With the explosion of social media sites today, some feel that email is a dying marketing tool. However, email still remains one of the most lucrative marketing channels for businesses. It’s a free source of advertising and it’s targeting an audience that has already shown interest in your brand by subscribing to your email list or newsletter. Customers are more inclined to buy from you because a level of trust has already been established.
Emails and newsletters can help boost sales, given that they’re done properly. But keep in mind that you can actually lose customers if it’s not done with care.
1. Personalization – Avoid generic greetings such as “Hello”, or “Dear valued customer”. Emails that address readers by their first name are much more effective and help build the relationship on a more personal level. Most email marketing tools have a function that will automatically include the individuals’ name whom you’re emailing, so you don’t have to type all the names in manually every time.
2. Know Your Message, and Write it Well – Before you start writing that email, ask yourself why you’re emailing your customers and make sure to include a call to action (what you want them to do). Be sure it’s well written and is engaging for your customers to read. Assume that you only have a couple of seconds to grab their attention and make the first few sentences enticing so customers will continue reading. Use headings and small paragraphs for ease of reading.
3. Frequency and Timing – Don’t overdo it. It’s recommended that small businesses should be emailing their subscribers only once or twice a month. Emailing too frequently will ultimately lead to higher unsubscribe rates. Social media sites are better tools for frequent communications. Also, keep in mind that there are “prime” times to send these emails. Although it will vary slightly depending on your target audience and the type of industry you are in, typically these are the best times to send marketing emails:
Day of the Week – Monday to Friday (except for mail about recreational content, which is better to send on the weekend)
Time of Day – The optimal send time is 10:30am (except for content about hobbies, which is better to be sent at 8:00am)
4. Do Not Spam – It’s very important that you do NOT add people to your email list who did not personally sign up. Remember, emails are great tools for maintaining and strengthening relationships (or sales), but highly ineffective at recruiting new customers. Adding unsuspecting names to your email list will only foster a negative impression and might even get you dropped by your email provider. So don’t do it! Also, avoid using spammy-sounding phrases in the subject line, and include the business address, as this will also keep your mail from being treated as spam by email filters and servers.
5. Make it Mobile-friendly – Your emails should be mobile-friendly. Prior to finalizing your next email campaign, make sure that it is tested against all major mobile devices. Mobile emulators are also available so you can see how the email looks on different devices.
6. Use Social Media – Your website is not the only medium you can use to increase your email subscribers. Make full use of your social media accounts, and include your social media profiles in the email, as well. Provide links to your Twitter feed, Facebook page, and/or your blog in all email messages. Also, remember to ask your followers to register and explain the benefits of doing so.
7. Keep it Interesting – People get bored easily, so keep your content from becoming static. Don’t focus on the same message over and over. Mix up your content and keep your subscribers engaged by offering special offers and vouchers, as well. On average, 7 in 10 people will make use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email.
For more on email tips and etiquette, visit http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/email-etiquette-dos-and-donts/