We’ve all experienced the daily struggle of modern life, when our attention is pulled in a hundred different directions at once. It sometimes seems impossible to know how to cut through all the buzz and noise, especially when you’re trying to raise the profile of your business, or alert customers to new products and services.
One tried and tested way to get in touch with your potential and existing customers is email marketing. Yes, we know, thanks to an online purchase that demanded contact details, or a free trial we signed up to but never followed through, we all receive emails that we instantly delete from our inboxes on a daily basis.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for your communications.
The key is to add value to your interaction with your customer, and by working with an experienced marketing agency you can be sure that when your emails are sent out, they don’t just end up in the trash bin.
As a specialist agency, we know all too well the perils and pitfalls of poor communications. A company may have the best service or product offering on the market, but that doesn’t count for much if their audience never knows about it because they deleted the email without a second thought. Unconsciously, we all ask the same questions when new mail appears in our inbox – is this interesting and relevant to me? To help you tick these boxes in the mind of your audience, we’ve outlined a few ways you can help get your message out there.
Timing is everything
How many of us have a chance to read our personal emails at 9am on a Monday morning? The answer is likely to be very few – we’re going to be catching up with colleagues after the weekend, planning the day ahead, in meetings or on the school run. Therefore it is essential that you consider timing when clicking send on your latest communication. The most suitable windows will vary depending on your customer demographic, but evenings, lunch times and weekend mornings often produce good email opening results. This doesn’t mean you have to be working all hours to make sure you’re ready at the right time to press send – many email platforms now offer the ability to schedule an automated sending time and date.
Laying the groundwork
If your email has arrived in your customer’s inbox at exactly the right time, the next important area to think about is the subject and preheader text (that shows as the email preview). This is the first part of the email that your customer will see, and will play a big part in determining whether they will open and read the rest of your email or bin it instantly. Think about the emails you receive, what about the initial wording makes you open it to keep reading? A good subject line could be curious and intriguing, talk about a way you’re about to solve a problem for the reader, or it could mention an offer or discount. Again, depending on your platform, there is often the opportunity to personalise each email subject – research shows this can increase the likelihood of an email being opened by 26%, so this is definitely a feature worth considering.
Once you have secured that elusive opening of your email, it’s important not to undo all your hard work by going straight for an instant sell. This is where the ‘adding value’ factor comes into play. Today’s savvy consumers are all too aware of the ‘in your face’ sales pitch, and are very likely to turn tail and run. We’re all looking for a more, something that answers that initial question of interest and relevance. Ultimately, we all want to feel that little bit special and to feel a connection in this increasingly distant digital landscape. You can help your customers feel important and appreciated by remembering that ‘content is king’.
It may not mean an instant sale, but what you will find is that you begin to build trust and confidence in your products, services and business, precisely because you aren’t just looking for the quick sale that only seems to benefit you. So many business owners work tirelessly because they genuinely want to help and improve the lives of their customers. When all transactions were face to face it was much easier to communicate this genuine attitude, but it is still possible to achieve this using today’s methods of communication, we just have to be mindful of our approach.
Consider offering readers helpful guides, hints and tips, features on products or other happy customers, as well as company news, offers and discounts just for loyal subscribers. This will mean that all of a sudden, by clicking on your email, they have just received a huge amount of value from you and your business, with content that is interesting and relevant to them.
It’s not just about what you say, it’s how you say it
It’s important to consider the layout of the email, as even the most valuable messages will be lost if the customer is presented with a large block of text that they won’t take the time to read, regardless of the content. Carefully chosen, well-placed images will ensure an improved reader experience, meaning that your audience is much more likely to work their way through all your content, increasingly the chances of a click to your website, interaction or conversion. A careful proofread will show care and attention to detail, and be sure to check any links you include work as you expect, so you don’t miss any chances to continue the customer journey on your website.
A good email platform will also ensure that your email is responsive, so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste; with an increasing number of your audience checking their email on their phone or tablet, it’s important that everything displays clearly and correctly. When you’re running tests and sending previews of the email to yourself, make sure you check it on your phone as well as your desktop.
Going it alone
This might seem like a lot of things to think about when all you want to do is send out a quick email. It is important to remember exactly what consumers today expect from their interactions with companies, as it could only take a few bad experiences before they unsubscribe from your mailing list, potentially lost forever as a customer. Working with a specialist marketing agency could be an ideal solution to make sure your email communications are hitting the right spot.
Many agencies are happy to create the content if you have subjects in mind, or even suggest ideas based on their monitoring of your industry, knowledge of your business or your social media activity. All the areas mentioned, along with other important considerations, should be naturally incorporated into your email campaigns by a good agency. This will help you to build your business, promote your products and services, and convert readers to customers by continually adding value to their interactions with your organisation.
If you’d like some advice and support when it comes to getting your email marketing campaign off the ground, why not call us on 01326 250879 for a chat? Or ping us an email with your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org (we won’t expect you to sign up for anything by enquiring).