Rethinking Email Marketing

working businessman
image used with permission from Microsoft

Is email marketing dead?

The short answer is, absolutely not.  As a matter of fact, we’d say it is more alive than ever.

We’ll be running a webinar on this topic soon – but in the meantime, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your own email marketing:

It’s all about opt-in.  

It’s better to have forty people who want to hear from you than four thousand who don’t.  Access to someone’s inbox is a matter of trust, and it builds slowly.  Don’t trick people into signing up – make it very clear what they will be getting, and then make sure they get what you promised.  

Make it easy to unsubscribe.  

If you love someone, you will let them go.  Actually, when it comes to email marketing, if they don’t love you, let them go on their own.  It’s better for everyone involved.  They aren’t annoyed by emails dropping into their inbox, and you aren’t wasting time on those who aren’t your market.  Along those lines…

Know your market. 

Know the types of people you want added to your list, and go after them in a variety of ways.  Give live talks or webinar presentations or exhibitions to the type of people or businesses you want to work with.  If you don’t know your prospective market very well (or if you are “happy to work with anyone”), spend a little time on that before you start your email marketing.  We’d be glad to help you there.

Think about mobile devices. 

A few years ago, 27% of all emails were opened on mobile devices.  A year later, that went up to 41%.  People still use laptops and desktop computers, but think about how you yourself use email.  On the train, in a queue, at the shops, in the cinema, anytime you have thirty seconds to spare or you are waiting for something or somebody, you quickly check your phone.  And you flick through emails at top speeds (and delete them at top speeds as well).  Think about this when you’re sending out your own emails.

Remember that your website is your marketing hub.

Everything drives back to your website.  It’s the place where people take action – where they download things or talk to you on live chat or respond to a blog post or flick through various pages or follow you on Twitter.  Every email you send should direct people back to your website eventually – and so should every other marketing action you take.

Keep it short and sweet.

Because everything moves so quickly, people skim.  Don’t fill your emails with loads and loads of content – that belongs on your website.  Have a few short sentences, some images, and a few links.  Or perhaps just have one short message to get across.  As the saying goes, “Don’t make them think: engage them!”

Use an email marketing system. 

The days of sending out bulk emails via Outlook are dead and gone.  Here are just a few options for great online email systems which are either free or incredibly inexpensive – and they’re all easy to use:

Constant Contact
Vertical Response
…and hundreds more.

Don’t be generic. 

Sending out the same things everyone else in your industry is sending does nobody any good.  Think about specifics like questions that your prospective customers ask, or top tips related to your product or service, or hot topics in your industry.  Whatever is of most interest to those you’re writing to will bring the best results.