Email marketing is fast becoming a double-edged sword as legitimate marketers continue to fight for attention on the web. On one hand, sending email marketing messages is an effective way to deliver promotions, events, and other information directly to your most valued audience. On the other, email marketing messages can easily earn the “spam” label if they are sent too often. Even worse, your email marketing messages can begin to blend in with all of the other emails your audience receives on a daily basis.
So how should we marketers approach email marketing when subscribers are already drowning in opt-in email programs along with annoying spam? The key is to turn good email marketing into truly powerful email marketing.
Here are a few suggestions to consider before you undertake your next email marketing campaign:
Powerful email marketing is consistent but not too frequent.
You don’t want your subscribers to forget you exist, but you don’t want them to begin to wish you didn’t exist either. So determine a reasonable email marketing schedule and stick to it. Internet travel deal publisher Travelzoo does this very well. In addition to their rare travel alerts sent throughout the week, they email their highly-anticipated Top 20 Deals each Wednesday to their 17 million subscribers. While I wouldn’t describe myself as a frequent traveler, I have taken advantage of a couple airfare deals featured in these email messages. The key lesson here is this: Giving your subscribers something to regularly look forward increases their interest while respecting their time and inbox capacity.
Powerful email marketing is unique.
In Chicago, a popular restauranteur sends email marketing messages that can be best described as “eccentric.” Firstly, they contain mostly text with some colored fonts thrown in for fun. Secondly, each e-mail begins with the chef’s random musings about the current season and, sometimes, a little free-flow poetry. Finally, he gets to the good stuff - his upcoming specials and events. While I wouldn’t recommend such a format for all businesses, it works for this particular restauranteur whose customers are familiar with his off-beat personality. Take a page from his email and remember - your organization isn’t like the others. Make it stand out in your email marketing message.
Powerful email marketing always links back to your web site.
I’m surprised by the number of emails I receive that don’t include links to a main web site! Don’t expect your audience to take the time to type your URL into their browser. Let your email marketing message tell part of the story, then quickly lead your audience to your site for more information. The longer they stay at your site, the better!
Powerful email marketing isn’t all about selling.
We all receive tons of emails announcing “free” this and “discounted” that. While any sort of deal will pique someone’s interest at first, they’ll become bored if the “frees” become frequent. So change the theme of your email marketing messages every once in a while. For example, if you operate a sports memorabilia store, email fun tips for staying warm in the bleachers during this football season. This approach will make your email marketing messages seem less “spam-y” and more legitimate.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results after the first email marketing message. Powerful email marketing takes a little time, consistency, and creativity.