First Contact and Retention: You have an email list, now what?

The first e-mail you send to potential clients is the most important. The recipient will probably look at the sender and the subject line first, before opening it, deciding whether it is worth reading or sending to the trash bin. If you make it through that, you have to have content that won’t bore them, but also doesn’t overload them with lots of graphics or information.

Keep it clean, uncluttered and simple, but full of basic information. The first impression is very important. You need an attention grabbing subject line that makes them interested in reading more. Once they get to your content, they need to see that further reading will be beneficial to them. This is where you highlight the exclusive benefits to being on your e-mail list, whatever those benefits may be. Benefits can range from exclusive content, information, deals or savings.

Another key point in the first contact message is trust. Customers don’t want to feel nervous in giving you information. With all the privacy concerns on the internet these days, you need to make them feel that you are trustworthy and professional. It is also important to make the way to opt out of your e-mail list clear, even if this may seem counter- productive, people like to know their options.

Once you get your in the door, you have to stay there and keep your recipients reading your emails. You don’t want to come across as annoying by sending e-mail marketing messages too frequently. People get many messages per day and if you clog up their inbox, they may be inclined to get rid of their subscription to your e-mails. Another way to assure that your recipients don’t opt out is to give them a benefit for staying on. Send newsletters to your subscribers with free, helpful information relating to your topic of business. You can do this in tandem with incentives such as savings or coupons to email subscribers. You don’t want to bring them in with the first message full of benefits and no reason to continue to receive your messages after those initial benefits wear out. You have to give a little to get a return.

There are loads of marketing information, databases and stats for e-mail and internet marketing just as there are for traditional marketing. Be sure to use these stats and information to your advantage and think through your e-mail marketing plan the same way you would a traditional marketing campaign. E-mail marketing is much more than just sending a message to a list every now and then. If you put a little thought and direction into your e-mail marketing you can really get a great return.

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