With overflowing inboxes these days, you may think email marketing is just a shot in the dark. However, email campaigns still have a place in the toolbox and are valuable when used with attention to a few simple guidelines:
- Send emails to people who want to hear from you. Have customers opt-in to your list, or at least target those with whom you have a business relationship. Readers are more likely to engage with your business when they’ve given permission for contact. Plus, when you send emails that are merely deleted or left unopened, your domain reputation suffers, sinking your goals.
- Speaking of goals…. have one before you send a message. Define your goal, so you can communicate it to the recipients. Do you want them to fill out a form, follow a hyperlink, or use a promo code? Make it as easy as possible for readers to respond to your call-to-action. No specific goal? Don’t send an email and risk annoying the people who want to hear from you. Make it worth their while to open your messages, and they’ll reward you with their engagement.
- Personalize your messages without being intrusive or creepy. Emails generate higher response rates when sent to an actual name (rather than “Dear Customer.”) However, everyone is concerned about online privacy, so just stick to recipient name or company name. You may be targeting your audience with specific data, but you don’t want to scare them off with your in-depth knowledge.
- Be personal on your end, too. Engagement is higher when email marketing messages are sent from an actual person or company email address, rather than a “no-reply” account. You want your customers to reply (see #2).
- Pay attention to unengaged subscribers and suppress messages to those whose email providers start sending them to spam boxes. Even customers who have opted-in your list may ignore messages, especially if they feel overwhelmed.
- Dig into what’s wrong if your “open” rate or unsubscribe numbers rise too high. Are you sending too many emails or failing to meet customer expectations? Perhaps you need more creative material or compelling calls-to-action.
- Vary days of the week when hitting “send.” Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays see the most email traffic, so increase the odds of standing out by picking Mondays or Fridays. Some people are more likely to read non-work-related emails on weekends, so Saturdays could be worth a try.
- Write strong subject lines but avoid clickbait-style headings. When people open your email and find less-than-authentic communications, you risk losing them forever.
Email marketing competes with other communication tools and techniques for consumer attention. It still works, but it requires creativity, trial and error, and diligent attention to the analytics of clickthrough rates and response.
Ligon Marketing has experience implementing and measuring email marketing campaigns, and we can help you identify appropriate opportunities as part of your overall marketing strategy. Need help with that strategy? Let’s meet for coffee and talk.