Effective Email Marketing

Email marketing is still a thing. Yes, I said it. As a marketing tool, email is still an effective way to get your message across to consumers and businesses alike. Current trends show the average person on the street, and definitely business owners, are much less responsive to cold calls than ever before. There is a growing shift to Google Adwords, Social Media marketing, and other marketing funnels trying to push leads to your webpage. In all this clutter, email marketing, when done right, is an effective way to communicate to current customers, as well as piquing the interest of those who have opted into your email list through your other lead capture strategies.

As anyone with an email account knows, the amount of solicitation emails can be overwhelming. Some email providers have gone as far as to create tabs differentiating between non- transactional email (your mom), transactional emails (exchanging information to get things accomplished), and promotional emails (all those wonderful marketing emails you can never seem to get through). The challenge this poses is to tailor your message in a way that captures the attention of the prospective reader. Here are some simple rules of thumb to create more productive campaigns.

Never stop building your subscriber list. Even if you’ve already got a long list of email addresses for clients and prospects, you should continue to add to it. I keep an ongoing spreadsheet of customers or clients from previous positions, as I already have existing relationships I can draw upon. To help capture names, have email capture forms on your website and social media sites, as well as asking current customers for their email.

Email marketing allows you to develop relationships and open the door to meaningful conversations with your customers and real prospects who are interested in your business. You don’t want to waste your time throwing information at your leads, planning is essential when developing your email.

Personalized subject lines allow you to speak to readers directly and promise them something that stands out from the other emails in their inbox. Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. The best way to go about this is with automated solutions like Mailchimp that personalize your emails with their first name. Most email tools allow you to enter short codes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails should always fun and personal.

Write the email in your own voice, with a focus on being friendly and entertaining. Please be sure to spell check your email too. It is easy to lose credibility if your marketing attempts are riddled with errors and misspellings. Try to sound natural and less like an automated email. Just because they opened your email doesn’t mean they won’t delete it if it doesn’t hold their attention.

Know your customer! I cannot reiterate this enough. You need to know your target audience in order to create targeted content. With segmentation of your email list based on the demographics of your prospect base will make it easier to create a message that really resonates with their needs and interests, which makes them more likely to take up an offer, engage with you or even to forward it onto other potential clients.

Don’t send out ugly emails! Seriously. There are so many graphic design tools and email tools that can help you create a visually pleasing email that can be viewed on both desktop and mobile devices. Mailchimp is free to use for most features until you hit 2000 subscribers. You don’t want your email to look like one of those amateur websites from the 90’s. Your email has been opened and now you need to keep their attention.

Some key points to consider when drafting your message are:

  • Using short paragraphs and ensuring that keywords and phrases relevant to your readers stand out.
  • Including bullet points to help people skim the content and take in the vital points.
  • Inserting pictures sparingly. Images should illustrate your message rather than replace your content. Some email providers block images or consider them an indicator of spam.

If your emails are flagged as spam, your audience will never get a chance to read them. Make sure your recipients have opted into your emails so you aren’t violating any regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act.  Avoid using all caps, too many exclamation marks, and phrases like “ACT NOW BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!!!!”. Poorly formatted HTML in your emails can affect how they are seen by spam filters. Every spam filter is different, so an email might pass through one filter but get flagged by another. Be sure to include a means to unsubscribe as well. You want to do everything in your power to avoid being blacklisted, as your email messaging will start to automatically be flagged as spam

The focus of these points is to encourage recipients to respond. Sometimes that means they click on a link to go to your website or landing page, but whenever possible, encourage them to actually respond to your emails. That’s a sure way to show you’re interested and responsive to what your subscribers have to say. A way to develop a lasting and meaningful relationship with your customer is to engage in a meaningful dialogue about you and your services.

DIGIKNOW: Many email marketers wrongly assume that millennials are only interested in social media advertising or text messaging. The fact is, millennials, like other generations, are more inclined to read, keep, and trust email messages.

To learn more about effective email marketing, join us Friday, May 18th from noon to 1pm for our monthly Lunch and Learn series. Brown bag lunches are encouraged; snacks, water, coffee, and tea will be provided.

RSVP to digitalagency@gjsentinel.com

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