Getting your emails noticed

Written by Monica McInnes.

Getting your customers attention in a sea of emails

Getting your emails noticed

Let's face it; most people don't like receiving a lot of marketing materials in their inbox. We have enough to worry about than finding out about the latest specials from a retailer we purchased something from more than a couple of years ago.

So how can you get the most of your email marketing and cut through the mountains of unopened emails in inboxes?

First you should decide on the purpose of your email campaigns. Are they simply to impart knowledge or information to your customers, or are you looking to drive traffic to your website? Maybe you want to see some direct sales as a result of your email campaigns?

Your purpose will drive the look and feel, and the content of your e-mail campaign. You should also consider the frequency with which you should send your emails too. Too frequent and you run the risk of annoying your customers and them unsubscribing for your database. Not enough and your customers may forget about you.

Speaking of customers, you really need to know what it is they want and how they use their email. What they want to know about will assist you in developing the best content for your email campaigns, and knowing how they use their email will assist in scheduling when to send an email. Are they working 9 – 5 office jobs? Or do they access emails in the evening? Whenever they are checking their emails, is when you need to send your email messages.

All this aside, there are a few essential elements to include when communicating with you customers via email.

  1. Ensure your email database is accurate and up to date. Email addresses more than a couple of years old are potentially out of date.
  2. Use a personalisation at the start of the email that is, Dear John... Research suggests that this personalisation leads to more email opens.
  3. Use a non-salesy subject line that's to the point. Avoid words like Sale, Deal, Offer etc, as these words often get flagged as SPAM, and this isn't where you want your email to end up!
  4. Include buttons to forward to a friend and share on social media. This is like using the power of 'word of mouth' marketing online.
  5. Ensure your content is well written, to the point and of interest to your customers.
  6. Have some form of call to action – even if it is to like you on Facebook, or to visit your website to read more about a particular product. Most email marketing programs will allow you to track the click on your email, so this data can be useful in analysing the success of your campaign.
  7. You also must, by law, include an unsubscribe button so people can quickly and easily unsubscribe from your email marketing.
  8. Give some thought to your images you use too. People process visual information quickly and if they see something that looks interesting you might have their attention for that little bit longer.

There are a few programs out there that allow for free email marketing. You can import your database, create professional looking emails on a basic level, you can track the results of your email campaigns, and you can add a sign up to your newsletter on your website and the data syncs with your email database automatically.

Email marketing can be a really powerful tool in your marketing kit. It is inexpensive, measurable and easy to do. Get to know how it can work to you and don't be afraid to try a few things and see what produces the best results for you!

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