Email marketing is fantastic as if you’ve obtained the email address in the correct manner, you’ve been granted the opportunity to deliver your latest news or special offers directly into your customers private inbox. And, particularly as social media grows, people nowadays are a little less likely to give you an email address when they have the opportunity to click like or follow to view the latest offerings at their leisure so it’s definitely something you should value.
We’ve spoken to quite a few companies, predominantly SMEs who have considerable databases but aren’t 100% certain where to get started, so as we’ve worked with databases from less than 100 to almost 100,000 for today’s feature in The Marketing Shop Five series, we’re going to give you 5 tips to steer you in the right direction.
1. Get the right software – don’t send from outlook, gmail, yahoo or any other email client that you may be using within your office. These systems are generally not built for mass email marketing and details like the width of the email, the fonts or even the images can become corrupt as the email arrives into the recipients inbox. Email software is widely available for FREE if you’ve got a database of less than 2,000 or from as little as a couple of cent per email if you’re sending to a large database.
2. Always offer a text version – many clients won’t have images switched on, or have to enable them if they open the email. Clients using smartphones or conscious of data usage may not view emails with images on at all. If you’ve gone to a lot of effort to put together a newsletter that clients will be interested in, ensure that all of your potential customers will actually be able to read it.
3. Choose your language carefully – from the subject line right through to the copy you need to choose the language you use carefully. Some email systems may flag what you considered to be a regular everyday word such as “adult” and suggest that you find a replacement. To you it may be a price per adult for a hotel for example, whereas some clients may have classed “adult” as spam in order to prevent access to/from adult websites. Other terms such as “no obligation” or “no purchase necessary” or “order now” can also trigger a spam filter, or simply discourage a client from opening a mail – we’ve all seen too many emails like this, haven’t we? Also put the main message up top and go easy on the terminology, your aim is ultimately to send them to your website for the detail.
4. Allow your customers to unsubscribe – in order to comply with Data Protection legislation, you must enable your customers to unsubscribe easily from your database. If you’ve availed of proper email software you will in most cases have a click to unsubscribe option somewhere on the email, usually towards the end. Don’t take unsubscriptions personally, sometimes people just don’t require your product or service any more but if your unsubscribe rate seems high review your campaigns for frequency and content.
5. Test, Test and Test again!! Test that your links work, test that the images display correctly, test the figures after you’ve sent to see the open rates or click-through rates, test the best time of day, test the most suitable day of the week, test a variety of email styles but experiment and test your market to see what works for you. Every business is different so mirroring your competitor may not necessarily be the best option for you although you aren’t obliged to re-invent the wheel every time.