Friday, 1 June 2018

SIX Beneficial Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing

Email Marketing is an avenue for businesses to have long conversations about their products with potential and existing customers. Enquiries made due to Email newsletters should lead to customer actions that profit the business i.e. customers should call because they are ready to make a purchase. Ambiguous and overstuffed newsletters frustrate potential customers and may cause existing customers to lose trust in the brand. Emails about new products or promotions should answer all questions customers might ask or contain links to information channels (website pages) where the questions can be answered.

Emails do not need to scream ‘SALE’ at all times, they should show you care about the customers. Inform potential customers on the merits of having your product i.e. what your product can do for them while you inform existing customers on how to take care of the products they purchased from you (after all, your products can’t be perfect). In fact, Email newsletters are channels to indirectly show how positively different your brand is from your competitors, highlight your discounts, promotions, uniqueness, this makes an ‘ORDER NOW’ Call To Action unnecessary because customers will buy because they are convinced your product is good for them.

Aside from the points above, there are some things you should do in your Email Marketing and some you should avoid doing. Here are some dos and don’ts of Email Marketing.

1.)Don’t buy Mail Lists, Do create one

At the start of your business, you need people to market your product to, right? The easy way out is buying a mail list containing potential customers. Mail list are usually not segmented, as the sellers don’t have the time to categorize their ocean of profiles. Assuming you sell wigs which is prevalently used by ladies (and Italian bald men), then you used the mail list you bought to blast newsletters to thousands of people. Your Email gets to several demographics, including those people who don’t use wigs and those who hate wigs. Some people may block you from ever sending messages to them (or simply unsubscribe) while others may take to their social media platforms and drag your brand. This is really damning for a new brand because most people immediately see what happened and mark your brand as a cheater.

The hard way is a gradual process that grants you an enduring presence. Initially, you might need to go to other platforms to create awareness for your brand e.g. Google AdWords Display Network. Then you ask people coming to your website to ‘subscribe’ with their Emails so you can send them amazing offers. This gradually builds you a mail list comprising your target audience only.

2.)After they subscribe, Do welcome them, Don’t make them seem an ordinary addition

When a person subscribes to a brand’s mailing list, it is because he or she wants to know more about what the brand has to offer. Welcome messages can be automated; an introduction to the brand and its products could be added to keep the subscriber’s attention. This makes sure that when one of the products is marketed in a subsequent newsletter, it does not seem alien to the customer.

3.)Don’t Send the same mail to every subscriber, Do send mails in segments

Subscribers in your mail list have different levels of trust in your brand. This level of trust ranges between people that have never purchased your product to those who purchase your products regularly. Subscribers should be divided into segments and mails should be sent out based on these segments. Subscribers can also be categorized based on the type of product they buy. Subscribers getting mails containing the type of products they want are more likely to convert than subscribers getting a general mail

4.)Don’t send mails that addresses no one, Do personalize your mails

Personalization simply means making something look tailor-made for a person. A subscriber is very likely going to open a mail addressed directly to him or her. Also, sending a mail a subscriber makes the brand seem more human to him or her. Several Email Marketing Platforms have the mail personalization option for you to use.

5.)Do thorough check of mails before sending, Don’t send without scanning for errors

Mails should be scrutinized for errors before deployment. These errors may include spelling errors which may make your brand seem like a joke to subscribers. A way to avoid spelling errors is to keep the written part of the mails short so you can afford time to properly scrutinize it. Emails containing broken links cost the sender in conversion since the purpose of sending the mail is usually to transport the subscriber to a page where they can carry out activities profitable to you. It’s good practice to use a few Call To Action button links in mails, hence it would wasteful to use links that lead nowhere. Mails should be previewed and each link checked to make sure it works.

6.)Don’t ignore mail reports and analytics, Do read through and analyze reports

Email analytics help you find mistakes in previous mails and help improve in subsequent mails. Three very important Email Marketing metrics are:

i. Clickthrough Rate: This is the percentage of mail recipients that clicked on one or more of the links in a given mail. It is the ratio of total clicks to the total number of mails delivered multiplied by 100 i.e.

total number of unique clicks / total number of mails delivered * 100

For instance, 200 total clicks / 5000 delivered mails * 100 = 4% clickthrough Rate

This value helps to know how engaging the mails are, so some things are tweaked to get more engagement. It can also be used to determine the results when two variants of the same mail are tested i.e. A/B testing e.g. two mails could be tested to get the subject line that engages the most.

ii. Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of mail recipients who carried a profitable activity due to the mail. For instance, if a mail was sent to get downloads for a resource, conversion rate would be;

number of resource downloaded / total number of mails downloaded * 100

e.g. 300 resource download / 10000 delivered mails * 100 = 3% conversion rate

iii Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of the mail that was not delivered to the subscribers’ box successfully. It is the ratio of bounced mails to the total number of sent mails multiplied 100 i.e.

number of bounced mails / total number of sent mails * 100

For instance, 5 bounced mails / 10000 sent mails * 100 = 0.5% bounce rate

‘Bouncing’ of Emails may be due to problems with a valid email address like recipient server network problems. These mails may be resent and would not bounce, this is called ‘soft’ bounce. On the other hand, bouncing of mails may be due to invalid or non-existent mails, these mails will never be delivered. This is called ‘hard’ bounce and the ideal thing to do is remove such email addresses from your mail list. Emails sent using mail lists generated legitimately and gradually rarely record bounces.

In summary, the Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing are;

Don’t buy Mail Lists, Do create one

After they subscribe, do welcome them, Don’t make them seem an ordinary addition

Don’t send the same mail to every subscriber, Do send mails in segments

Don’t send mails that addresses no one, Do personalize your mails

Do thorough check of mails before sending; Don’t send without scanning for errors

Don’t ignore mail reports and analytics, Do read through and analyze reports

Are there some other Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing you know, comment below and please share this with your friends


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