With the rise of integrated chat, video and other non-text-based content, email marketing may seem as if it has less and less relevance as the digital landscape continues to change. This is definitely not true and the importance of well executed email campaigns can never be underestimated. Since GDPR, consumers now have the option to simply unsubscribe from your marketing emails and if you are guilty of frequently sending dull, overly sales driven or otherwise poor quality content, most people will do this in a heartbeat. This article explains some of the things you can do ensure your email marketing campaigns work for you, as well as some of the things you should avoid doing if you can.
- Spam Your Customers
Though we all like to find out about products and services that interest us, nobody likes to feel as if they are being hassled by a business. Sending emails every single day is rarely a good idea unless your customers have specifically asked you to. Repetitious, sales driven emails will eventually begin to irritate people, especially when they keep popping up in their inbox among important messages from their family and colleagues.
- Create False Urgency
There’s a trend in marketing that relies on deliberate overstatement to create a sense of urgency in the consumer. Though this can be very effective for dedicated brand loyalists, it won’t work for new users or casual browsers. Writing subject lines in capital letters with too many exclamation marks will look childish and unprofessional, especially if you’re trying to convince people that they definitely need your new product line.
- Write too much
The fact is, people aren’t reading as much as they used to. Whatever you think of this phenomenon, its important to respond to the realities of the world as they are. Long winded emails with lots of text will frequently be passed over or ignored entirely unless you hire a professional content writer or take the time to ensure what you have written is actually easy to read. Large chunks of dense text look overwhelming to the casual user and are better suited to things like specific web pages than email content.
- Send Emails At The Wrong Time
There are a few reasons this doesn’t work. In an age of notifications, hearing your phone or tablet device in the middle of the night usually means there’s been an emergency. Unless of course a badly organised marketing company has decided to send out their latest mailchimp campaign in the small hours of the morning. Customers are likely to unsubscribe if you keep doing this to them. Conversely, if your emails land in your customer’s inbox while they’re at work or doing something else, they may well get missed. Trying to work out when the emails you’re sending out are actually going to be read is essential.
- Target the wrong people
Sometimes, it isn’t always about volume. Sending out thousands of emails to people who haven’t shown interest in your services is usually pointless. Though one or two may convert, the chances are, you will damage your reputation and become known for all the wrong reasons. Though it can feel as if you’re winning when you have thousands of names on your email marketing list, if they all end up unsubscribing because what you’re doing doesn’t have any relevance to them, it will have been a wasted exercise.
- Research and Reflect
You will have received countless marketing emails over the past ten years, so take a look at the ones that worked and also the ones that didn’t. Pay attention to the things that stood out for you and try to incorporate them into your own practices. Things like snappy subject headings, bullet points, pictures or particular writing styles can all make or break campaigns. Think about how you respond to emails as both a consumer and as a marketing professional. You may be surprised how differently you respond in each mindset.
- Embrace New Trends
The days of text-only emails are long gone. Though sometimes one or two short paragraphs can be enough, considering that you are competing against dozens of other marketing is driven emails that day, you will need something that makes you stand out. Consider adding links to videos, images or other interactive content so that you can stand out from the crowd. One or two strategically timed and well-researched emails that included links to youtube videos or interactive content on your site will generally perform far more favourably than an avalanche of copy heavy, spam-style emails.
- Ask for Feedback
Your customers and service users are real people and as such, you need to treat them that way. Ask them what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Adding links to short surveys at the end of a marketing email can a be a great way of finding out what your customers like and what they would prefer to avoid. Also, consider offering a general email address where they can contact you to air their concerns. There’s nothing worse than receiving an email from a company and being unable to respond directly. It depersonalises the whole process and makes your clients or customers feel undervalued.
- Keep Language Simple
You might spend most of your day talking about metrics and key performance indicators, but the average consumer doesn’t. Not only this, the majority of every day people find this kind of oblique, often meaningless marketing language a real turn off. Try to construct your email content in a way that can be understood by everybody, not just industry professionals. Writing overly complex, dense email marketing copy might make you feel as if you’re on top of your game but to the rest of us, it just looks like you’re trying a little bit too hard.
- Celebrate Your Successes
There’s a fine line between boasting and self-promotion and once you’ve crossed it, there’s no going back. Try to keep written content upbeat and positive and by all means focus on everything you did right in the past year, but don’t be too self-aggrandising. Tell you, customers, what you are proud of and how to plan to improve in the coming months and years but remember to stay grounded. If your emails read like an old-fashioned TV advert, they become very grating to most people, so make sure you get the balance right.