The World Wide Web has opened up an entire new world to business. In fact, ecommerce has become a mainstay for national retail chains, small businesses, and large corporations across the globe. Without Internet access and the world of web-sales, many businesses could stand to lose millions of dollars in revenue per year.
Banner ads, flash videos, and other methods are popping up like wildfire on websites all over the place. But the one tried and true method that seems to work better and surpass all others is email marketing. This form of marketing reaches the customer directly, and can be custom created to fit the shopper’s needs based on past history, personal preference, and much more. While email marketing is an excellent way to garner new customers and maintain old ones, there are some very important things every business needs to know.
Always let your email subscribers know when a big sale is coming up. Do not wait until the last minute, however. Give your email list members a fair heads-up, and then send another reminder or two before the big sale day. If the sale stretches across several days, be sure to let them know this as well. If a coupon code has to be used, make absolutely sure it is included in the email.
The subject is what brings people to determine whether or not they hit the delete button automatically or whether they actually click on, open, and read the email. Without an interesting or intriguing subject line, customers might not even bother. Come up with something clever that will grab their attention and make them want to open the email. Use creative one-liners or fun catch phrases.
Make the Call to Action Clear, always let your customers know what you expect of them, and what they can expect of you. Whether it is a sale with free shipping if they purchase $25 or more worth of products, or a free promotional offer or item if they attend a local event, you need to make the message clear. Any “fine print” should always be out in the open so the reader knows any catches, details, or other provisions they have to meet well in advance.
Facebook is all the rage right now, so be sure to include a reminder to have your email readers click “like” for your company on Facebook. You can easily include this link inside of the email, so all they have to do is click the icon or link, and it takes them right to Facebook with the option to click on the like button. Facebook is currently showing a valuable asset and additional help to businesses all over the world.
You do not have to make every single email a sales pitch. Instead, include some interesting information about your product, how it can be used, or another topic closely related to your business. If your email subscribers tend to get nothing but sales letters, they may begin deleting them. However, if those emails make for an interesting read, they might just press onward and even go to the website and make purchases or ask questions.
While you want your emails to be entertaining and engaging, it’s key to remain as professional as possible. Be sensitive to your demographic. Always spell check and grammar check your emails. Make your emails clear and express to the customer or potential customer the exact purpose of the email without sounding pushy.
Even if you send out several hundred or even several thousand emails to customers every week or month, adding a bit of a custom feel can help people feel more comfortable. Try to use software that will include the person’s name in the emails. This type of marketing has shown repeatedly to make a huge difference in end result sales.
Do not forget that a lot of people probably plan on responding to your emails. Be sure the sending email address is a valid reply-to address. This way, people who have specific questions can easily reach you. Do not forget to frequently check and reply to your emails!
ALWAYS include the unsubscribe option in every email. Sometimes, people simply receive too many emails and can no longer receive yours on a regular basis. While this happens sometimes, remember that you don’t like to get too many emails you do not read either. Not everyone you contact will be a match for your company or e-commerce website.
Confirm your unsubscribes, and let them know you are sorry to see them go. Remind them that they can always sign back up later if they prefer. This is not only the polite way to handle people who decide they no longer want your emails, but it also leaves them with a pleasant memory and the opportunity to change their minds later on down the line.
Be sure to include your business’ street address in your emails. This is United States law, and it makes you look much more professional. Your current business address should be included in ALL correspondence including emails, invoices, and letters. If your customer prefers to respond or reach you by mail, they can do so easily by having this information readily available.
Offer some kind of reward for people who opt in. You can offer free shipping, a free gift with purchase, or any other type of welcome incentive. By doing this, you can “hook” people in and keep them interested in your emails. That way, they never know what to expect and what other great offers will be coming their way.
Utilize your marketing and writing skills together to create emails that will bring in new customers and entice existing customers to bring you repeat business. It may take some practice and a few bumps along the way, but soon you will be able to put together emails that will catch your customers’ eye and keep them interested in all you have to offer, year after year.