Promoting your products and services by email can be a powerful and flexible form of direct marketing.
You can quickly communicate your messages, efficiently and cheaply. You can tailor your message to specific types of customer more cost effectively than with paper-based marketing.
However, you must plan your email marketing with care to make it relevant and interesting to recipients. Otherwise you simply risk irritating them and creating a poor impression of your business.
Focus on your best prospects. Even though it costs very little to send an email, it still pays to be economical with your email marketing. Email marketing is much more successful if it focuses on people you know are interested in what you´re offering. An email that holds the interest or meets the needs of the recipient will be valuable to them.
Get people to ‘opt-in´ to your e-mailers. It is illegal to send unsolicited email messages, except in limited circumstances. Junk mail or spam irritates many people who dislike an inbox full of messages they didn´t expect. Sending email indiscriminately will create a bad impression of your business. However, it can be a very effective marketing tool if you ask permission for customers and potential customers to receive updates from you by email — this is known as ‘opting in´.
Customers must have a clear way of removing themselves from the list. If customers have consented to receiving information from you in the past, you can send them information on other things you think may interest them. However, you must give these people the option to ‘opt-out´ of receiving any further messages from you — clearly marked within the email.
It is important to get the reader´s interest. You could combine your marketing messages and news about your business into a regular bulletin or newsletter. Your email newsletter should be
· Interesting and relevant
· Use customised messages so people pay more attention
· Encourage recipients to phone you or click through to your website
Attract attention with a subject line — many people will choose whether to read an email by looking at the subject line in their inbox
Get straight to the point, write simply and clearly, so readers immediately understand what you´re offering and the benefits to them.
HTML, Text only or both? — Using HTML can make your newsletters look like web pages, offering you the ability to use your logos, pictures and graphics. But some email programs won´t read it correctly, or it may get blocked by spam filters, so it is best to offer a text only version too.
Encourage recipients to choose the best format for them when opting in to your newsletter.
Offer exclusive benefits — offering special benefits that recipients can´t get anywhere else can encourage them to read your newsletter more regularly.
Get the frequency right — only send newsletters when you have got something relevant and interesting to say.