In the first part of our series about the limitations, uses and finally, the advantages of email marketing, we're going to, as they say, tackle the good stuff.
You may think that Part 2 of our series discussing the "uses" of email marketing may be a bit counter-intuitive to this blog, but really, that one was purely speaking about functionally rather than the true benefits of email marketing.
In the eyes of any true email marketer, advantages outweigh functionality.
So, let's get down to brass tax and the good stuff.
1. Direct Customer Connectivity
Though in your typical email blast, you're probably reaching hundreds, if not thousands of customers. But, really what matters is that email you're sending is going to an individual, a specific customer, and that's the connection that matters.
Think about it: you're getting into their inbox and their mobile device. You're connecting with your customers on such a personal level that advertising executives from Madison Avenue would sacrifice their oyster and Manhattan lunches for.
With your customers' permission, you're allowed into their most sacred areas: home, work, pockets, desktops, purses, and briefcases. What more could a marketer ask for?
2. Established Relationships
Every established and reputable marketer worth their salt already knows the importance of permission-based email marketing. Without that, there isn't a direct connection, sale or even a recommendation.
As soon as a customer signs-up for your email blasts, you've established a relationship that can be developed, nurtured and cultivated. If a customer opts-in, then they've agreed to start an on-going relationship with you.
And now, the relationship is in your hands. It's already established, so don't lose it or neglect it.
One of the greatest boons of the email marketing age is the opportunity to virally spread your word, whether it's a sale or a juicy tidbit of information.
Unless you're aiming for an exclusive offer for only your most reliable and top customers, then always include a link to send the promotion to your customers' friends and family. Oh! Never forget to include a link for your customers to post on their social media sites (that is, if you're okay with the inundation of sales!).
Recommendations and referrals are almost mindless now with the Internet. With a single click, your message reaches more potential customers than you can ever dream of.
So, the bottom line is that one of the boons and advantages of using email marketing is the work that you don't have to do.
A vital part of maintaining and sustaining customer relationships, and reaffirming your dedicated connections is to ensure that each and every email, regardless of how many are sent per batch, is personalized.
Barring the "Dear Generic Customer" address, it's critically important that you address each email in the manner in which your customers initially signed up for your blasts. Whether its "Ms. Smith," "Ms. Jane Smith" or "Jane," ensure that you're addressing your valuable customers properly.
For every correspondence, regardless of the form, studies have shown that people look at the personalization and correct spelling first, before they read any content.
For an extreme best practice, include in your sign up form an area that asks your customers how they'd like to be addressed. Sure, each form is the same – Title, First Name and Last Name – but take the radical step further and ask how they'd like to be addressed. Of course, it's an additional step for your programmers, but, in the end, it's worth it.
Along with the other advantages of email marketing, personalization is key.
Oh, ensure that any form-transfer is correct and there aren't any spelling mistakes. Make sure your list is correct and as your customers intended.
By now, your email blast sign up form is laden with pertinent information, including delivery frequency, desired content and type of format.
Offering this little gesture (really, it is), you're allowing your customers to dictate the type and kind of relationship they would like to have with you.
Clearly, with this amount of information, there's an easy mechanism for your customers to go into their account and quickly update their preferences. Also, always include the opportunity for your customers to update their information with a simple click in every email you send.
By honoring your customers' email preferences, you're honoring them and your relationship.
Miss the first two parts to this series?
Part 1: What are the limitations of email marketing