The quickest way to a potential customer’s heart can also be the quickest way to their spam list – Email marketing.
A quick, informative email is a great way to stay in touch or reward your current customers, generate interest from potential new customers, and reconnect with lost customers. They can be informative, offer a discount or special, or showcase a new product or service.
If you have an email address, you’ve received an email blast or two, but probably more like 5-10/day, right? Like most people, you tend to delete them or they get organized by your email provider to a folder that you never check, but it may surprise you to learn how much business is generated from email marketing. According to the January 2012 issue of Website Magazine, emails brought in an impressive $40.56 for every dollar spent in 2011. That’s a big return over search’s $22.44 and gargantuan compared to catalogs’ ROI of $7.30 per dollar. Plus, it’s a great way to track your customers and learn what makes them spend their money.
In reality, the message is what grabs hold of the recipient. A clever and appealing subject line or an offer they can’t refuse is what makes them “click” or view your message. The recipient may be a current customer who intends to purchase from you again, but the email you send may be the catalyst for them to open their wallets – today. The recipient that is aware of your service or product may also decide that today is the day they are going to visit your website and make a purchase.
Your email needs to have an effective call to action. Your email should be concise and there should be no question as to where to click through or what the email has to offer for the customer. They want to know what is in it for them, and it needs to be immediately evident in the email. If it isn’t, they aren’t going to click through to your site and you may as well have sent the message to a dead address. Let them see the value of the offer or service, along with a few choice words as to why the time to buy really is NOW!
Once you’ve crafted the perfect message and ensured that you have the right audience, then you’re ready to send out your blast. So, what’s the best way to ensure that your message gets to the recipient’s inbox and not their spam folder? Use the following simple techniques:
- Avoid words in your subject line that may flag you as spam such as free, guarantee, prize, sale, or discount and avoid excessive punctuation and all capital letters.
- Update your lists regularly. Email providers track messages that are bounced from closed accounts and those undelivered messages count against you.
- If someone requests that you “unsubscribe”, be sure to honor that request. One click on the “report spam” button gets you a negative mark – putting you one step closer to the spam file for future email blasts.
- Don’t send the entire list at once. Go slowly and send them off in a few bursts, making it more likely they will slip in under the ISP’s spam radar.
Ok – you’ve created the perfect message, the right list of recipients, and sent out your email blast. Is it working? How do you know? The good news is that any of the major email marketing sites have easy tools to track your email blast’s performance. With a few simple clicks you can track:
- Bounces – Emails that are returned as undeliverable. Eliminate these from your future blasts.
- Views – Recipients that have “opened” the email, and read your message.
- Click Throughs – Recipients that have “opened” the email and clicked through to be directed to your site.
- Forwards – Emails that have forwarded to another email address, hopefully to another interested party.
As for the Holy Grail of Email Marketing, CONVERSIONS, it’s hard to know if they have become your customer unless they buy something directly from the email. To further track the effectiveness of the blast, run a report of unique visits to your website for a month preceding your blast. Then check it in the hours and days following the blast. It there is a sudden spike in views that leave quickly, or visitors who view a few pages but don’t purchase anything, then you know you need a better call to action or offer with a more effective follow through from your site.
For the most part, email blasts are an unbelievably inexpensive and simple way to connect with your customers and potential customers. You’ll find out very quickly what gives you the best ROI, and can adjust your strategy to address the most effective message and method for the next blast. It may change the way you view your customers and change the way you market for the better.
Let us know how you do, or better yet – let the experts at Holland create your next successful email blast. We’ll do the hard part; you’ll reap the rewards. Call Bryan at Holland Advertising: Interactive today. He’ll help you reach your customers with a customized email marketing strategy designed specifically for you! Bryan Holland can be reached at 513.744.3001.