While every new business has a page on Twitter and Facebook, email remains a popular stand-by to reach your customers in a personal way. You know you want to reach out to your customers every way you can, so you may be asking yourself, what is email marketing and why should I use it?
Email marketing remains popular because
- The email box is private space, not public.
- Busy people would rather save their emails and view them later. Emails are less stressful than the constant, nagging urge to check an update feed.
- You can use an email service provider software to target specific readers. Not only by demographics, but you can send welcome messages to new sign-ups and bring back customers who show waning interest with a special offer.
Do not fear the stigma of becoming a spammer! A targeted email campaign is not spam. Spam is:
- Unwelcome; the receiver did not opt-in. The spammer may have bought the email on a list.
- Often poorly constructed, with poor grammar and poor formatting.
- Sent indiscriminately, as a carpet-bombing approach.
- Anonymous, sent from a “no-reply@” address; also, there may be no unsubscribe link, or the link may exist only to confirm that the receiver’s email exists so the spammer may send more spam.
- Violates the CAN-SPAM Act.
A good, effective email campaign is sent to customers who voluntarily signed up for the newsletter list via your website or social media presence, at the register or an event, or another method you used to collect customer data such as a raffle in which you were transparent that giving their email would also sign them up for the email list.
Recipients of an email campaign can always, with a minimum of clicks, unsubscribe. Make that link part of your formatting template.
With those caveats in place, you can feel confident that your newsletters are welcome and will be read at least most of the time, by most of your readers (a good, affordable email service provider can help you target your email, like Mission Suite’s analytics and survey features).
Not sure what to write in your first emails? Some starter topics can be:
- Announce special events.
- Offer coupons — but don’t put that information in the subject heading (you’ll be dismissed as spam).
- Inform customers about an issue that affects them personally.
- Talk about your (relevant) expertise.
- Use your social media platforms to feed your email newsletters. What are your customers talking about? Stay in the know with what they consider new, interesting topics.
- Stay local. Write about events (especially if your brand is going to be there, in person or in ad dollars).