If you’ve spent any time researching how businesses are using email marketing you may be confused. This is because you will find differing opinions on how often email should be sent, how the email should look, and what day of the week and time of day it should be sent. Through trial and error, email marketing tactics have been refined based on the preferences of customers. But customers differ from industry to industry so your email marketing needs to be modified depending on your customers.
But what is perfectly clear is that email marketing is very effective for directly communicating with your customers. People read email. Moreover, people use email to share relevant information within their social network. A study done in September, 2010 by Chadwick Martin and Bailey shows that close to half (49%) of consumers share content online at least once per week, with the vast majority sharing through email (86%).
So, there is no question about whether you should include email in your marketing strategy. Here are a few best practices to consider.
Just like with any other marketing strategy you employ, you must know the wants and needs of your customers to do email marketing effectively. It is critical to provide information that is tailored and relevant to them. If the information you are providing is not important to them they will not read it and they certainly will not share it.
You should send emails regularly. Deciding whether you should send information once per week or once per month depends upon your industry, but once decided, you must stick to the schedule and be consistent. If you show up when expected and provide relevant content, they will see you as their trusted advisor.
Email clients such as Outlook, Google Mail, and Hotmail have different idiosyncrasies when displaying image-based email. This means that no matter how long you spend getting the colors, fonts, and image placement right different email clients will most likely alter them slightly. This fact, added to increasing number of people reading email using their mobile devices is leading toward a trend to keep email notes as simple as possible. Stay away from the tendency to “over-design” your email. Stick to a fluid layout that is as clean and simple as possible so that it can work with the wide variety of email clients and devices.
Be sure to include links to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to make sharing your information effortless. Facebook, for instance, comes in second to email for sharing content – 49% of adults share content there. So, by all means make this as easy as possible for them by adding links directly on the email.
The lesson here is that email marketing is important. If you are collecting email addresses from your customers be sure to use them. Giving them the information they are looking for will mean they will turn to your business when they are ready to buy.