This is a guest post by Susan White. If you too wish to guest post at DKSpeaks, you can read the guidelines here.
It’s the most powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal, but when wielded badly, it could turn out to be a boomerang that comes back to hit you in the face instead. Email marketing is one of the most widely used, and most misunderstood Internet marketing tool there is today. To be of any real use to a company, an email marketing campaign it has to be carried out effectively. It should be opened by the customer and perceived to be of value instead of being relegated to the Trash folder unseen, or worse, labeled as Junk or Spam. When you’re marked as a spammer by most people you send out email to, you risk being blacklisted and losing your reputation. To avoid such a situation, here’s what you need to do:
- Avoid sending out mass mails to random people: You may think you’re getting the maximum reach by sending out mass mailings to a number of email ids that you purchased from a third party. But if you knew the normal mentality of people, you would desist from such an action. Most people set their spam filters so that any email from people not in their address book goes directly to the Spam folder which is emptied automatically on a periodic basis. And even people who see such mail in their Inbox mark it as spam once they realize that it is part of a marketing campaign. Perhaps just 1 percent of the mail you sent out is opened, and an even smaller percentage of people respond the way you want them to. It is not worth being labeled as spam for this tiny amount of return on your efforts.
- Use retention emails rather than direct email: Direct email is seen as an in-your-face marketing method, especially if your mail pops up at inopportune moments and intrudes into the busy lives of people. Rather, allow both existing and potential customers to sign up for your newsletters and use these to provide them with the latest news and information about your products and services. When they’ve already interacted with you, they feel comfortable opening emails from you, especially if they’re intrigued by the subject line. If you are sending out direct marketing email however, ensure that you allow people to opt out with a link at the bottom of the page. This prevents them from labeling your email as spam.
- Ensure that your subject line matches the rest of the email: The biggest grouse I have against marketers is that they con you into opening their emails and clicking on the links in them. For example, an email I received from a national magazine (which I was subscribed to) announced that I had won free merchandise and that all I had to do to claim it was follow the link. And when I did so, I was taken to an online store where I could “buy” the merchandise, using a discount voucher. So in effect, I had to spend money on something I did not really need just because I was being given a discount voucher. Needless to say, I marked all emails from the marketer as spam after that. Email marketers must ensure that their subject line is true to what’s inside the email, because while they may con people once, they’re definitely going to get labeled as spam after that.
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