Responsible e-mail marketing practices are rarely followed by many businesses today. Correct e-mail marketing practices will provide businesses with advanced consumer behavior data (segmented) and customer preference information rarely seen from other direct marketing tools.
Senders of e-mail marketing messages need to be aware that in they are competing against SPAM blockers, busy inboxes and competitors vying for the same client attention.
Using graphically enhanced e-mails (HTML) is important to best leverage brand and reporting capabilities. The structure or frame of the e-mail needs to grab the attention of the recipient delivering the core message or call to action immediately upon opening the e-mail.
Many of the e-mail marketing campaigns I receive contain too much information and the core message is lost in a newsletter. If you have the recipient’s attention then deliver the message quickly. Having supporting information on your web site will allow a recipient to click through to further information, an online form or product for sale.
The subject line is extremely important for recipient’s recognition and increasing the likelihood of the e-mail being opened. Always use your brand or company name with a meaningful subject line that relates to the offer or content of the e-mail.
Words that are often related to SPAM such as “poker chips”, “click here” and so forth must be avoided at all costs. Large corporations spend a lot of money on blocking SPAM and inappropriate words. Good e-mail marketing systems will have a mechanism to check campaigns and flag possible issues with words and phrases.
E-mail marketing is also tool that can be aligned with any communication strategy, promotion or support mechanism within a business. Used in a responsible and effective manner e-mail marketing will enhance communication whist providing information that will give managers more of an insight into online consumer demands.
Of course an e-mail marketing plan must be structured like everything else we do and meet the strategic objectives of the business. Monthly e-newsletters are a good start and can often reduce some printing costs. Most printers remind me that more print is being produced than ever before and this brings me to an important point. Using e-mail marketing to reduce costs is a negative strategy. It is so much more than that. The reporting and profiling capabilities found in quality e-mail marketing products will add tremendous value, consumer penetration and brand awareness to your business.
Creating a profiling (segmentation) strategy for an e-mail marketing campaign and seeing the results of what recipients click on, when and where in the World they opened the e-mail will provide real business intelligence not seen before from other communication tools. Driving a customer back to your web site and then having another cross promotional activity, online application or feedback form can all happen within a click of a mouse button.
When compared to a DL brochure in the mail and relying on a customer to visit your business or pick up the phone e-mail marketing becomes an essential business tool.
David Barnes has been responsible for delivering hundreds of web related projects since 1997. Also starting his SEO career in 1997 he has worked in small, medium, large corporate and government organisations all involving web based technologies and strategies. Since 2000 he has been responsible for the development of numerous web and e-marketing related products. Now an executive director of international web software manufacturer Platform Interactive he regularly presents on e-Marketing and web business around Australia.