As a steadily growing phenomena since the early 90's, we've most likely all experienced the infamous e-mails we regard as spam. They utilize e-mail addresses which are collected in bulk through a variety of sources, and send mass blatant and unsolicited advertisements. Now, if you utilize e-mail campaigns in your marketing strategies, it's important for you to understand how to create a mass e-mail that is not spam. Follow these five e-mail campaign tips and you will be on the road to a spam-free reputation.
3 P's of E-Mail Marketing
Permission, permission, permission! The 3 P's of e-mail marketing are the basis of creating a reputation of having quality e-mail blasts which don't get marked as spam. Almost everyone has an e-mail account that they utilize during their daily routine, but not everyone wants to receive messages from companies with which they spend their money. Without obtaining someone's permission prior to sending an advertisement e-mail, you risk losing the client, establishing your e-mails as spam through CAN-SPAM, and blacklisted by ISP's.
Obtaining permission, contrary to popular discussions, is a simple process and can be administered in a few different ways. You can provide something of value (tips, how to's, etc) in exchange for them receiving your e-mails. You can also advertise your e-mails on your website where they can subscribe and therefore gaining their permission. You also have the opportunity to collect e-mails (and permission to send e-mails) at trade shows or networking events. Overall, gaining a recipient's permission is a must-have when you start to establish your e-mail marketing campaign.
Target Your Audience
After you gain permission and establish a base of e-mail accounts that want to obtain your messages, it's time to expand to a database of targeted recipients. According to the idea of "six degrees of separation", everyone in the world is connected to everyone else within 6 personal/professional connections. In other words, if you have a niche product and are providing beneficial (free) information that can be utilized, your initial recipient will forward your e-mail to people they know will also benefit from the information. So, through including sign-up (opt-in) buttons within your messages will allow you to further your e-mail database.
The Changing Audience
While you want to maintain constant contact with your clientele, your target audience sometimes has a change of heart and does not want to receive your e-mails any longer. It's a sad truth, but one that you have to realize sooner than later. Instead of allowing them to mark your messages as spam and risk losing them forever, allow them to opt-out of the e-mails through a simple process, but always (and I repeat....always) ask for their feedback as to why they are canceling your message. That feedback can help you retain future e-mail accounts within your database.
Persistence To Build Relationships
A significant number of companies try to go for the "one shot wonder" when, in reality, an e-mail campaign is one that develops a trusting business relationship over time. I don't want to say that you will never receive a client from your first e-mail message, but those clients are rare. However, your messages need to be consistently delivered with a needed value to the recipients. Only then will you be able to begin a long-lasting and beneficial relationship for both you and your client.
Control For Clients
Several businesses who utilize e-mail campaigns deliver only one means of a message (either in plain text or html). What they don't understand is that some e-mail readers are set in a mode that does not allow them to view one of the other. This can be viewed in a lesser quality than anticipated and therefore marked as spam due to the design of the e-mail. Instead, provide both the e-mail in both plan and rich text while allowing the recipient to decide on which they would like to view by a simple click. However, the click isn't just to get them to decide how to view the e-mail, but it is also a "buying sign" as they go deeper into your company's experience.
A successful e-mail campaign is one that starts by obtaining permission from a relatively smaller sphere of influence and expanding past that through networking. Remember to allow those individuals receiving your e-mail from their friends the opportunity to opt-in as well as the current readers the ability to opt-out. Finally, allow the recipients to decide on how they will display your message (plain or rich text) as they display a buying sign through their "click". Remember to establish your e-mail campaign as a benefit to your recipients and let us know if you need assistance in reaching a better target audience.
If e-mail marketing is something that you are interested in but don't know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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Image Source: HubSpot, “The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing”, E-Marketer.com