In the new age of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, many businesses have forgotten about one of their biggest weapons in terms of marketing and increasing sales: emails. Arguably more direct than RSS feeds or other social media updates, email is delivered directly to your customers, making it a wonderful way of keeping your foot in the door and upping the potential for new sales.
While many businesses have begun using social media to boost their outreach, most businesses correspondence is still done via email. Emails intrinsically carry more weight and become more of a presence for customers than other digital formats—or even than many paper formats like mailers. Utilizing emails as a marketing tool is all about using that weight and respecting that weight.
Using the weight of emails means learning how to make appealing emails that will be read and not immediately discarded to the trash bin. Product or service updates are great, but many people will respond more favorably to sales and discounts (which shouldn’t surprise any business owner, in a recession or not). This favorability could be in the form of a sale or simply having the customer open the email; just having them open the email means they are still interested in your company, and once it’s open you’ve got to keep them interested and involved. Having solid graphics will help to keep your customer engaged with your email, but finding a way to have them interact is the best way to generate sales. Interactions such as surveys, contests, or simply sharing stories and feedback—prompted with repayment in the form of prizes, extra discounts or contest entry—will likely pique your customer’s interest and have them move forward in a dialogue with your company.
Respecting the weight of emails means learning to manage frequency and maximizing efficiency and efficacy. This means not bombarding your customers with hourly or even bi-daily emails. Learn when send emails out and when to hold back; chances are, if you’re sending daily emails to your customers, they will be largely overlooked and only read once in a while. Moderate email use means an implied timeliness of your company to your customers. It says, “Hey, we have some great opportunities that are only available for a limited time and we just wanted to make sure that you, one of our valued customers, are informed.” Utilizing email subscriptions fall into this category as well. Every business should be scared of the dreaded “unsubscribe” link; respecting email ethos will help detract your customers from hitting that button. Respect can also extend to the time emails are sent out. Many businesses use automated email generation that can result in customers receiving emails at ungodly hours of the morning, and as many people have email and push notifications on their phones, these middle-of-the-night emails can quickly turn into an “unsubscribe.”
Remember that having the customer’s email address is already a foot in the door and a privilege; you’ve got the pretty girl’s number, now is the time to play the courting game. Thankfully, using courting customers with emails isn’t anywhere near as complicated as the dating game; just remember to utilize and respect the power.
About the Author: Robert Woodford has been writing about email marketing topics for companies like Reachmail for more than 10 years. He is a huge believer in the power of email marketing and the benefits it can bring to businesses. Visit our site today and join Reachmail on Twitter @Reachmail