The email; 42 years old and, as far as we can tell, still going strong. One of the most cost effective forms of direct marketing, the humble email is fast, cheap and when used correctly can provide you with an array of information regarding your consumers’ behaviour.
Peaking in popularity in the early 90’s, the introduction of the internet revolutionised how marketers could communicate with customers. With all previous marketing done over the phone or by post, both of which were costly and time consuming, the ability to send information to a large amount of customers at the same time via email was so exciting that every company jumped on board and the days of ‘mass marketing’ and spam were upon us.
Inboxes were cluttered with emails from companies that weren’t so much targeting potential customers, as they were throwing enough mud in the hope that some would stick. This got so bad that in 1998, the Data Protection Act got involved and provided users with an ‘opt out’ so that they could control what they were receiving.
Spam, virus and pharmaceutical emails were so prevalent during this time that email inbox was a veritable mine field and the big runners of email services, like AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo had to start hitting back. In 2004, service providers started to send back recipient feedback to companies that practiced email marketing and this gave the marketers valuable information regarding what, when and how often a customer wanted from an email.
The power to ‘block’ messages from certain senders made marketers sit up and pay attention and more importantly, rethink their tactics because if they didn’t, they were to be blacklisted and relegated to the depths of the ‘junk folder’, never to be read again.
Well researched, targeted emails can still pull in great ROI, but there are now rules to making sure that your campaign is successful.
Websmart’s Seven Golden Rules to Successful Email Marketing:
o Correct spelling and grammar – This seems obvious right? Emails with spelling and grammar errors are still being sent out and not only does it make your company look unprofessional, it also flags security issues for some people that may think your email is spam. Spell check, proof read and get another person to check your work before you send out marketing emails.
o Give your audience the chance to reply – ‘No-reply’ emails do not allow your customers to ask you questions or deliver you feedback and it sends the message ‘Here’s what we have to say, but we don’t want to hear your opinion on it’. Instead, encourage engagement, even if that means setting up a new dedicated email address to cover this particular line of contact. Your customer’s opinions are golden so why would you not want them?
o First Impressions are everything – So you’ve written a fantastic and engaging email, with brilliant offers for your customers. Great! But if your subject line is boring or full of jargon (FREE, SALE, NEWS) people will never get past that and read the content. Short, sweet and with just enough information to hook them into opening and finding out more
o Speak to each customer- Personalise your email subject line and increase your chance of it being opened by 17%. People like to feel special. Invest in a database and address each contact by name.
o Group your customers – None of your customers are the same. Each one will be in a different stage of the buying process, will have traded with you for a different amount of time and will expect something different from you. Tailor your emails for different groups and send each customer a relevant email. Your open rates and ROI will thank you for it
o Never, ever buy contact lists – This is a BIG no no and will ultimately do more harm than good. You raise your risk of being reported as a spammer, and will get blocked for good. Spend your time building a quality database of customers that you know will be interested in what you have to offer. Sure, it takes longer, but what you will get back in the long run is far greater
o Make sure you’re mobile compatible – Over half of emails are now opened on the go on a mobile device, so make sure that your email content is mobile compatible and can be read and navigated effectively. Short and to the point content, rather than pages and pages of wording will help ensure that people get your message, no matter how or where they access your email
Our team at Websmart Studio are experts in creating effective marketing campaigns and we have packages to suit any business, no matter how big or small. Call us today on 01553 766760 to discuss how we can help you send a winning email marketing campaign