December 31st, 2009
by Sarah Caminker
In our world of mass information, email marketing can be both a challenge and a boon. Despite the new social media age, email marketing is still a quick and cost-effective way to reach out to your target audience. Yet, all too often we see talented professionals with outstanding services to offer- but are not approaching their campaign with critical thought and execution.
Sending your customers email newsletters and messages that are only about you or your company is not smart e-mail marketing. We have nicknamed this unhealthy marketing practice: “Memail” Marketing. Memail Marketing is selfish and will alienate your subscribers. They will become annoyed, see no value, unsubscribe and have a negative reaction to your brand.
And worse, if you subscribe people to your email lists without their specific permission and send them a “Memail”, this is a serious danger to your company and others! The bottom line: If your email is more about you then it is about your customers, then your marketing execution is not helpful to you or to your readers.
Lack of Strategy
Think critically about your use of email as a marketing tool. Define who you are targeting. What information can you include in your message that would be of value? Where is the call to action (why should your customer open this)? It is ok to talk about your company as long as it is helpful, relevant and educational. The goal here is to create an email marketing campaign that will:
• Serve your customers
• Support your sales message
• Sell from a place of education and value
Neglecting the Core Foundation of Your Email Marketing
Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations at SilverPop.com, says in his article Email Mistake No. 10: Lack of Personality, Positioning and Proposition:
“One of the biggest mistakes I see with company email programs is the lack of differentiation, personality and a clear value proposition. I call these the “Three Ps” that form a core foundation of your email program:
-Proposition (Value): What value does your email program provide for your customers/subscribers?
-Positioning: How does it differ from your competitors?
-Personality: What kind of image and tone do your emails convey?
Tips to Building a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
Try these practical healthy marketing tips to guide your email marketing execution so it is on purpose and offers relevant value and you will win big with Web marketing.
Be Authentic and Relate to Your Audience
Whether you’re a famous defense attorney, a respected marketing expert, or a shop owner, you HAVE something valuable to offer to your audience. Show that you can relate to your audience’s problems by understanding their perspective. Empathy + Personality = Good Email!
Use Your Name or Company Name In the “From Line”
People are more likely to open emails from people/organizations/companies that they recognize. (Example: From: Web Marketing Therapy). Make it very clear who this email is coming from and you will get a higher opening rate.
Be Concise in Your Subject Line
You only have a few short seconds to grab your audience’s attention. Make sure your subject line is concise, to-the-point. Avoid the use of excess punctuation (Example: Read This!!!!!!) Avoid placing overused marketing words like “FREE” as your first word (Example: FREE download). Instead, draw your audience to open your email with something they can relate to (Example: Learn How to Blog at Our Free Workshop).
To not BE spam, you have to NOT spam
Receiving a business card from someone you just met does NOT mean that you can add their name and email to your newsletter list unless they specifically agreed to it. This is about respect-if you simply assume people will want to receive your newsletters you will run the risk of being intrusive. People who did not agree to be part of any email list may feel less respected by you if they are automatically added onto your list-this in consequence, could mean they will respect YOU less.
Think BEYOND the “Box”
Don’t stick to any prescribed “box” of marketing. Have fun with your emails, make them interesting and engaging-the result could be more subscribers forwarding them to their contacts. If you make your content interesting and fresh, your audience will be more likely to look forward to your next email.
Make Sharing Easy
Insert social media widgets, forward widgets, and share widgets so that your recipient can very easily share your email s with friends. See if your email newsletter service can insert social media sharing widgets such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn directly into your templates. Have a call to action that is clear and easy to do!