I hate that every email marketing article is totally ambiguous and proves nothing, or focuses on things like where each color sits on the page and the use of “and” instead of “or”. Just meaningless things that have no real practical application in the situations most of us are in. Here are some real marketing tips for emails that you can use if you are a little more jr in the marketing experience area:
1. Frequency: You want to keep some frequency with your customers/readers so they don’t forget about you but you can’t spam them to death either. Once a week works for some companies, once every 2 weeks might be better for others. Once a month is more like, who are these people, I’ve forgotten… Daily alerts are great for very time sensitive information that changes quickly. these people use your information like a drug, you can’t miss a day and cut it off, you will seriously piss them off. Also, once you have this going you can’t forget about it. You have to keep going or you are not top of mind anymore. People forget so easily because they’re deluged with new media and information by the bookload every day. So don’t take vacations from the blog if you have built up a loyal and active audience, get a guest writer. I think one of the biggest travesties that happened was Ze Frank’s show ending right when he had reached the peak in traffic and viewers. It was crazy to throw away an audience like that. He should have launched into another version of the show or something the momentum was awesome.
2. Content: Everyone has theories here, but I still believe that the best content is something that is most relevant to your readers. If they want deals, send lists and photos of whats on sale this weeks with a click to buy with the discount link right there in the email. If it’s information they are after offer an organized update to what new has been posted or added since the last email. Your products/goals will guide you on what you want to sell more of and your customers will let you know what they like best and is most relevant. I can’t say enough how much I hate emails that are pointless ways to try and be deceptive about getting people to buy or sign up or that are just not relevant by pitching stuff I don’t care about.
3. Email Lists: There are people who still believe that buying a bulk list and spamming people is good email marketing. Its not, its spamming. You have to get the consumer to give you their consent in order for them to care at all about what you send them. Adding a signup to your home page or check out process would be a good way to start generating a list to work from. Placing ads online advertising the list/newsletter for free signup would also help, but it is much more expensive than letting it grow organically. Blogging is almost like an email message and if you do that regularly pitch the email list there too. People who like blogs either like really fast up to the minute information, or really old historical data that meets exactly what they are trying to figure out. The fast info processors are the people who enjoy getting emails from you.
4. Fonts/Design: I do not have a design degree or usability experience, but I have to say that shorter emails are better because they are less daunting and won’t get put off till I “have more time” (like when is that?). You need to be clear and concise and not have too many possible actions or people will choose nothing. 2 is good. 1. Read this. 2. Click to buy. Keep layouts simple and white spaced, minimal color, one or 2 pix, and an unsubscribe link at the bottom. And actually unsubscribe them when they ask you to.
5. List purge: If an email comes back 3 times with a bounce, I say delete it. Once could be a full mailbox on vacation. Twice could be someone quite disorganized. Three means they don’t live there anymore. Take note, save money on how many of these you send out and you will also up your conversion rates.
Got any more suggestions? Post them below: