Small Business Marketing Blog

May 18, 2010

Is it Time to Ditch Email Marketing?

Filed under: Business,Marketing — Robin Witt @ 9:13 am
Tags: , , ,

Customer reading email. With social media all the buzz, it might seem like email marketing is no longer a valuable tool for growing your business. Apparently that was not the opinion of the 300 or so people who took time to attend a Constant Contact email marketing seminar in San Diego last week. According to the event’s presenter, Ron Cates, 91 percent of people who use email, do it daily, with 25 percent checking it more than 10 times a day. He also said that accessing email via smart phones is rising steadily and is expected to double next year. Cates emphasized that not only is email marketing still very popular, it remains one of the most effective ways to increase sales, averaging a return of investment of $44 for every dollar spent.

After reminding the audience of the importance and value of email marketing, Cates recommended the following best practices for businesses to maximize results. 

Clearly identify who the email is “from.” 60 percent of email recipients decide whether they will open an email based on this factor alone.

Make sure the text, not the images, clearly conveys the message. Many email clients like Yahoo, Gmail, and Outlook block out images until the recipient clicks to say they are OK to view. This does not mean don’t use pictures; just make sure the message makes sense without them in case they are not present.

Don’t be an “accidental spammer.” An accidental spammer is when you unintentionally spam your customers. While the Can Spam Act explains what spamming is from a legal point of view, your customers might have different ideas. Possible triggers that get you labeled as a spammer by clients are: sending too frequently, not getting permission, or sending content your customer doesn’t like.

Make it easy for customers to sign up to be on your email mailing list. Display a sign-up field in a prominent area on your website and include a link in your email signature. You can also encourage people to sign up by offering them an irresistible incentive to do so.

Most importantly, share content that is valuable and interesting to your intended audience. If all your emails say the same thing “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff” that gets old over time. Instead, show your expertise and focus on building relationships.

Email marketing continues to be a valuable way for businesses to communicate with customers and demonstrate their expertise. By sharing useful and interesting information, businesses can look forward to both increased loyalty and revenue.

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