Before I start talking about email marketing – I want to share my concern over something else, related but not directly, but yes, related nevertheless!
I feel awfully disappointed when I see people getting so entwined and overwhelmed by all the information and complexities surrounding internet (or even our daily lives for that matter) that simply decide to overlook or forget the fact that there is a simpler way of doing things that we are not actually bothered to see; may be because we are so over-stressed & conditioned by surrounding environment and noise; that we do not consider using the resources we have at hand and instead try exploring more of them; which definitely may add to the number of options we may have but qualitatively it does not make much difference because we have no time or knowledge to put them to use.
See, for example lets consider those of us who have websites – we are generating traffic for it from Face Book, Twitter, and many such social networking sites & sources; we’ve even managed to master some skills, which we use for talking about our site and products on social networks; AND we are also happy with what we are getting in return – people reacting and writing to us, about our products; and some of these visitors are even visiting our website.
Now let me tell you why I feel disappointed. I am disappointed because in spite of having a website, we are not doing anything to promote and market it directly. It’s been stagnating for months; and instead of putting efforts into our website we are putting our energies into making the social networking sites look active and happening. Why does it never strike us?
Amidst all this overflow of information and confusion we have completely forgotten that we are not getting traffic directly to our website. Everything is generated from here and there. Then what is the purpose of having paid for a domain name, having gotten our website designed and optimized etc, if it is not generating any direct and organic traffic for us by being found in the searches by natural and genuine people looking for our products, what’s the point?
Website is such a powerful tool and some of us out of ignorance are simply allowing it to rotten. I come across so many webmasters; who are so engrossed on social media that the thought of promoting their website never occurs or crosses their mind. Why can’t we think straight and simple and consider promoting our website directly; empowering it to drive our business to new heights! Why are we focusing in indirect feeds? Are you getting my point?
This brings me to our main topic of Email Marketing. We read, write, and discuss, so much about email marketing all the time – sometimes during my research I realise that every 3rd post is about email marketing – talking about various aspects of it, finding new ways of email marketing, effective ways, sure short outcomes report, surveys, practical email marketing campaigns tips and what not, but in all this hum-drum we have clearly forgotten our inbox which according to me is the most basic, and happening tool we have at hand; lying there unattended just like our website.
My stand when it comes to email marketing is the same as that I have on websites and blogs; that we are not using it like we should be. We are not taking direct advantage of it.
Answer these few questions for me – do we miss opening or reading a single email? Don’t we attend to emails even at 1.30 at night if we are awake? And what’s amongst the first things we reach out for when we switch on our computers or blackberries in the mornings?
We may forget to log into our blog; we may postpone checking bank details online, even postpone bill payment by a day but do we ever treat our emails like that? Never! How much ever unimportant the emails might be, unless we are absolutely sure about the source we don’t care about we do not ignore any mail. Then why do we treat ours as well as other people’s inboxes so lightly? Why do we not wake up to it?
Email Marketing Basics – Lesson 1 – Clear and Precise Message
The emails I receive from addresses like [email protected] I know even before reading them that they are meant to go into the trash bin. So make sure you never send one with such over-smart addresses.
Second thing – don’t glorify format, fonts, and layouts of email marketing communication. Keep it simple, at the most in HTML format, minimal frills, no loud colours, caricatures, and buttons…. None of that rubbish whatsoever. The newsletters you generally delete without even bothering to open will give you a good insight into what your newsletter should not be, or look, or feel like!
Message you are trying to convey and action you are expecting recipient to take – both should be short, unambiguous, and scan-able (keeping reader’s short attention span in mind).
Email Marketing Basics – Lesson 2 – Get Professional
If you are someone who is feeling settled with the idea of carrying out your business on the internet for next few years or more, newsletters will become a regular feature of your business communication that your customers will receive from you from time to time. Now, instead of using regular free email providing services, if you will consider employing sales and marketing automation software for it; believe me it will prove to be a much better decision for your business in long term. The package and software you choose will depend on features and usefulness of the software, and business goals. Giving too much weight to price may hit you hard especially if you do not know how to deal with spam or you aren’t too familiar with spam police etc.
Email Marketing Basics – Lesson 3 – Work on Your Newsletter But Not At The Cost of Your Site or Blog
Never keep your blogs and websites starving for content. If in your spree of feeding your customers with newsletters one after the other you ignore our website or blog, its not fair at all. So always feed your sites and blogs, and fee them well. The most ting is that the spiders are going to index your blog and site; not your fortnightly, substance rich, informative newsletter that is lying in client’s inbox!
Also remember that being active on social sites is also something you can’t ignore. Agreed that it is in indirect traffic for your site (as discussed earlier), but you can’t withdraw from it, lie low, or not be a part of the network at all. After all, this is the place where people are talking about it, so you might as well be there – part of limelight.
Email Marketing Basics – Lesson 4 & 5 – Think Out-of-The- Box and Be Helpful
When you think of content for your newsletter, focus on being helpful; don’t focus on the product. The message should communicate your eagerness to help & knowledge expertise. The recipient on seeing the newsletter in the inbox should feel as if he has received a personal communication from you where he is free to write back anytime and seek your help, assistance, or advice. And when your customer writes to you, never ignore the mail. Replying to such emails should be your top priority – first task of the day!
You can do one more thing while sending out newsletter. You can highlight some posts of your blog that you may have done during the week or fortnight that might help them in their business, send them the link to that post too. Don’t make it sound like you are pushing it down his throat, just make it sound like, an option that they can exercise if they want “This post on Local SEO I did last week may help those of you who are marketing your products locally”.
Follow these practices, I am confident they will work because they are all going to touch recipients on human level, nothing about it is technical or spider or software related. It’s meant to human reader who happen to be final destinations!