Junk mail is the bane of modern life (well, one of them) but email marketing is fast becoming a blight of equal magnitude.
It’s popular because it’s fast and it’s cheap.
Once your message has been written, it can be in the inboxes of thousands upon thousands of customers and prospects within seconds, spreading your news far and wide.
However, its cost-effectiveness is driving down standards.
Judging by my inbox every company known to man has jumped on the bandwagon.
In theory, the emails I receive should be ones that I have signed up for, and yet every week something crops up unsolicited.
They end up in the trash (just like good old-fashioned physical junk mail) but are annoying nonetheless.
Are you annoying?
The best way to find out whether you’re one of the annoying companies out there, answer these questions:
- Do you send emails to strangers?
- Have you bought in your marketing list?
- Do you send out offers in every mailing asking the recipient to buy?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these, the chances are you’re on someone’s annoying list.
So what can you do about it?
Know your audience
I mean that in the literal sense – never use a bought in list. Always, always build your list that every person on it has opted in.
If they opt in, they want to hear from you and are more likely to open it and read it.
Earlier I mentioned there are five elements that your email marketing must have. I’ve kept you waiting long enough so here they are.
- Don’t write War and Peace
It’s tempting to cram as much as possible into your email marketing but if you do no one will read it.
Keep your content short and sweet – round about 400 – 600 words is plenty, any more than that and people will start to switch off.
- Know what they want to read
You must remember that email marketing isn’t all about selling – it’s about building relationships, which means give and take.
Include useful tips and articles in your messages, so you are not continually asking people to buy from you. It’s important to be seen to be giving value to them, and that means top-notch information.
- Get to the point
Make your point in the first paragraph, so your reader knows the aim if of your newsletter/email.
Format your content so it includes subheadings so people can see at a glance what your newsletter covers. That way they can pick out the information they need without having to wade through everything.
Links will help you:
- Shorten your emails/newsletters
- Drive more traffic to your website
They are especially useful if you want to add a lengthy article to your newsletter. You can add an intriguing snippet and then link out to the rest of the article so the reader can click through to it at their convenience.
- Show that you are human
There’s nothing worse than receiving a boring, corporate newsletter. If you send out something like that, you’ll bore your readers rigid.
Inject some personality and be human. Write it in the second person and be chatty. You’ll find people are more likely to read something that’s friendly that something overly corporate.
If you’re still uncertain about how to structure your emails and what content to add, take a look at the emails you subscribe to and that you read.
What makes them stand out?
Why do you read them?
If you can capture the essence of those that make you stop and read you’re halfway there.