Email marketing provides businesses with the opportunity to contact their clients or prospects in a way that is both immediate and personal. Any business related email could be called email marketing, since the more likely a recipient is to open an email the better chance the company sending it has of getting their message read. However, it is important to remember that how you contact your customers and prospects, and the information you send them, has a profound effect on your business’s reputation. So you have to be subtle.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing refers to sending some kind of informative, promotional or transactional information via email. It can be used to alert customers or prospects to specials, up-coming events or new products, for example. It is a tool through which you can build trust, loyalty or brand awareness. Email marketing can be used in different ways and, in a world in which people receive sometimes hundreds of emails a day, getting your email opened is the biggest challenge.
Why email marketing?
Email marketing is a fantastic tool for keeping in touch with customers and it costs very little in relation to other forms of marketing. These are a few of the benefits of email marketing:
- It is almost instant communication
- It is very low cost*
- It can easily be made extremely personal
- It offers the potential to build a database of customers and prospects who are interested in what you have to say
- You can contact your database with all sorts of relevant information
- You can reach a substantial number of customers with one message in a very short space of time
- Your return on investment can be tracked very accurately
The subject is more important than the content
If nobody opens your emails it does not matter how good, useful or interesting your content is; no one’s going to read it. Having a subject that compels people to open the email is, therefore, paramount. You need to very quickly grab your prospective readers’ attention with a subject that draws them in and gives them reason to want to read what you have written about.
Don’t try to be too clever with your subject lines. People are bombarded with emails from all sorts of different directions every day. Often ones they’ve actually subscribed to and are, therefore, interested in. So just because your email is ‘consented to’ doesn’t automatically mean they’ll get a chance to open it. Writing a clever, but slightly cryptic subject, which someone has to work out the meaning of, could well put them off. You will lose you chance to impress them in the second you have to capture their imagination.
Add value with every email
Keeping your customers abreast of goings-on in your industry is a huge contributor to building trust and your reputation as an expert. Not only should you use your email marketing to inform your clients about what is happening in your business, or offer them specials, but you should also include news and views that keep them appraised.
If your customers know that the information you send to them via email will enrich their lives or improve their business in some way, they are much more likely to open them than if you regularly send out content that is of little value.
If you are not using email marketing then you are not exploiting the tools that you have at your disposal in your online arsenal. Building up a database with which you can communicate valuable information in a personal way at almost a moment’s notice is a great way to build your business and convert sales.
*If you want to send out a beautifully designed and professionally written email, the cost incurred will be higher as you will have to pay for design and content writing. Many companies around the world make use of this expertise as it has the effect of getting more emails opened and read, as well as increasing the return on investment. In other words, it’s worth every extra cent.
Is email marketing part of your online marketing arsenal? If so, how do you maximise the potential of your email marketing tools? We’d love to read your ideas in the comments below.