There is some good news and some bad news for e-mail marketers. The good news is that the average person spends at least 30% of his day checking e-mail, which solidifies its place at the front of the line when it comes to the most effective advertising tools. The bad news is that the average consumer receives more than 70 e-mails per day, many from marketers just like you. What can you do to make your message stand out from the crowd? Keep reading to unlock four secrets to crafting irresistible e-mails.
Slice and Dice. Categorizing your recipient lists and then creating e-mails that target their interests and buying habits can really boost your open rate. With all the software available today, slicing and dicing your lists can be done in a blink of an eye. Segmentation methods run the gamut from the very basic to the super sophisticated. At the very least, divide your lists into two categories: existing customers (those who have made a previous purchase) and new customers (subscribers who have yet to seal the deal). Reward frequent buyers for their loyalty with a sneak peek at new products and an enticing discount. Offer new customers a freebie with a minimum purchase. Or, design offers around recent purchases and abandoned shopping carts.
Automate and Dominate. Administered correctly, automated e-mails can be a godsend to both you and your customers. Every company has a process – a series of steps – that customers must navigate. Automated e-mails can walk them though each step and provide a personalized experience. For example, when a customer initiates a certain action, for example signing up for a newsletter, send him an automated welcome message with additional information tailored to his specific browsing habits and offer a discount or free shipping off of his first purchase. When a customer completes a sale, send a simple thank you e-mail that doesn’t include a sales pitch. Instead, a few days after that customer receives her product, generate a follow up e-mail in survey form and suggest similar products that might pique her interest.
Make It Personal. Ditch the “noreply” e-mail address. Consumers expect personal interaction, and they seek out ways to engage with companies. Sending “noreply” e-mails sends a subliminal message that you have better things to do than help them. They will take the hint and go elsewhere. At the very least, use an “info@” or “customerservice@” e-mail address. Of course, the best companies include a personal e-mail address to which customers can write and from which they will receive a timely response. Regardless of what e-mail address you choose to use, make sure customer requests don’t get sucked into a Black Hole, never to be heard from again. Set up a system in which their message is acknowledged within 24 hours and acted up soon after that.
Work Smarter, Not Harder. With all of the data analytics and marketing software available, targeting specific customers and customizing their shopping experience is easier than ever. You must recognize that e-mail is no longer a stand-alone marketing strategy. It must be integrated into a broader plan that incorporates direct mail, social marketing and social media. For example, I recently received an e-mail from a big name retailer who encouraged me to check out its Pinterest page. The e-mail was graphically gorgeous, and the copy was short and sweet. You bet I checked out the Pinterest page. The company married two marketing strategies and expanded their reach quickly and easily. Marketing genius! Across-the-board integration such as this will get your e-mails opened, read, and acted upon with the added benefit of exposing consumers to more engaging avenues related to your brand.
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