A couple years ago, people started discounting the impact email marketing could have on the sales process. Some even said it was dead! Rest assured – email marketing is most certainly not dead. It’s just as effective as it ever was if you follow best practices for effective targeting. Do your clients care what you have to say? Are you only using email to sell to them, or are you offering them solutions to their pain points? Don’t be the friend who asks them to help you move every single weekend. Use email to engage!
Send emails to people who want to hear from you. Better yet, make them look forward to opening your email. How? Create an experience they want to be a part of. Offer valuable information. Give them something special. Be direct in your asks of them.
Email is a key part of your ongoing dialogue with customers and potential customers. Regular and well-conceived email campaigns can be essential to keeping your business top-of-mind.
So how do you better leverage email marketing to stay top-of-mind without crossing the boundaries of acceptability?
Here are some insights from our tried and true approach to email marketing – simple do’s and don’t’s to make better use of this medium:
DO define the goal or purpose of your email. Whether it’s a one-off email or a blast to a hundred contacts, you need to offer something of perceived value to your target audience. You need to have a clear idea of who this is going to, what it is you want to offer them and how you want them to respond. This can be a special deal, new products, seasonal gift ideas, or helpful promotional marketing tips.
DO craft a simple message. Don’t over-communicate. Say what you have to say in the most direct way possible. Tell them in a few simple sentences what it is that you have to offer, how it will make their life better/easier, and how they can respond. Don’t try to communicate convoluted, vague or complex messages. If they have to think about what you are trying to say – you’ve already lost them.
DO create a visual feast. A picture is worth a thousand words. An eye-catching image or design will always be more likely to engage your audience than just words. A simple design with simple imagery is best. Don’t clutter your email with too many images. It all has to work together at a glance. Also remember that many email clients block images, so your text needs to be able to stand on its own.
DO steer clear of Spam elements. Words like “free,” “buy now,” “limited time offer,” “guarantee,” “risk-free,” “best price,” and “no obligation” will alert Spam filters. These filters typically tally the amount of Spam-like words used in an email and create a flag after a certain threshold is exceeded. Attachments are also more likely to alert Spam filters. Make sure that your larger email campaigns are CAN-SPAM and GDPR compliant.
DO test. Testing before you send a mass email is critical. Test all your links. Make sure everything works properly. Test the appearance of your email on a variety of email platforms and clients to make sure there is broad consistency. Test 2-3 different subject lines on a small sampling of recipients to see which one is the most successful. This small additional testing step can make a big difference in a broad-based campaign.
DON’T forget to repeat. There is a fine line between sending enough emails to stay top-of-mind and sending too many and crossing the annoyance barrier. Keep a decent interval between your email communications.
DON’T ignore the results. Review and monitor your success rates. See which campaigns were most successful - had the most Opens, Click- throughs and Forwards. Analyze the ones that were not successful – those with the most Unsubscribes and lowest Open and Click-through rates. This is your target audience telling you what they do and do not want. These are great learnings! Use them carefully to constantly improve.
There are many ways to reach out to your target audience. Email is one such way. It can help build your brand awareness, drive visitors to your website and help fill your sales pipeline.
Use it wisely!