Email marketing – an opportunity not to be missed
Email gives businesses an easy and cost-effective way to communicate with their customers. In the past, print and postage costs prohibited many businesses from using direct marketing, but the ease and affordability of electronic communications mean this is a channel that every business should consider.
But, before you forge ahead with an email campaign, here are some points to consider.
1) Who you mail matters most
Mailing the right people is key and this has the biggest influence on the success of your mailing. Name gathering needs to form part of your marketing activity, as people who have said they’d like to hear from you are the best audience for your emails. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to add “create, maintain and grow database” to your marketing strategy.
2) Respect privacy and know the law
3) Remember: relationships build over time
Building a relationship is going to take more than just one email, so you’ll need to have a plan for your email communications. Will you send out emails weekly, monthly, quarterly, or on an ad hoc basis, triggered by pre-determined events? An insurance company may send out a sequence of emails as a customer approaches their policy renewal date, a training company may email a newsletter to coincide with upcoming courses, or a small business may contact clients to share relevant case studies.
4) What do you want to say?
First and foremost, make sure you have something to say in your emails! A small business offering a single service may be hard pressed to come up with compelling content for an email that goes out weekly, which is why it’s important to map out both the timing and content of messages before you embark on your email campaign. Work out what’s appropriate for your business.
5) Make sure your email is opened
Achieving stand-out for your communication is the first hurdle and that means writing a subject line that grabs attention – remember, the average inbox is a cluttered environment. Once the email is open use headlines so readers can scan your message and keep content short. Remember, making your emails relevant to your target audience will help ensure they are opened, read and acted on.
6) What do you want your customers to do?
It sounds simple enough, but this aspect of communications is so often overlooked. You need to be clear, and realistic, about what you want your reader to do. If you’re a clothing retailer then the desired response may be for the reader to go online and see a new fashion range, but if you’re a service company, then your email campaign might be about planting seeds for future action. Whatever you do though, don’t forget the call to action.
7) How will you know if you’ve been successful?
The beauty of direct marketing is that it’s measurable. Simple metrics can quickly establish if your email campaign is achieving its objectives. It’s important to look at your emails over a period of time, rather than in isolation, and to look at broader issues such as customer retention as well as the more immediate results of a mailing. Given the low cost attached to sending out emails, this can be an affordable part of your overall marketing strategy.
If you’d like to discuss setting up an email campaign for your business then call me on 01249 653816 or email email@example.com.
Further guidance on data protection legislation is available from the Office of the Information Commissioner. A useful summary appears on the Advertising Standards Authority’s website: ASA website.