying pan, and it’s no better in your email account. To be constantly bombarded by never ending marketing ploys is a commonality for people nowadays. They spend more time deleting and ignoring emails than they do writing them. However, it will do you no good to just chalk it all up to spam being evil and forget entirely about the benefits from successful email marketing. Although emails can seem redundant and annoying, there have been studies shown that emailing a client before a phone call doubles their response rates. It also leads to an increase in conversation rates between the client and customer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before blasting absurd amounts of useless information into an unbeknownst inbox.
5 Tips to Email Marketing
1. Be Relevant
Yes, you want to catch the eye of whoever is opening the email, but do so in a way that relates to your topic. When readers are sorting through mail, they will be completely distracted by a tennis ball bouncing across the top of your screen, however when they realize the image has been placed on an antique store’s newsletter, the focus is immediately directed back to sorting through their mail.
“Be relevant” seems to be crammed onto everyone person’s tip lists concerning social media. This is because with more outlets for social media broadcasting, people feel they must become even more drastic with the measures they take. However, email marketing is never supposed to become like a guerrilla ad for a major corporation. Email marketing may be sent to a major corporation, but it is still sent with the intent on being personalized and informative. So like I said.
2. Choose Recipients Wisely
DON’T BE SPAM. Email marketing is set up to target those people who have signed up for notifications, specific customers, and a specified, researched audience. Once you begin sending out massive blasts all over the web, every Outlook and Gmail is going to pick you up as spam, and your newsletter that you spent months creating will never be seen by another human eye.
FreightCenter.com launched an email marketing campaign in 2009 where they went through all 95,000 recipients on their list, weeded out the customers that had not repeated in years, and personalized the major industries emails so that they weren’t lost in the shuffle. Since the campaign was launched, their sales have gone up 26%, according to the Business To Business marketing strategies.
FreightCenter reported that, “Sending emails that are highly targeted and fine-tuned to what that type of customers were looking for really helps drive conversion,” she said. “By pointing out the specific details that they are looking for, we appealed to them and drove the action that we were looking for: repeat business.” It just goes to show that although sorting through your recipient list may seem taxing, it can completely revamp the purpose you’ve had all along for hitting send on that email.
3. Don’t Look Like Spam
This isn’t a way to trick your potential or current clients into reading your email. It’s a way to get your email past the filter and at least into their inbox. Whether they read it after that is totally up to them. The CAN-SPAM Act that was passed five years ago allows companies to send out mass unsolicited emails, but they are required to follow a few choice rules.
1. No false subject titles! (Avoid ALL CAPS and excessive punctuation)
2. Include Opt-Out Instructions (discussed more below)
3. Give a physical address of your company
Since we are trying to send informative and relevant emails, these three points should in theory be like second nature. According to Janine Popick, CEO and co-founder of email service provider VerticalResponse, what you put inside the content of your article can be flagged just as frequently as a false subject line. She gave some helpful tips about email marketing to the online resource, Business to Business. Some suggestions were to steer clear of bullet points, make emails as short as possible, and check all links that are sent out through your email. Broken links and bullet points are two common articles frequently stopped by the filter.
4. Be Conversational
Phrase your emails in a way that makes the client or customer interested to read what you have to offer. By just throwing a bunch of sales and promises their direction, you have wasted both your time and the time of the reader. In reference to this, the more in depth your recipient list is, the easier it will be to target your audience. Also, give them a way to reference back, and allow one of these options to be an email. We are in a world that has so many technological portals it is hard to keep track of them all. However, many people would rather keep their phone number for friends, family, and private calls.
Therefore, you need to give them an electronic option of responding to your email. In other words, make it a two way street as much as possible. This could also be done by giving them other electronic options such as a URL to your website, following you on Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Wikispaces, etc.
5. Have an Opt-Out Option
Have an opt-out option. Have an opt-out option. Have I said it enough? There is nothing more frustrating than receiving an email and realizing that you will be receiving that email, and five more like it, every day, …for the rest of your life. I have never bought a pair of shoes because the sales person followed me around the store, and I won’t start that today. However, this is not just a method to avoid annoyance. It’s the law.
An opt-out option is also known as a suppression list, and it is the network and advertisers responsibility to make sure this is honored. The law allows 10 days to update your suppression list. Failure to update the list can put you under scrutiny according to the CAN-SPAM “Failure to Honor” category. Therefore, it is incredibly important that if you are sending out a newsletter, a sales voucher, a press release, or a personalized happy birthday email that there is an option to take their name off that list and that someone else is continually updating this list, maintaining honorable standing with clients and the law.
Emails create a presence for all companies in a way that reaches directly into someone’s virtual life. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Recognize that email marketing can be an easy and effective conversation opener, but if the power is abused than it can also shut down any chance of customer relations. So read these five tips, and test out your email to a small group before sending out a faulty copy to the world. You can check it against software such as Spamcheck to see if it would go through to your clients, and also make sure that your advertising and public relations specialists on staff are well aware of any emails being sent. Above anything else, be smart! Once you hit send on anything electronically related, the delete button is no longer relevant.
Have you come up with your own way to stay relevant in a customer’s inbox? Share with us and comment below.