Email Marketing – Getting Your Emails Read!

Email has all but replaced snail mail. The hyper quick, usually reliable medium allows people to near get in touch all with the click of a button. And now businesses can quickly send coupons, info, promotions, and other enticing things to potential customers.

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Due to its low costs and solid rate of returns, email marketing is now one of the most popular promotional tools in the world. But running a successful email campaign isn’t as easy as throwing a discount and a few paragraphs into an email and clicking send. You’ll have to come up with a  world class strategy in order to ensure people read and respond to your overtures.

An email marketing campaign can empower just about any kind of business, even traditional bricks-and-mortar companies. Email also allows you to get in touch with people on their smartphones and tablets. In general, email marketing is a great way to increase engagement and build relationships with customers.

Why Email Marketing Rocks

Email is a great tool for any business due to its low costs and high speed of contact. With email you don’t have to print up expensive flyers and pay for postage. You just spend some time on your computer formatting a nice email letter and perhaps using a publishing program to create a coupon. Then you click send. No stamps, no licking nasty envelopes shut.

Read on to find out how to build such a strategy!

Building an Email List

You need to build up a list of email addresses. The quality of your list will go a long way in determining the quality of your email campaign. In order to build up a high quality list, you should try a variety of methods.

If you have a bricks-and-mortar business, such as a restaurant, start trying to solicit information from customers. You can do this by offering contests for those who sign up for your mailing list, and other incentives. Also, set up a website and let people know if they join your mailing list they will be entered into a raffle, or something similar.  You can also offer freebies, and other gifts to people who sign up for your emailing list.

At all stages people should be “opting in,” or choosing to join the list. If you just email random people you will gain the reputation of a spammer and that can severely damage your brand image. Also, make sure people can easily opt out by offering a link through the email. The sad fact is that some people may come to realize that they aren’t interested in your promotions. That’s fine, let them go their own way.

Do not buy an email list! For one, the quality of the list will be low and most of the customers will not be interested in your products. Second, you could be violating anti spam laws, such as the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, and could end up in legal troubles.

So what happens after you build your list? The fun is just getting started! Having a great list is a good way to start your campaign but now you will have to build high quality content to draw customers in.

Building the Right Promotions

So you’ve got the body of your email written, the subject line is in place, and you are looking for an enticing promotion? Well, let’s go over a few things.

First, don’t send out small promotions, like 5% off. Customers will be uninterested and will start to ignore your messages. Second, for the same reasons, make sure you are selling only high quality stuff through email. Anything that damages trust and interest can cause lasting and irrevocable damage. And with most email lists, people can unsubscribe with a simple click of the button, or simply block your email.

Building Content

Getting names and email addresses is just the beginning. You then have to nurture your list and build a relationship with customers. You can do this by providing helpful information and high-quality content. Customers will see you as an expert and friend, and this builds trust so that you can then start making offers.

-Some quick tips-
•    Keep your subject line short and enticing.
•    Make sure you don’t use more than one or two paragraphs worth of content in the body of the email.
•    In the body, put the most important content first.
•    Most of the time you should make an offer or give a promotion. This will ensure that people pay attention to your emails.
•    Double check for grammar errors and confusing content.
•    Sign off with a  friendly good bye and provide some contact information.
•    Avoid all CAPS and any other thing else that resembles spam.

Track Your Success

So how do you know you email campaign is working? There are numerous methods you can use to monitor your email campaign. Specialized software can tell you how many people open your email and how many people click through to any provided links. Another method is to make up special email only coupons and see how many people turn them in.  You can even set up autoresponder programs to reply to people who make inquiries!

You should be prepared, a lot of people will ignore your emails. An open rate about 25% is considered good! Don’t worry though, remember that emails are free!

Also, make sure you check with your national government and understand all of the involved marketing laws!

A Final Tip

You should always treat your potential customers like gold. That includes people who walk into your shop, and people who get in touch via email. Be quick, polite, and helpful should anyone send you an email asking for more information, or wanting to make a remark or complaint. Courteous customer service always leads to a stronger business.


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