Those of you who have been keeping up with developments in online marketing you’ll know that it has never been easier to send out an e-zine to your customer database.
However, there are pitfalls that you should be aware of that may be damaging to your business in the long run.
People like to do business with you because you’re good at what you do; you offer a really good service/product; your pricing is right; and the customer service is second to none…. right?
Yes it is, and that’s why you should guard your organic customer database carefully as the customer experience of these customers will be the surest way for your business to develop and grow.
Key Benefits of E-Mail Marketing:
Sending a regular e-mail to your key audience has a number of benefits including:
- It allows you to send relevant messages to a defined audience at a time that suits your business best.
- It affords you the opportunity to reinforce your brand values – and how you can help your customers.
- It allows you communicate your business offering (incl. Special Offer) in a timely fashion
- And it keeps your business “top of mind” with your customers.
This brings me to the thorny question of e-mail lists.
Essentially, there are two types of e-mail lists. Firstly, there’s the organic list that you generate through subscriptions on your website and from customers and potential customers who allow you to use their contact details.
Secondly, there are the dreaded “bought” lists where you part with good money to buy a sizeable list from a company dealing in such lists on the basis that you’ll have a ready-made audience to help your business take that giant step beyond the organic to an audience much larger in size that they assure you will want to buy your product.
Also, if only it were so! Bought lists should really be avoided because research on those who have used them suggest a number of issues including:
- Low open/response rates
- Extremely poor results
- From the receivers point of view the e-zine has no relevance for them.
- Reputable E-mail marketing companies (such as Mail Chimp) won’t let you use them on the.ir platform.
- Ultimately, they can be damaging to your brand and to your reputation.
One of the best ways to encourage new subscribers is to have a field on the home page of your website that encourages sign-ups with the promises of sending a “free” information pack containing valuable content from the subscribers point of view.
Using autoresponders is an efficient way to manage this relationship – whereby when someone submits their information to your subscriber list, they automatically receive a welcome e-mail with the free content included.
This streamlines the process, and frees you up to work on other business related issues.
This automatic e-mail, as well as thanking the subscriber for signing up, should also develop on how you can help them, and how particular services that you offer may be of interest, and indeed of value to them.
A key point to remember when embarking on an e-mail marketing campaign is that you should ask you subscribers for their feedback on your services in due course. Ideally, this should be requested after four or five e-zines have been sent to that particular customer.
Be sure to ask them what they think of our e-mails and ask them for their thoughts on how you might improve your e-mail marketing from their point of view.
Action any suggestions that may be forthcoming to ensure that your e-mail marketing remains relevant and customer focused.
Finally, make sure your writing style is easy to read and to understand. Ideally, try and structure the content in a conversational style. Don’t get too technical or too formal.
Keep it personal, and don’t forget to use carefully selected images that grab attention and encourage interaction.
Stay focused and you’ll be surprised how your business will benefit over time.