One of the most common pitfalls of e-mail marketing, even on a small scale, is an over-reliance on automation and software to do the day-to-day sending of e-mails. This leads to insincere, inhuman e-mail marketing that often feels cold and robotic.
Smaller businesses have a unique advantage over their larger counterparts when it comes to personalizing their e-mail marketing. By following a few simple tips businesses can improve the tone and approach of their e-mail marketing, and even make it feel like there’s a real live human being on the other end of their e-mail newsletter.
1. Sender Name
The fastest and easiest way to make an e-mail feel like it came from a human is to include the name of that human in the sender field. If the sender of an e-mail reads “Corporation, Inc.” it feels cold, distant and impersonal. Adding your name before the company title implies that a real person sat down and sent that particular e-mail to this particular recipient.
Mail that is understood to be sent by an actual person is less likely to be immediately deleted, more likely to be opened, and has a higher likelihood to make an impact on the recipient.
2. A Picture of the Sender
Perhaps not surprisingly one of the easiest ways to say, “I’m a real person,” is to include a picture of your face in the e-mail. Nearly required by print media for decades, a picture of the human face has a powerful ability to connect immediately. Unfortunately, this power is often overlooked in e-mail marketing.
This is another great example of where the “little guy” has the edge. Large companies rarely include pictures because of turnover, politics, and many other reasons. But smaller companies can take a risk, be bold, and show who they really are.
3. Have an Opinion
Take a stand in your writing. Having a point of view, particularly a strong one, demonstrates passion and shows that you really care. E-mail marketing with no stance comes across as milquetoast and stagnant, a boring read for any recipient. Not every e-mail you send needs to have a strong stance, but the occasional opinion will keep your e-mail marketing interesting. Even if recipients don’t always feel the same way, they will never doubt your conviction.
Large companies are often too scared to take a stand and their e-mail marketing suffers because of it. Have a little humanity and make your opinion known.
4. Thank You Goes a Long Way
This is one excellent chance to add a little humanity to a brand that is forgotten far too often. Most companies – both big and small – have a thank-you page for when an individual signs up to receive e-mail marketing communications, but far too often they are insincere and underutilized. The message often has no personality, and considering that this is the recipients first interaction with your company’s e-mail marketing it would probably be a good idea to ensure that it is a memorable and beneficial one.
So send a thank you that really means something, a personal message with a sincere thanks that also keeps the reader engaged. Many readers might also like to follow your brand on social networks, so be sure to include a link to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and keep the conversation going.
Remember, the point is to make your e-mail marketing feel like it originates from a living breathing human being. Add some heart to e-mail marketing that is all too often bland, sterile and uninteresting and your e-mail statistics will thank you.