Companies, especially small businesses with no experience of email marketing might hesitate to send their customers emails in fear of driving them away. This is understandable but unfortunate because email marketing is so useful for a business. Is email marketing spam in your customer’s mind? It shouldn’t be, though you might accidentally make it be. There are very specific steps to make sure that your email marketing is looked forward to rather than marked as spam.
Make Sure They Opt In
The quickest way to get marked as spam or have a user unsubscribe is to add users to your list without an opt in. The most common way this happens is from buying email lists. Doing just a quick Google search can lead you to a ton of vendors willing to sell you “highly targeted” email lists. The problem is that these users are not giving you permission to send them stuff. So bottom line, don’t purchase email lists.
So if you can’t buy lists, where can you get your customer email addresses from? For one, you can include an e-newsletter sign-up form on your website. These people are literally asking you to send them stuff. You can also include people who have submitted contact forms on your website. If you want to be even safer, include a checkbox mentioning that they will be added to your newsletter. They can uncheck this box if they do not wish to receive emails. Easy. In-store customers can fill out information cards which you can then plug into your database.
The main thing here, is that all of these users acknowledged that they providing you with their email address. Email marketing has become so ubiquitous that if a customer has given you their email address somewhere along the way, they won’t be too surprised to receive an e-newsletter from you.
Keep the Frequency in Check
One of the most common reasons people mark emails as spam is when companies send too much.
Source: Marketing Charts
There is no magic number to say what constitutes “too much”. It largely depends on your customer as well as the type of business you are. If you are an e-commerce store, your audience generally expects more frequent emails from you. Some stores send as frequently as once per week or even once per day (ex: Gap). Amazon can get away with sending multiple emails per day.
However, a service business might not get away with sending this many. Once or twice per month might be plenty depending the service and what type of email content you are able to provide.
Email Content That is Important
One of the big benefits of email marketing is the power to stay in front of your customer. Most people will check their inboxes multiple times a day or at least once a day. If your email is in there, you can stay top-of-mind. However, when they click through to your email it does need to contain something useful.
For e-commerce stores, “useful” generally means sale items, coupons, new releases, and seasonal items. These types of content can also be useful for service-based companies. Coupons and sales aren’t the only useful type of content though. Useful email content can also be tutorials, how-to’s, best practices, advice, and much more. For example a dog grooming business might send out an email about tick prevention and removal during peak tick seasons.
Figure out what information can be useful to your audience and then create topics from there. And remember, the content should be hosted on your blog or website, meaning you will be linking from your email to your website.
Design Your Emails Professionally
Sending out a mass email with plain text might look a little sloppy. You are a professional company after all and need to portray that professionalism. There are a number of easy-to-use email marketing systems available that you can easily design great looking emails from. Invest in one of these and take the time to develop a great looking, easy to navigate email template.
An Easy Opt-Out
There is nothing more frustrating for a person than having a hard to unsubscribing. Your email opt-out process should be very simple. One-click and they should be removed from your e-list. You are more than welcome to ask them “Why?” but make sure it is optional and make sure the opt-out occurs before the question happens. You don’t want to require them to answer why they are leaving you in order to actually leave you. It is just bad etiquette.
For more information on email marketing or marketing in general, feel free to get in touch with us. And we promise we won’t send you daily emails either.