Aug
23
2012

The Intense Pleasures of Effective Email Marketing

Email MarketingWhen was the last time you got a really awesome marketing email? I’m not talking about one that was relevant to you and told you about an offer you were interested in, but one that really blew your socks off. Maybe it had an embedded video that was absolutely hilarious, or that presented a product that met the exact need you had been thinking about just a few minutes ago.

Now put yourself in the shoes of your mailing list. How do you think they respond when they get your marketing emails? These can be a spectacular tool for conversions, but only if you do a good job. Now is the time to rethink how and why you are using email for your marketing and revamp your campaigns to be effective and enjoyable for everybody involved!

Remember Why You’re Using Email Marketing
A marketing campaign can quickly become dry if you aren’t continually reevaluating why you’re using this method of marketing. On a regular basis, review and tweak your email marketing campaigns in light of these benefits of email marketing:

  • Get marketing information directly to interested customers who have expressed interest in being on your mailing list.
  • Attract attention through a compelling subject line that can encourage the recipient to open the email rather than deleting it.
  • Provide targeted offers to different segments of your mailing list, allowing you to run multiple campaigns at once.
  • Remind past customers that you’re here when they next need you.
  • Solicit input from potential customers about what they want to see in your products and services.

The Single Most Powerful Word in Email Marketing
Any guesses? It’s four letters and rhymes with “glee.” If you guessed “free,” then you are well on your way toward putting a spring in your virtual step. Giving away something for free is a great way to engage people in your brand, and you should never forget the power of a freebie. Give away a free ebook to everyone who joins your mailing list, or send an occasional email inviting people to try a service for free or come in for a free product. When they take you up on an offer for a freebie, customers learn or remember how valuable your brand really is.

Crafting Engaging, Interesting Emails
The easiest way to have “delete me” stamped all over your email is to write boring copy. Boring title, boring intro and tons and tons of boring text. Keep your marketing emails short and to the point, and make sure to make it really clear in the subject line why someone would even bother opening the email. If you can start off your email with a clever quote, a joke, or a relevant example, do it. You want to draw people in and convince them to keep reading. Before sending an email to your list, run it by at least one other person to see their reaction and ask what parts are especially compelling. Keep those and delete some of the junk.

Email Marketing 101: Dedicated Landing Pages
After sending a rock-solid email about an awesome new product that practically sells itself, the worst thing you can do is make it difficult for recipients to figure out how to actually buy that product. This is email marketing 101, but you need a dedicated landing page. Each offer needs to have a clear set of steps for people to follow to get the offer, and that means creating a page on your website to make it easy.

Keep Your Mailing List Interested
If you find that people on your mailing list aren’t opening emails, you don’t have to give up. There are actually some great ways to let list members know that you miss them and value them, and to invite them to become active again. For example, Vanity, Inc. has a series of three emails sent to people who have not opened any of the last 10. They invite customers to check out new merchandise, which is important for recapturing attention, and then offer a 20 percent coupon. If neither of those works, the final email in the series lets people know exactly how to unsubscribe from future updates. Rather than drastically shortening the mailing list, this strategy actually re-engaged many inactive subscribers.

Email marketing is a potentially powerful tool, but it’s used poorly so often. People have definitely gotten swamped in the last decade with horrible marketing emails, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow the trends. Take the time to really plan your marketing campaigns and provide relevant, exciting marketing emails. The time you invest in it will not only increase sales, but also help build customer loyalty, which translates to even more sales in the future.

*Post by Jessica Stark. Follow her on Twitter – @jessstark9