Email marketing is a way to get your message out quickly and inexpensively. Customers see your message on their computer, just clicks away from your website. The key is knowing what to send, to whom, how to get your email read, and how to turn that into a purchase transaction.

First of all is timing. Midweek is one of the best times to send an email message, when many people read email over lunch or just after. On Mondays, customers may still be plowing through their weekend email. Generally, twice a month is plenty for prospecting email contacts. For longtime customers, once a week is good, if you can offer something new or valuable.
Secondly, spend time constructing your subject line. This will determine whether or not your message gets read or trashed. The line should be a clear benefit statement. This may mean changing the subject line, depending on the customer´s needs and wants. Don´t use all capital letters, which are like shouting at someone. Also, avoid words such as “free”, “get rich”, and “guaranteed”, as these words can get caught in spam filters.

Email marketing is not effective unless you have a good list of customers and prospects. Database software can help in dividing the list into categories. It will be up to you to determine how you want the list sorted (buying behavior, product selection, geographics, demographics). Then, match each group to the customer benefit that best fits. In an email to existing customers, thank them for their business, before offering a benefit. Build trust by telling them what credentials you or your company holds, and offer them a special incentive to place that first order.

Make your email look attractive. The logo and overall look of the email should be similar to other marketing materials you use. Use short sentences or bullet points so readers can scan the message. Don´t use too many graphics or photos.
Don´t hesitate to hire a graphic artist or designer to help put your email message together. Consider signing up with an email marketing service provider. These companies provide templates and stock photos. Fees are generally based on the size of the contact list. They often offer tracking services that can help businesses tally how many recipients deleted, opened, or clicked through the message to reach your website. On average, a 10% to 15% “open” rate is considered pretty good. Service providers also will track the addresses that bounced your message so you can take those contacts off of your master list. Be sure to get permission to send emails to people and offer an unsubscribe option.

As consumers are becoming more comfortable using technology, email marketing is becoming a more acceptable, affordable, and immediate way to reach your customers.

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