What, then, is a better approach? In some cases, it’s the exact opposite of what we talked about before: cold calling, impersonal or irrelevant content. There are some other things to consider, too.
Connect with prospects FIRST
Except in rare cases, email is not the best way to reach potential customers for the first time. Everyone gets more email than they have time to read and, usually, a lot more than they want. Always ask for permission. Make sure you have them opt in to your marketing email, either by asking them through your other business channels or in your shop—and make sure you make it worth their while. Offer a discount or special ‘email club’ benefits. Besides, you want to get to know them somewhat before you can move on to the next piece of advice.
Personalize Your Approach
By putting in a few minutes of research before reaching out, you can quickly identify ways to personalize your email communication. Demographics are important—age, location, etc.—but it could be a matter of perusing their facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed so that when you do reach out via email, you’ll know what types of content they share and care about.
One good way to engage with your customer audience—and to see how much of your emailed content they read—is simply to ask them. You don’t have to conduct a full-blown survey: it could be a couple of quick questions. Be polite, as in this example: We want to hear from you. Here’s how you can help us.
Use graphics, and make it fun
Take a look at this example from BuzzFeed. It could be a simple, relatively uninspiring entry if it included nothing but text. Add a funny photo and a tagline, and you’ve dressed up your message enough to get more people to look at it. Something about that photo appeals to everyone: we’ve all been there.
Don’t make it about you—at least at first
If you’re sending out marketing emails centered around seasons or holidays, don’t make your message about that particular season or holiday. Mother’s Day sales are nothing new, nor are spring maintenance specials at autoshops. If you take it a step further, you’ll increase engagement. Make your Mother’s Day special, first and foremost, about Mother’s Day. (Who hasn’t slapped their forehead and thought: I can’t believe I forgot Mother’s Day). There’s time to add in your message once you’ve got their attention, and your customers will appreciate that approach.
Make it easy for customers to research you and respond
The simple inclusion of a link back to your company website, blog or buttons to take them to your other social media channels makes it easy for customers to engage with your brand in whatever way they want to. Also, including those icons makes your business appear more legitimate, current and friendly.
How do you create more effective emails that provide a better experience for your customers? Let us know in the comments!