Is Email Marketing Right For You?

email marketing

Email marketing provides businesses with a quick and inexpensive way to reach hundreds of customers instantly. It has revolutionised marketing – but its impact has also been lessened by the spammers out there.

Spammers are email marketers who fill millions of inboxes with unsolicited messages. The problem is their abuse of the system has made in increasingly difficult for genuine businesses to use this method.

You used to only have to worry about having a strong message to make sure your email got read. Now you have to prove it’s not spam.

What is a spam email?

Spam is unwanted email that is delivered to thousands of recipient simultaneously. Obviously you could argue what constitutes ‘unwanted’ email until the cows come home but as a general rule if the email comes from someone you don’t know it is perceived as spam.

When you should use email…

  • To tell your customers about new offers
  • When sending advice, useful information to enhance your customer service
  • Keeping leads warm by staying in touch
  • Following up contacts in a sales campaign (e.g. to encourage sign-ups etc).

All of these have one thing in common – they are concerned with building relationships with your customers and keeping them up to date.

…and when you shouldn’t

  • Prospecting – this can be seen as an annoying and impersonal method of initial contact
  • Generating leads  – again this is impersonal and your email will be deleted
  • Using rented lists – you have no relationship with these contacts so you’ll be seen as a spammer

If you want to market through email your best bet would be to develop your own opt-in list – if you have the recipient’s agreement for you to send information to them they are more likely to buy from you at some point.

Build your own list

Building your own opt-in list is fairly straightforward but it can take time. Therefore you should start immediately rather than wait until you have a campaign in mind.

You can attract opt-ins through your website (give away a free report in exchange for their details), your reply devices and your order forms.

Your request doesn’t have to be complicated, simply:

  • Ask for their email address
  • Ask for permission to send emails to them
  • Tell them exactly what kind of emails you will send them
  • Assure them you won’t share their contact details with anyone else

Of course, one thing to remember is that you must create an opt-out. This should consist of a reminder of why they are receiving the emails (i.e. they requested updates) and an opt-out link which will take them through to a webpage which automatically removes them from your mailing list.

Before you know it, you’ll have an in-house marketing list.

Further reading:

Email Marketing – It’s All In The Subject Line

Work You Way Towards The Perfect Email Body

Sally Ormond – Freelance Copywriter

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Issac on 11.18.09 at 11:17 am

Great post, Sally! Thanks for sharing.

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