Email marketing allows you to reach the customer directly, and can be custom created to fit the shopper’s needs based on past history, personal preference, and much more. While email marketing is an excellent way to garner new customers and maintain old ones, there are some very important things every business needs to know. Here are some great email marketing tips to getting more people to open up that email – every time you send it.
Announce Big Sales
Always let your email subscribers know when a big sale is coming up. Do not wait until the last minute – give your email list members a fair heads-up, and then send another reminder or two before the big sale day. If the sale stretches across several days, be sure to let them know this as well. If a coupon code has to be used, make absolutely sure it is included in the email.
Use Strong Subject Lines
The subject is what brings people to determine whether or not they hit the delete button automatically or whether they actually click on open, and read the email. Without an interesting or intriguing subject line, customers might not even bother. Come up with something clever that will grab their attention and make them want to open the email. Use creative one-liners or fun catch phrases. You can also cut right to the chase and say something like: 50% Off All Products For The Next 72 Hours! Another powerful way is to ask a question like: Did you download your free report yet? The point is, if it makes the reader open the email, then the subject line has done its job.
Make the Call to Action Clear
In other words, always let your customers know what you expect of them, and what they can expect of you. Whether it is a sale with free shipping if they purchase R100 or more worth of products, or a free promotional offer or item if they attend a local event, you need to make the message clear. Any “fine print” should always be out in the open so the reader knows any catches, details, or other provisions they have to meet well in advance.
Use Social Networking to Your Advantage
Facebook is all the rage right now, so be sure to include a reminder to have your email readers click “like” for your company on Facebook. You can easily include this link inside the email, so all they have to do is click the icon or link, and it takes them right to Facebook with the option to click on the like button. Facebook is currently proving a valuable asset and additional help to businesses all over the world.
Include Fun, Informative Content in Your Emails
You do not have to make every single email a sales pitch. Instead, include some interesting information about your product, how it can be used, or another topic closely related to your business. If your email subscribers tend to get nothing but sales letters, they may begin deleting them. However, if those emails make for an interesting read, they might just press onward and even go to the website and make purchases or ask questions.
Take Advantage of the Holidays
The holidays, especially major ones, are a good time to market your product or service. Use this to your advantage in emails by creating special, holiday and email only discounts. You can get creative by offering special holiday related items, or just have sales during select times of the year.
If a customer makes a purchase on your website but does not opt in to being on your email list, do not send them emails or add them to the list unsolicited. This is a sure fire way to turn someone off, and have them spread the word about your spam emails. Instead, offer for people to join the list on their own when they are on the home page, inside of the shopping cart, or at check out. You never want to make customers feel as if the emails they are receiving are forced.
Create Target Lists for Different Demographics
New mothers might only want to receive emails about goods for babies, while a man will certainly not want to hear about the latest heels and handbags you have to offer. Instead, create several different email lists for various demographics, so you can easily reach the people who want to read only what they get in their in box. Try to hone in on your current customer base by offering surveys to get a better idea of the age and sex demographics you are receiving the most business from. This can make a huge difference when it comes to garnering sales.
Keep the Quantity to a Minimum
Most people that join email lists like to get an email every now and then, but every day or even once a week can be too much, unless the content is purely informative and designed to be sent that way. Otherwise, marketing type emails should be sent as sparingly as possible. Often, people only respond to these types of emails when a good discount or offer is included. Otherwise they might be prone to either just deleting them on sight or opting to unsubscribe. If you overdo the number of emails you send, it’s almost a guarantee you will see your email database dwindle in no time.
Beauty Actually Does Matter
Make the emails you send out look visually appealing. Often, e-commerce businesses send out text-laden emails that will bore the reader rather quickly. Insert plenty of colorful graphics, and make each email sent have a different, creative appearance. The eyes enjoy color and design, so come up with something unique to send each time. No one wants to sit and read a bunch of marketing babble. Instead, they want to get right to the chase and find out just what the good deal is that you are offering.
Do Your Homework and Run Some Tests
Make sure your marketing emails pass the spam filter test. A lot of people have spam filters set up to discard any emails that contain certain keywords. Often, the subscriber’s individual email browser or host creates these filters. Find out what words turn off the email servers and make them go on auto-delete. Also, check your current database and make sure the email addresses you have are good
and up to date.
Make Welcome Back Offers
Make welcome back or come back offers to the people who either have not made a purchase in a while, or only make one every so often. These special emails usually offer the customer a special deal for making a purchase because they have not done so in a set amount of time. How long you want to wait until you
make this kind of offer is up to you. In other cases, if someone comes back and gives you their hard earned money, you can always send them a “welcome back” email to entice them to return again.
Stay as Professional as Possible
While you want your emails to be entertaining and engaging, it’s key to remain as professional as possible. Be sensitive to your demographic. Always spell check and grammar check your emails. Make your emails clear and express to the customer or potential customer the exact purpose of the email without sounding pushy.
