In many ways, email marketing requires us to walk a fine line.
On the one hand, you want to engage your audience and get them to take a certain action — whether it’s clicking through, making a purchase or contacting you for more information. But you also don’t want to be annoying to the point that you get labeled a “spammer.”
You can use email to forge stronger relationships with your customers, leading to more sales. More importantly, you can do so without flooding recipients’ inboxes with annoying messages they quickly ignore. After all, you can’t sell anything to someone who has unsubscribed from your email list!
Below are a few strategies to help you do email marketing the right way:
Go easy on the hard-sell
Most people sign up for email lists to be alerted to special deals, giveaways or news and insights from your brand. To that end, make sure you truly understand what people expect (and do not expect) to receive from you.
Let’s say you used a free e-book as a lead magnet. Those who sign up are likely interested in the contents of that e-book — and perhaps any related insights you can provide. They likely do not expect or want to receive messages urging them to buy something unrelated.
Messages that offer nothing but a hard sell are the most likely to end up in the trash bin or spam folder. Instead, focus on providing value. The sales will come once you’ve established a sense of trust with your customer.
Be genuine with your messages
Email subscribers will trust your brand more if you write your emails with a real, genuine personality. Instead of thinking of your email messages as a marketing opportunity, consider them a chance to participate in a conversation with your current or potential customers.
A great way to do this is to ask recipients for feedback. Ask what they like or don’t like about your brand and/or your products. Consider sending out a survey and offer a freebie or discount for those who complete it. Reward people for engaging with your brand.
Focus on being helpful
Every message you send should include something useful for your target audience. Perhaps it’s a link to a new blog post that offers helpful guidance or advice on an important issue. Or, it could be a heads-up on an upcoming promotion. Whatever it is, subscribers should feel they are getting value out of keeping you in their inboxes.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
The best email marketers in the world see recipients unsubscribe every now and then. In fact, the CAN-SPAM Act makes it illegal to not have an unsubscribe option available.
Avoid cheap tricks like hiding the unsubscribe link in tiny font or behind confusing language. The person unsubscribing may wish to continue as a customer, but simply does not want to receive certain emails anymore. Making it difficult or nearly impossible to unsubscribe could turn away the person from your brand completely.
Segment your audiences
If your goal is to head straight to the spam folder, all you must do is send people emails that are completely irrelevant to them. Generic messages have no place in email marketing.
When you personalize your content to certain groups of customers, you can avoid this issue almost entirely. You can do this by segmenting your audience and creating multiple email lists based on relevant metrics.
For example, if you know some customers have purchased dog food from you before, you can add them to a list that will include occasional offers on pet items.
Before you hit “send” on your campaign, make sure you’re doing all the right things to attract readers’ attention while avoiding the common pitfalls of email marketing. This will help you engage more customers and allow you to deliver real value through your strategy.
ProPRcopy is a leading provider of content writing services for email marketing campaigns.