Email marketing has been around for a long time, and yet it remains one of the most effective tools for communicating with clients and prospects. All of us use email; many of us on a daily basis. The Radicati Group reports that 2.4 million emails are sent every second of every day! Unlike social media, there are no tricky algorithms to work around. Your message is not competing beside other advertisements as it does with traditional online ad placements. Users do not fast forward through your commercial like they do with tv. You control the entirety of the message right down to its presentation. To be effective, however, the email must be read. How do you keep your email subscribers engaged? Here are five tips for a email marketing success:
- Don’t spam. This is the number one rule of email marketing. Your email list should be comprised of people who elect to receive email correspondence from you. There are a number of ways to capture subscribers. Prominently display a newsletter signup link on your website. Include links to your newsletter signup on your social media accounts. Don’t make the mistake of using email marketing to only recruit new sales prospects. Use the platform to maintain contact with existing customers as well. Include a message encouraging newsletter signup on follow-up correspondence like invoices and order fulfillment correspondence as well.
- Provide Useful Content. Don’t make the mistake of using your email newsletter as a shameless ad for your business. The content of your email should be helpful and useful to the recipient. Offer tips and education. Use your email to address frequently asked questions you hear from your clients and prospects. Reward loyal customers with special promotions. Announce new services and products.
- Segment Your Lists and Personalize the Message. A surefire way to land your email in the recipient’s trash bin is to send irrelevant content to your email subscribers. Let’s say you own a salon that serves both men and women. Don’t send an email announcing the latest nail and lip colors for fall to your entire list. Segment your list in a way that allows you to send your email to subscribers who have shown an interest in beauty supplies in the past. When your content is relevant, your audience remains engaged.
- Don’t overdo it. Another way to lose subscribers is to overwhelm them by contacting them to frequently. I once received five emails from a company in a single day. While I was a fan of the company, it was just too much. I unsubscribed.
- Be consistent. Just as important as not sending email too frequently is not sending email to your marketing lists frequently enough. You want to schedule your emails so they are sent often enough that your prospects look forward to receiving them but not so infrequently that your newsletter feels unfamiliar to your prospects when they are received. Make the layout of your emails easy to read and don’t overstuff them with information. Make sure your email contains a call to action or next step you desire from the recipient.
There are loads of tools, many of them free, that make email marketing a manageable and measurable component of your marketing strategy. Seek tools that enable you to create emails that are easy to read and are mobile friendly. Ensure that opting out is easy for people who are receiving your messages. Look for tools that can track metrics like open and click-through rates so that you can determine what is working and what is not. Make sure that you have the ability to segment your lists. Advanced platforms allow you to automate follow-up messages based on the behavior of the recipient furthering your personalization efforts. While email marketing has been around for a while, do not underestimate the importance it still plays in an effective marketing strategy.