Email. Used and abused.
For most of us today, email is an essential part of both our personal and work lives. If we don't check our email for a few days, we probably feel lost. And if we don't receive any emails for a day, we think something's wrong.
Yet, we all see how email is abused daily. Even if we're very careful with where we put our addresses online, chances are some junk mail - maybe a lot of junk mail - makes it to our inboxes.
Because of our love hate relationship with email, it's no surprise that there are mixed attitudes toward email marketing.
It's a direct, affordable way to communicate with your customers. But you don't want to be that pest that's cluttering their inboxes.
What's a company to do?
A recent report from Epsilon suggests you can see results with email marketing.
The report notes that 53% of North American email messages resulted in offline purchases. (In Europe, 37% led to offline purchases and in the Asia Pacific region, 59%.)
Along with offline purchases, the report found that open rates, click through rates, and deliverability have increased during the last quarter.
The study believes these increases are a result of the fact that marketers are being more careful about what, when, and how they use email marketing.
Strategic use of email marketing is essential.
- Before you send, really consider what you're communicating. Is this necessary for your customers to know? What value or benefit will they realize with the information?
- Probably most importantly, when are you going to send this message? Simply ask your customers how often they'd like to hear from you when they sign up to receive your messages.
- And this brings up the how. Always be sure you're directing your messages to customers that have opted in to receive your emails.
A simple approach to strategic email marketing is to put yourself in your customers' shoes. You know how much email you get, and you know what catches your eye.
Try to be that company whose messages you're always happy to see. Their message in your inbox doesn't automatically signal hitting delete. It brings a smile to your face because you know it's going to be good.