Yes, email marketing is inexpensive and can be generated quickly and often. However, unless you approach it with the same thought and attention as an expensive multi-media campaign, you’ll get exactly what you pay for…very little. Balance the low expense of email marketing by putting a lot of effort into the project to ensure optimum results. Here are the areas where you can roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty.
Database – a database is only as good as the person managing it. It must be updated often. Add clients and prospects. Update bad or “bounced” emails. Update classifications (hopefully changing a prospect to a client). Every business card you collect should end up with the database guardian with the proper classification (prospect, client, vendor, referral source, strategic partner). Do NOT purchase a list unless you want your first contact with someone to be considered SPAM.
Message - Don’t be a salesperson. Be a resource. Use email marketing to establish yourself as trusted leader in your industry by providing insight and tips that add value for your clients or prospects. Present each message clearly and succinctly. Remember, you’re competing against scores of other emails that desperately need your reader’s attention.
Relevance - If you have properly classified your database, you can ensure that you’re sending relevant messages to your audience. An existing customer doesn’t want to see an email offering new customer discount incentives. A prospect doesn’t need to see an email announcing new convenient payment options.
Subject Line – Your subject line should promise short, digestible information that is likely to be of interest.
Identify Yourself – Few people are likely to open an email if they don’t recognize the sender. Be sure to use an email address that uses your company’s domain — a Gmail or Yahoo address hints that the company is small-time.
Look at the Numbers – Be sure to check your email reports to see how many were opened. Conduct A/B Testing on subject lines and send times to determine effectiveness. Correct or delete bad addresses.
So before you jump into the inexpensive world of email marketing, ask yourself if you’re willing to work up a sweat to make it work for you.