Be Kind to Your E-mail Marketing and It Will Be Kind to You

If you live in New York City like us, you know what its like to be a face in a sea of hundreds of other busy New Yorkers. On a given work day, they’re out during the most popular hours- the morning and evening commute, morning coffee, and lunch break. These people may be someone when they step into their offices, though they’re nothing but a face when they’re walking on the street.

Now imagine the inboxes of all the emails on your mailing list. You follow the best practices and send messages at the most readable times, though you may well be just another one of hundreds of other emails that are nothing but faces.

Even worse, maybe you haven’t even started implementing email marketing for these exact reasons. What I’m here to tell you, is that there really is a right way to stand out. And it doesn’t involve throwing on an Elmo costume in the center of Times Square or an all caps subject line.

Great e-mail marketing starts as far back as the acquisition strategy. First, consider your sign up form. When and how does it appear and is it appealing enough to provoke a response. Forms are best when they’re naturally embedded into the site experience. Ask them to sign up when commenting on a post or right before check out. Certain features like drop down menus, check boxes and fun (but relevant) pictures and designs inject life into a process that is a hassel to most users.

Next, instead of sending emails strictly for sales and updates, behaviorally retarget customers every step of the way. An example of this is an e-mail that’s sent only when a customer fills their shopping cart and leave the site without a purchase. They once intended to make the purchase, so what changed their mind? Truth is, statistics show that sometimes the customer doesn’t even know why. Sending what’s called a shopping cart abandonment email can mean not only the purchase of the abandoned product, but additional purchases- and it happens to 55% of customers. You can say something like “we noticed you left our site without finishing your purchase” and include a list of the products.

You should also consider predictive retargeting which include emails that feature products complementary to ones that had already been purchased. Or, if the product is about to run out (think beauty products) you can send a replenishment email to remind the customer to place a reorder.

Finally, create a design that suits the reader. Make sure the email can be viewed in multiple locations. Create single column text with an easy to read font, sized 9 or more. As with all marketing, include a call to action and place navigation bars that direct readers to the next ring in the sales funnel. Don’t forget the subject line, too. Customers aren’t interested in emails reading “Company Newsletter” or “Purchase Ham.” Mention a sale or simply include catchy text like “Here’s What’s Happening” in the subject line.

Once it’s all done, don’t forget to make sure your strategies are effective. Test and analyze creativity, writing flow, subject lines, and more.

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