Refer to your Facebook Link Several Times in an Email
Reiterate your sign up or Facebook links several times throughout the email. Include it at the beginning and the end if possible. Try not to make it obnoxious or overwhelming, but make it easy for people to click and enroll in your email newsletters, sales announcements, or other contacts.
If you can, try to send out some personal emails to clients. Ask how they are doing, and see if there is anything you can possibly do to assist them with their business or personal needs in terms of your own company. Find out what they feel is lacking on your end, and determine just what it is you can do to improve their experience. By getting personal, you gain better insight into your clients’ individual needs and can better adapt everything as you see fit. Once you’ve established an email relationship, it should be much easier to get them to sign up for more current, generalized emails.
Customize Your Bulk Emails
Even if you send out several hundred or even several thousand emails to customers every week or month, adding a bit of a custom feel can help people feel more comfortable. Try to use software that will include the person’s name in the emails. For example if John Doe signs up on your site, when he gets an
email it says, “Dear John” or “Dear Mr. Doe,” so it has a more personal feel to it. This type of marketing has shown repeatedly to make a huge difference in end result sales.
Use a Table of Contents if Need
If your message is long, use a table of contents or break the message down into segments. Longer, content ridden emails should be broken down into a newspaper style or even a book style so that the reader can skim through and skip to the sections he or she is most interested in. In cases like this, be sure to let the reader know the sign up link is featured at the beginning and end of the email.
Give Readers Formatting Options
Use the option to include a plain text version versus the HTML version of the emails in case some people prefer it.
Double-Check the Reply Address
Do not forget that a lot of people probably plan on responding to your emails. Be sure the sending email address is a valid reply-to address. This way, people who have specific questions can easily reach you. Do not forget to frequently check and reply to your emails!
Allow Readers to Unsubscribe
Always, always, ALWAYS include the unsubscribe option in every email. Sometimes, people simply receive too many emails and can no longer receive yours on a regular basis. While this happens sometimes, remember that you don’t like to get too many emails you do not read either. Not everyone you contact will be a match for your company or e-commerce website.
Confirm your unsubscribes, and let them know you are sorry to see them go. Remind them that they can always sign back up later if they prefer. This is not only the polite way to handle people who decide they no longer want your emails, but it also leaves them with a pleasant memory and the opportunity to change their minds later on down the line.
Trim Down Your Emails
Try not to include too much in your emails. Flash and java are both great and can do wonders for websites, but not only does it seem too much for a simple email, many web mail and other servers simply will not display videos, etc in emails. Use creative graphics and interesting information to draw in new customers, but save the unprompted videos for your home page, or include a link to the videos within the email.
Include Your Physical Address
Be sure to include your business’ street address in your emails – it makes you look much more professional. Your current business address should be included in ALL correspondence including emails, invoices, and letters. If your customer prefers to respond or reach you by mail, they can do so easily by having this information readily available.
Always make your promotion or whatever it is you are attempting to sell lives up to the emails you send. If you are offering a certain discount, make sure the code you provide is working on your website in advance. Never try to upsell customers and then let them down by having non-working promotional codes, or by adding a whole lot of stipulations in your promo once they get to the landing page.
Do Not Buy Email Lists
Instead, rely on your current customers passing the word on, or emails you send as teasers or introductory emails. You can also promote your email lists on your website and the odds are that interested parties will sign up there. Email lists that you buy are typically either unreliable because they have non-valid email addresses, or you are most likely reaching a demographic that does not fit your
niche. In addition, people who end up getting your emails because their address is on a list may be offended by the intrusion.
Offer some kind of reward for people who opt in. You can offer free shipping, a free gift with purchase, or any other type of welcome incentive. By doing this, you can “hook” people in and keep them interested in your emails. That way, they never know what to expect and what other great offers will be coming their way.
Experiment with Subject Lines
Try out different subject lines, and get a feel for the varying test results. In other words, you can send out the same email to hundreds of clients or customers, but change up the subject line for a segment of each. Then, determine using your analytics software which ones are the most effective. This can really help you get a feel for your demographics as well.
Speak to the Reader
Use language that makes the recipient feel as if you are talking directly to them, or involving them in the process. For example, instead of saying “Click here to sign up for the latest news and offerings,” you can say, “Yes, I would love to be a part of your exclusive insiders-only news, promotions, and updates.” By making the reader feel as if he or she is truly special (which they are), you are getting
them more involved in the process of customer-business relations.
Using these simple yet effective email marketing tips can be the difference between a bland, boring every day email newsletter, and an exciting, dynamic information packed email. Utilize your marketing and writing skills together to create emails that will bring in new customers and entice existing customers to bring you repeat business. It may take some practice and a few bumps along the way, but soon you will be able to put together emails that will catch your customers’ eye and keep them interested in all you have to offer, year after year.