Are your emails killing your customer relationships?
It has never been more important to interact with our customers pro-actively. Social media and the whole digital universe has meant more and more ways for your customers to be lost to competitors or simply lose faith in your brand. One of the main culprits has been number of poor emails that have been used as the main-contact strategy by companies.
Over the years, while I have been working as a marketing / business consult. I have seen first-hand these mistake and the damage their are doing to your brand. So, I thought I better try and point some of these mistake and importantly, ways to make email communications stand out and create readership within your audiences. So let’s start and work our way down the email from the top. I won’t discuss subject lines in this post has I have already written about what makes a good subject line and the tactics, you will need to employ.
So let’s get started.
Space – Isn’t the final frontier!
How many time am I hit from the very opening of the email with too much information / images / anything but what is needed, SPACE. A lot of you will understand the white-space rule in advertising and design. But this isn’t always carried forward into the email arena. Give your recipients a chance to understand your; message, offer and proposition. Make it clean and crisp.
It isn’t about the number of words per paragraph or ho many images. Less is More!
Give them a phone number!
The tendency is to always think that you medium you send a communication piece is the same as your customer will respond, and it simple isn’t true. I have been in digital marketing for over 15 years, and on my initial interactions with a business, I still want to speak to a real person. People feel reassured and evidence shows us, that they are more likely to interact with your brand if you provide clear and distinct contact details on the top of your emails.
So, you have supplied that all important phone number in my opinion. The key then is to ensure that inbound leads are dealt with efficiently and effectively. I always recommend setting up KPI’s and SLA’s for this type of actively. Ideally, you want to measure the following; where did the lead generate?, what did the prospect / customer want, what was the outcome? NB: I like to study the negative outcomes just as much as the positive outcomes. Where did you lose the enquiry, what was the honest feedback from the customer / prospect to the call, email, dealings with your business etc.
Copy is king!
It seems that everywhere we turn right now, everyone is talking about content and how this is the most important element to a successful marketing campaign. The problem for smaller businesses is generating good and addictive content. The better ways is to ensure your copy within the email is personable and relevant. The copy should also be warm and friendly. It should invite the recipient into your world, easily. Example. We all seen how Lastminute.com use email to sell their breaks and holidays, engaging images and great descriptions of the location, hotel. It makes you feel part of it, and drives interaction and longing.
Remember, write it from you! Bring your personality or your brand personality out in the email copy.
If you have a professional service to sell, then fun and livery copy isn’t probably the best tone, but it should still be warm, friendly and sound as if it came from a real person.
Tell a story on how your product or service will help solve your audiences problem / issue. Make it relevant too. If you known your customers then build in key information into that email. But not just add data field. It’s so inhuman…
It make your customer feel appreciated and wanted. That’s why we build up data on customers, not for some big-brother conspiracy but to use creatively and sincerely. As I said be creative and be human in how you write the copy. If you were selling hotel rooms to a customer who you knows visits a certain city regularly, then what not say say “it’s better than crashing on your mate’s sofa”.
Referrals and advocacy
We should be all aware of the power and influence that your existing can have over prospects. Nothing is quite like a referral from a real person, who loves your brand. I always recommend building in a reference into your email copy. So, you should be writing your copy with the principles set out above. However, one of the most fundamental principles that isn’t always adhered to is; features and benefits, and how to use them correctly.
So, let’s quickly recap. Features don’t sell, Benefits do! And that is how you should be using recommendations, selling benefits. Build that referral into why your product / service will benefit your readers life.
Strong Call to Actions
This isn’t always about a well written call to action, in fact I would recommend a simply visual call to action button, like the example below.
Hubspot, know how to maximise their emails to generate the most amount of click-throughs, respondents with clean, visual call to actions. Their practice simply feature and benefits, they tell me why I should engage with the email and what I can expect as a result.
These few tips should act as the foundation for your email marketing, they will help with the structure, copy and content and that all important engagement. Good email marketing takes effort and understanding about your customers and why they use your products or services.
enThralled Agency are a leading Lead Generation agency, specialising in helping small businesses grow their business through cost effective and pro-active solutions. www.enthralled.biz