INSIGHTS | Email Marketing

Email DOs and DON’Ts

Good communication with your customers is the basis of a successful business enterprise. When they walk through your door – real or virtual – the experience they have with you determines if they want to buy what you’re selling, or not.

And once they become a customer (i.e., they buy your product or service) they become even more important to your future. Existing customers, at least the happy ones, will come back and buy again. And existing customers, the happy ones, will become your best ambassadors to new customers.

Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. Email marketing comes in a close second: studies show that the ROI (Return on Investment) of email marketing campaigns can be as high as $42 for every $1 spent.

That’s why upwards of 80 percent of businesses today utilize email marketing in one form or another. But there are rules of the road for email marketing, and every business owner should know and follow them.

First: have a strategy. You can use email marketing for various purposes: to drive engagement with your company, to build awareness of your company’s products and services, to nudge your customers toward buying new products through education and comparison, and to generate revenue by presenting new discounts or sales or by cross-selling or up-selling your product line.

These are all different goals, and the email campaigns that are used for each strategy are different, both in content and style.

Next: do a lot of testing. You might think all of your customers are the same – hey! – they all bought something from your company, right? Wrong. People respond differently to different marketing stimuli. Effective email marketing campaigns depend on almost constant testing. Test the subject line message. Test the graphic and message content. Test the offers. You can even test the time of day messages are sent: believe it or not, sending an email at 6 a.m. will have a different result than sending one at 4 p.m.

Think about the format. The majority of customers you send an email message to will open it on his or her smartphone. That means designing your message must take that into consideration: it must be designed to be easily read in a more vertical format. It’s a small detail that can prove very important in the success of your campaign.

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