In the crazy world of e-marketing, it’s becoming more and more important that you do your part to help maintain the integrity of email marketing—not just for you and your company—but for the email marketing community as a whole.
Marketing e-mails are used to communicate with potential, new, and existing customers to inform them about your products and services. This marketing channel is especially handy when e-mailing larger audiences because it offers dynamic functionality.
• Manage your opt-outs. This is critical in e-mail marketing because of the regulations that surround CAN Spam laws.
• Build your brand. You not only want to get the message out to your customers, but you want to create a consistent, reputable brand!
• Extensive functionality. From surveys, to newsletters, to transactional e-mails, there are no limits to the ways you can reach your customers through this platform.
• Fast and cost-effective. While there is definitely a need for sending correspondence via mail, e-mail is far less expensive, has faster delivery, and if done strategically, can yield a higher customer response rate.
There are some great products on the market to help you with your email marketing campaigns, but as easy as it may sound, it’s so important to make sure you are familiar with the laws and regulations, best practices, and… well, just plain etiquette.
An email marketer’s rule of thumb is this: Just because you have someone’s email address does not mean you should be emailing them! For the best deliverability rates and to help maintain your reputation as an email marketer, be sure that your target understands why they are receiving an email from you.
Let’s outline a few of the benefits of using e-mail marketing for the purpose of distributing correspondence.
• Customers will learn to trust your brand through consistent, well-written e-mails.
• Sending emails can help drive more traffic to your website, giving you even more exposure and providing your customers with additional resources about your company.
• You can survey and poll your customers on anything from recent service to fun questions.
• You have the ability to advertise within your e-mail. Just pay close attention to CAN-Spam regulations!
• Refer-A-Friend functionality will allow your current customers to send your e-mail to their friends. Therefore, generating free word-of-mouth and potential business.
If you decide to handle your email marketing program on your own or you decide to work with a third party to assist you with email marketing, be sure to consider these factors when evaluating a vendor.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:
Be sure to keep an open mind when evaluating a vendor. There are several to choose from, and the overall cost of your program does not necessarily mean you are getting the most reputable program. Check out each company’s add-on features (and the cost) and allow room for flexibility and growth.
Creating an attractive template for your emails is critical, but copy is just as important of a factor in email marketing. Research the best practices for email copywriting to build a compelling message that inspires your audience to take action!
Email marketing must help you build your brand. When you are getting started, be sure to define your vision and build a supporting editorial calendar to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
Above all, if you are considering email marketing, please do your part to help maintain the integrity of this media by respecting your audience with well comprised emails, thoughtful and timely messaging, and the ability to opt-out of your email advertising. Chances are, if you follow the best practices of email marketing and support it with a strong strategy, your list will grow quickly!
by Jessica Kovar, President