Email Marketing – Dos & Don’ts

Email Marketing has been creating a buzz for quite some time. In times when Electronic media rules the roost, this form of marketing has become a force to reckon with. But most of these emails remain unopened; some end up in spam and the worst result is that they are deleted without being read. Is there any hard-and-fast rule to tempt your target audience into reading the mails? Our experience in email marketing has made us realize a few facts which might help you out in your ventures as well. We have worked out on a few guidelines that might help you prosper as well.

1.       Filter your Database to choose your target audience: Sending emails to random persons won’t help your cause. You need to identify your prospects well. You should work with the cleanest list you can find that is targeted to your industry and your offering. Make sure your database is being updated regularly; an outdated database is never going to help the cause.

2.       Be persistent: You need to be persistent. Classical research argues that you need at least 20 imprints to make an impression. Of course, you need not be “over-persistent” so that you end up in the spam list. But courtesy mails on special occasions are always welcome. Ogilvy’s research shows the first three emails are the most critical. Mullen advises there should be an introductory message in which customers accept an invitation and give permission for future communications, followed by a second that sets up customers’ expectations by explaining future benefits (discounts, coupons, or high-value informational newsletters). The third should begin to deliver on their expectations by sending the promised newsletter, whitepaper, or discount offering.

3.       Catchy Subject : As the saying goes, “Morning shows the Day”, so is the case with email marketing. Your subject should be catchy enough for the recipient to open it. Here are some quick tips:

 Company name of recipient in subject line increases open rate by 22%.

 Customer name in the pre-header increases open rate by 12%.

 Re-activation emails (i.e. “We miss you” or “Where have you been”) generate an average “open rate” of 54% for B2B and B2C emails.

4.       Personalised content: The content should enthrall the reader. Get rid of your template, because frankly enough they are not interested in your design. What would amaze them is what you write and should have a personal touch. Everyone loves to hear a story and so be an avid storyteller. Make it compelling so that the reader gets curious to know more. You would certainly write better content if you can avoid the following:

    1. Spammy phrases such as “once is a lifetime opportunity!”
    2. Language such as “urgent,” “hot” and that Titanic-sized sinker: “Free!”
    3. A series of CAPITAL LETTERS (email marketing protocol calls this “shouting”).
    4. Lots of different-colored fonts—they shout “junk mail” from the rooftops, and
    5. Never, ever use a bunch of !!!!!! in a row!

 5.       Timing of mails: There is no point sending business mails haphazardly. There is a higher chance that business mails will be opened in working days and in working hours. Weekends are a big no. Optimal times for social emails (i.e. “Like Us” or “Follow Us”) are lunch time, 7-9 p.m. and early morning in some cases. This delivery timing is different for regular acquisition or retention emails (which generally go out early morning—thanks to Groupon and Living Social). Why? Because those are times when you’re relaxed and doing social things. Remember, don’t send out “be my friend” emails if you don’t have a plan or value for Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

 6.       Optimize it for mobiles: With the unprecedented increase of mobile users and advent of smart phones, most of the mails are checked in mobiles. So brands cannot neglect the effect of mobile users if they want to create an impact. The best way out is to optimize your emails for the mobile viewers. Here are a few things you can try out:

a. Make sure its 300 – 400px wide

b. Make the text larger so it is easily readable, e.g. min 12px Arial

c. Make the images smaller in file size

We hope the tips help you. They certainly worked out for us. Best of luck and keep mailing!!!

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