Rumors abound that email is dead, that as a marketing medium it is past its prime. Let me confirm that these rumors are, in fact, nothing more than rumors. In reality, email marketing is strong, proven, and cost-effective. Yes, other marketing channels may be sexier, but email is golden—as long as you do it right.
1) Only Send to People Who Give You Permission: Buying a list and blasting your message is old school; it is crass, unethical, and likely, illegal. Instead, compile an in-house list of prospects who have requested information. Also, put a subscribe form on your website. Offer an opt-in magnet, such as a free report, e-book, or resource, in exchange for their email. In each case, let the email owner know you’ll send them periodic email messages, but that you won’t spam them and they can opt-out at any time. This gives you a qualified list of interested people.
2) Only Send What They Want to Receive: If they requested information about your ABC service, don’t email them about your XYZ product—unless there is a connection between the two. If they signed up for your monthly newsletter, don’t email them a joke-of-the-day. This means you’ll need to be able to segment your list depending on subscriber interest.
3) Provide Value With Each Email: Just as every marking message must have a purpose, every email message should provide value to the recipient. Most of your emails should build relationships, not sell. Even when your message is a straight sales message, provide value too, such as a special subscriber-only rate or an inspiring quote at the end of each message. If you train them to anticipate the quote, they will always open your email.
4) Find the Right Email Frequency: Determine how often you should email your list: once a day, twice a week, or once a month? How do you figure this out? Ask them; they’ll tell you. Also, check your stats. If open and click rates drop and unsubscribes increase, either your message is wrong or you are sending too many emails. One company emails me two or three times a day. Guess what? I no longer care; I just hit delete.
5) Respect Opt-Out Requests: By law, you must have a visible opt-out mechanism if your message is send to people in the United States. Since it’s hard to know for sure where an email recipient may reside, the conclusion is that all email marketing messages should have a clear means to opt-out or unsubscribe.
Following these five tips will increase your email marketing success and decrease complaints, ill will, and being flagged as spam.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry—and who provides a call center matchmaking service. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-901-7706.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.