Email marketing is an inexpensive, easy way to reach many customers at once. By following accepted etiquette and optimizing each message, you can interest customers without overwhelming them.
Shorten your learning curve, make the most of your resources, and maximize your impact both online and off.
Email marketing should be an extension of your brand; when a customer opens the email, it should look and feel like the rest of your marketing materials to create a consistent experience. Great emails contain a clear information hierarchy, bold headings, italics and images. They also use the same colors, fonts, image styles, and logo format.
The layout, organization and design of your email marketing messages is crucial to their success. Put the most important information is “above the fold”; i.e., in the area that will fit on the screen. If your readers have to scroll to see the main heading or top stories, you risk losing their attention.
Etiquette can make or break an email marketing campaign. Appropriate timing, for example, varies from business to business. A restaurant can get away with a daily email containing lunch specials, while an engineering firm might send out quarterly updates about new products. The correct timing and frequency ensures that you will not irritate or overwhelm readers. Plan an email marketing schedule that keeps your business fresh in customers’ minds but does not clutter their inbox.
Another best practice is to build an opt-in email mailing list to reach receptive readers. Use a website form, physical sign-up sheet, or request that customers sign up for your mailing list to receive special promotions. Lastly, keep in mind that legally you must include unsubscribe directions in each email; to create a strong reputation, aim to honor opt-out requests immediately.
When it comes to email marketing, your goal is to make the reader’s job as easy as possible. To encourage engagement, use multiple calls to action throughout the body; when a person is interested in a topic, they shouldn’t have to look far to learn more. Use “read more” links, bold “order now” buttons, or an offer to “schedule a free review.” Each call to action should be specific to the information it follows.
Finally, use email marketing to promote discussion on different fronts. Include links to your social media profiles. Request that users send in questions to be answered in future newsletters. By increasing brand exposure in multiple places, you can strengthen the relationship and create a feeling of familiarity with your readers.
Mitch Tarr is the author of Email Marketing Mastery: Accelerate Your Business Using Email Marketing.