First of all, how do you react to the e-mail advertisements and info you receive on a daily basis? Yeah, same here – drop that junk as quickly as possible. It’s just a bunch of time stealing and uninteresting attempts of corporations that long for our attention. I’m so sick of it!
Surprisingly, here are some sources which actually prove that e-mail Marketing IS successful. ‘What a lie, that can’t be real!’ was my first thought as someone who cannot imagine any worse way to annoy others in their privacy.
Starting with Luis Trevino and his research on e-mail Marketing, he wrote that e-mail Marketing is proven to be 40x more successful than Marketing via Social Media, such as facebook or twitter. Well, but only if done right (and personally I assume to not ever have received a ‘good’ Marketing e-mail). There are some legal basics and etiquette rules one needs to follow in order perform good e-mail Marketing, to attract attention and interest and avoid being sued for engaging somebody privately via e-mail.
The legal basics, from the CAN-SPAM Act 2003, include followings:
- Don’t use false or misleading Header Information
- Don’t have a deceptive subject line-Use a subject line that accurately reflects the content of your e-mail
- Include Sender’s Postal Address
- Identify the message as an ad
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you- include a working “unsubscribe” link in every mail you send
Then beside the legal basics, in order to really attract attention and not being forwarded to the junk section, one needs to mind followings:
- The receiver will think: Who is this writing me? What do you want? So use the first seconds of attention, the subject line, to clearly identify yourself and your intentions. Send your mails only to people you have interacted with. If you fail at the beginning, everything else is lost before the receiver had a look at it.
- Add a localization, people are more likely to open mails which are relevant to the area they live in
- Then same as with what we discussed about Content Marketing in general: know your audience and address them with info they want. Non-relevant info equals spam
- Show that you have got more to offer then lame deals and discounts
- Keep things simple and short. Words/images without meaning are wasted words/images
- Keep up, remind your audience of yourself by sending a follow-up Mail approx. 3-4 days after the first mail
Furthermore, there are rules of behavior, which you would want to follow in order to keep your audience. This e-book from Constant Contact provides good info regarding this (some of the rules are similar to the points provided by Luis):
- Only send emails to people who know you
- Don’t treat your contacts like names on a list, treat them like people
- Send relevant content that has value to your recipient
- Engage with your audience with the content you write
- Maximize your delivery rate
- Never share your email list
- Set expectations (and follow through)
- Look professional whenever you communicate
- Regularly review your results
- Go beyond the inbox/use Social Media if you don’t do it already
I guess as key lessons I would summarize that e-Mail Marketing is only worth it, when addressing known contacts and not random people, when provided content is good and appeals to the receivers interest (remember the first three seconds), and when it respects the receivers time and attention-span/the mail should be short enough for the specific subject.
Personally I have never received any Marketing e-mail that led to further interaction. Also e-mails pages/companies I subscribed to mostly land in my spam/junk, because I don’t always want to be informed about the latest stuff. Maybe I’m the difficult type of receivers. I rather use Social Media for it. Well, Statistics show that e-Mails have great potentials – we’ll see if it stays like this. Personally I would assume, that real time info on smartphones via live-tickers you can subscribe to or similar will soon succeed the traditional e-mail Marketing.