Email marketing is a great tool – it can let people know about upcoming specials, it can give past customers a reason to return, it can even let you gauge interest in changes your company may be thinking about making. Used incorrectly, however, it can damage your business far more than it helps. A weak email marketing campaign can also be very discouraging, especially if you can’t figure out why it didn’t do very well. In the same vein, if you’re not utilizing email marketing at all, you’re missing out on a valuable resource that can bring a steady stream of traffic to your website.
If your email marketing is underperforming, or if you don’t even know where to begin, take a look at these tips:
Spamming potential customers with unwanted emails isn’t just bad form – it’s unacceptable. Not only will it upset the recipients, but you’ll probably rack up enough spam reports to get kicked from your email service provider as well. Make sure that everyone receiving your emails has opted in. This also helps make sure that your emails are being seen by people who already have an interest in your products.
Your emails should be a natural extension of the rest of your brand, and that means matching the tone and style of your other marketing avenues. Use similar colors, fonts, and layouts as your website, and make sure that your emails are well thought out and well formatted.
Remember that for past customers, your emails may be the only interaction they still have with your company. Make sure that you’re sending out something that will make them want to come back, not something that will drive them away.
Respect The Customer
Your customers are people, and you should treat them that way. An easy exercise to gauge this is to picture yourself as the customer. If you think about things that you would like or dislike, those will most likely be a good set of guidelines for your own emails.
Don’t bombard your customers’ inboxes with emails that aren’t providing them any value. A few emails a month should be more than enough – perhaps one or two more during months where you’re running multiple promotions specials.
Also, make the process of unsubscribing easy and obvious. The only thing worse than having a person unsubscribe from your list is having that same person furious with you because it’s nearly impossible to figure out how to unsubscribe.
Design For Everyone
There are hundreds of different devices out there that customers can use to read email, so make sure your design is taking that into account. Wide emails will be particularly difficult to read on phones, so make sure that you’re using a narrow profile. Also, your email should be designed so that it doesn’t look terrible without pictures, and you should make sure that all your images have alt tags as well. Many email services block pictures by default, so making your email work without pictures ensures that none of your customers have a bad experience.
It might seem like bribery to offer something free when people sign up for your email list, but the truth is that they’re signing up to receive something of value, so giving them even more value up front is never a bad idea. Whether it’s a free seminar, a first-purchase discount code, an ebook, or something else, it’s a gesture showing them that you value their willingness to let you communicate with them further.
These tips can help you make sure that your email marketing campaigns are giving you the best return for your time and money. Do you have any tips to add to these? Share them with us in the comment section below.
If you need help with your email marketing, we highly recommend that you check out how our pals at Vertical Response can help!