In these budget-tightening times, as a savvy marketer you know that it’s not wise to abandon your marketing efforts. You realize that now, more than ever, it’s time to stay in front of your customers, but how to do so cost-effectively is the challenge.
Email is one marketing tool well-suited to achieve that goal without breaking your budget. Its ability to help you optimize your most valuable asset – loyal customers – is a competitive advantage.
However, sending out irrelevant email messages just because your customers gave you their address, doesn’t cut it. To achieve success, consider these 6 guidelines before you send out your next email campaign:
1) Don’t overdo it.
Even when people have opted-in to your list, don’t overwhelm them. There’s a delicate balance between sending relevant information and bombarding them with constant non-meaningful messages. Send an e-mail only when you have something of value to share with them.
2) Give careful thought to your content. If you need help, ask your favorite copywriter for his/her assistance.
- Choose your words wisely. Before clicking the “send” button, ask yourself, “Is my reader going to find this valuable?”
- Start with a compelling or personal subject line. Like an OE (outer envelope) teaser, your subject line should be meaningful or the message won’t be read
- Talk to your customers in a friendly, conversational tone. Remind recipients that they’re getting this message because they gave you permission to e-mail them
- Personalize your message. When possible, insert the customer’s first name in the greeting. A personalized message saying “Dear Mary” works better than “Dear Friend.”
3) Get to the point.
- Keep it simple. Give them benefits.
- Make it easy for readers to determine what you’re offering.
- Don’t forget a CALL TO ACTION. Tell them what you want them to do. Respond to your e-mail . . . call you . . . sign up for a newsletter?
4) Choose your time wisely.
Ask your customers what works best for them. Middle of the day is often a good time (because many people often have full inboxes first thing in the morning). However, I have a colleague whose emails arrive in my inbox each week at 4:00am MT on Sundays.
5) Respond promptly to inquiries and questions.
Do so within 24 hours. Don’t ignore responses from customers, not if you want them to keep coming back. I once had a gentleman who works for an SEO company tell me he had too many emails to deal with so he didn’t respond. I was surprised. He’s a professional working for a Web-based business and he didn’t have time to respond to his customers? Then, why did he get into the business?
6) If customers ask to be removed from your list, remove them.
Honor all removal requests promptly. According to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, you must honor opt-out requests within 10 days of receipt. I say, “do it sooner.” Do you really want to continue e-mailing someone who has made it clear they don’t want to hear from you? Think how you would feel. Honor those opt-out requests. However, it’s not a bad idea to remind those customers that, should they change their mind, you’re always happy to add their names back onto the list at a later date.
Times may be challenging, but we’ve faced challenges in the past. Consider these 6 email strategies and you may find they’re very successful in not only getting your name out there, but keeping your name in front of those people who count the most – loyal customers and qualified prospects.
In addition to e-mail, what other cost-effective ways are you marketing yourself? Share them below because I’d love to hear your ideas.