Many companies love the idea of reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people with a single click. This is why so many of them resort to email marketing. I wrote an earlier post regarding this that basically said that email marketing sucks and you shouldn’t do it. I would like to take back my previous statements about email marketing and say that it isn’t terrible. As long as you do it right.
As one of the earliest forms of online marketing, email marketing has long been the default marketing method among top companies. Seeing the success that these companies have had, small businesses quickly followed suit, blasting their messages to anyone who was naive enough to subscribe. But what so many of these small businesses fail to take into account is that many of their “corporate role-models” didn’t become successful simply by blasting their message at people. Unfortunately, that is what many companies of all sizes do. Blast messages to thousands of recipients that don’t want to be blasted to most of the time.
As a writer who covers these sorts of things, and as a subscriber to various email lists, these are my thoughts on how to market on email the right way.
Any online retailer can quietly amass thousands of email addresses. That sounds great for the retailer, but most of his/her customers don’t even realize they are being automatically signed up for an email list when they give their address on the order form. That is a problem for all parties involved. Nine times out of ten, the innocent subscriber sees the company message in their inbox and quickly finds the “unsubscribe” link. Not only that, this whole episode leaves the innocent subscriber with a poor feeling about the company that sent the message.
“What else are they doing with my information?”
If you plan on assembling an email list of former customers, make it clear (and I mean CLEAR) that the potential recipient knows that they are subscribing to an email list. And if they choose to opt out of subscription, don’t penalize them. Be nice, and they will come back.
2. There needs to be real incentive for subscribing to your list.
Okay, so you got your list of consenting recipients. Great. Now what? How do you keep them? Exclusivity is one of the surest ways (If you haven’t read my article on exclusivity, read it here). It amazes me whenever I see an email message that advertises a sale going on that anyone can get in on. What is so special about that? Making the sale exclusive only to email subscribers ensures that your subscribers know that you appreciate their attention and helps them to understand why they should stay subscribed to your list. Not only that, it encourages positive thinking and dialogue among your subscribers and their peers about your company. Word of mouth is the best advertising.
3. Messages need to be delivered in moderation.
Final step. You have a long list of loyal, happy, trusting, and satisfied subscribers. Good for you! Now don’t blow it. Don’t flood their inboxes. Email them regularly, but not too frequently. Keep in touch with your messages, but don’t blabber on and on every other day. You get the idea. Just don’t be annoying.