Email Marketing Etiquette
Effective email marketing is part and parcel of running a successful e-commerce business. By sending out the right message about your company and the goods or services you offer, you will not only gain a considerable amount of new customers, you can also keep your business fresh in the minds of existing customers and tempt them into doing business with you again. As all online business owners know, however, there is often a fine line between efficient, informative emails that customers enjoy reading and spam messages, which, more often than not, end up unopened in the ‘deleted’ folder. Luckily, there is a substantial list of etiquette rules pertaining to email marketing, including which style and wording to use and how often emails should be sent to your address book in order to have the right effect, rather than the ‘spam’ effect. Here are just a few things to keep in mind.
Content is King
The first step towards compiling an effective marketing email is to think long and hard about what you want to tell your customers and how you want to get your message across. This process starts with the shortest, yet by far most important, part of your email: the subject line. A good subject line should be concise, to-the-point and informative and if the intention of your email is to push your products or services, an exciting call-to-action would not look out of place either. If the subject line of an email does not attract the attention of the customer immediately, your email will more than likely not be opened and deleted straightaway. Another fact about marketing emails is that your target audience will hardly ever read the entire content of the email. Marketing experts, therefore, advise you to include a short summary at the start of the email, which includes the central theme or message you are trying to convey. In addition, the style and tone of an email should be concise and professional and –remember – a spell checker is never a luxury!
Depending on the nature of the product you are offering and how often your catalogue gets updated, you can send your targeted marketing emails anywhere between once a week and once a month. Sending more than one email a week to the same customers is generally considered to be spam, although it is perfectly acceptable to occasionally send separate emails in between your regular mailing times if your web shop has a new product on offer or if you have a special announcement to make. Many e-commerce businesses also offer their customers the option to indicate how often they prefer to receive emails from them, by means of a web poll or an email link. Once you have this information, you can compile several mailing lists, depending on preferred frequency.
Email is one of the most important means of communicating with your potential and existing customers. Sending out frequent emails, without harassing the readers on a daily basis, has been proven to help attract and retain customers. Using concise, clear and professional sales language will help you make a great impression and hugely increases your chances of future sales.