Email Marketing is an incredibly valuable tool for your business to reach your current customers and retain your current customer base.  Use email marketing as an effective way to grow sales as well; providing you take care not to turn off the customer.

The following are some examples of things you should and should not do with regard to email marketing.

  • Use an email marketing service such as Constant Contact.
  • When using email marketing services do not send emails more than twice a month if you are in a business-to- business environment.  If you are in a business-to-consumer environment than email no more than 3 times a month.  Sending too many emails to your customer base will force them to opt out.
  • Email marketing services actually protect you from the federal laws associated with the Can Spam Act allowing your subscribers to opt out and never receive future emails from you.  If you do not use an email marketing service and you use something like Outlook to send email messages and the person replies to that message asking you to opt them out and you do not comply with that request then you are subject to heavy fines by the federal government.
  • If you choose to use Outlook to send your emails do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put all the email addresses in the “To” field.  This exposes all of the email addresses to the entire list and anybody can choose “Reply All” or copy all the email addresses for their own address book.  This is a very dangerous practice.
    If you must use Outlook email to send a mass email, send to no more than 50 people at a time and put all 50 addresses in the “BCC” field.  The “To” field should be addressed to yourself.  This protects your email addresses and other people cannot get them.
  • Your Subject Line is incredibly important.  You must have a valuable Subject Line in order for people to open the email and read it.  If you do not have a valuable subject line people will just discard it and, in fact, Spam blockers may actually put the email right into the Spam or Junk folder.
  • Expectations.  You need to set expectations and understand what the average number of responses are for your industry.  In general, an “open rate” of 20% is a good open rate in email marketing.  Business-to-Consumer and retail-type outlets can get a higher open rate because people are looking for specials and savings & opportunities like that.  However, it’s incredibly important that you monitor your open rate; you cannot do that using a service like Outlook.  Email marketing services, like Constant Contact,  do have statistics provided to you in your control panel that show you the open rate and the “Click Through” rate.
  • When doing email marketing offer something of value to your customer base. Offer a special, offer a discount, or an email club-only discount.  Create a unique value proposition and use that so that your customer base feels like they are getting something in return for actually spending the time to open your email.  They may not want your offer at this time; however, at least you are making an offer to them & asking them to do something.  You need to tell people what you want them to do and using email marketing to actually accomplish things; as an example, announcing a special event or announcing a Grand Opening or offering a new product at a discount is an incredibly valuable tool!

In summary when using email marketing, know who your audience is, use an email marketing service, monitor the results through statistics and do it with consistency.  If you are looking to do email marketing and would like a free consultation, we encourage you to contact inConcert Web Solutions. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process or even do it for you.