Some time ago I noticed Maria Pergolino’article Reactivating your database – Key steps to getting your leads to re-engage. (Nov. 2012)
Now I’m sure Maria knows more about email marketing than I do. I’ve just started emailing newsletters as a part of my current job and I have only a vague notion of who the recipients are. Fortunately I’m learning as I go, so I’ll hopefully leave the stage of “random acts of marketing” behind me (term probably from @PamMarketingNut).
What works in email?
Despite my wafer-thin layer of experience in sending bulk emails, I’m at the receiving end of a number of email campaigns and I can say a couple of things about what works and what doesn’t in emails:
- Regular but not-too-regular updates via email are fine. If you sell good stuff at your store (we’re talking clothes here) you may expect your emails to be opened every once in a while.
- Your emails will get more attention if there’s genuinely interesting information in them. A bit of a no-brainer, unless you think providing only the smallest possible amount of information will trigger me to visit your website. It won’t.
- The right frequency is a matter of balance. Having to delete offers I’ve missed does not motivate me to buy anything from you. Getting several emails about a collection I can’t check out (no time) doesn’t work either.
- Some people don’t shop online for clothes. If they happen to live five minutes away from the shops and a lot of clothes aren’t the right fit they will visit your shop. And please, don’t expect anyone to print a discount offer you emailed to take with them to your store. (Does this still happen? If not, it’s because it was a bad idea.)
- Good subject lines work, but the actual email should deliver on the promise the subject line makes. Is this an open door? I hope so.
- Emails specifying there is only one day left for your special discount may work for students or single lads and ladies. Those of us with a husband and/or kids and a job won’t react so positively – unless you provide day care for the kids (husband).*
*I know – I’ve seen – parents do their version of parenting while jabbing at their phones or talking loudly about their day to an unseen friend.** Wondering where your kids are (in trouble) while trying on a new pair of whatnots doesn’t really work either (it derails any attempt at making a sensible decision).
**It’s not always what you think though. I had someone stare at me accusingly – someone who needed explaining that I was entering our appointment for a new passport into my calendar. I might have been messaging to my friends – but I’m just not that rude (unless people start staring at me accusingly).
Good in email (I think)
- Send them when they’re useful. You can have too much of a good thing.
- New collection? Fine, but make sure to add all the available colors/sizes/styles. Don’t just feature the most fashionable items and colors, especially if they’re oversized sweaters in pastels (the 1980’s were gruesome).
- Depending on your audience, send a reminder at least half a week before the end of your discount campaign. Some of us have meetings we can’t skip (well, we can, but that’s just the start of our problems).
- If you know where your customers are, use that information to improve your emails. Not as in “I know where you live” (I read a blog post some time ago about an email that got creepy) but you might shift your call-to-action according to what you think you know. If they live around the corner, “come check our web shop now” may not be a relevant trigger. Or it may be. It all depends on your customers.
Do you have any do’s or don’ts for email (marketing)? Any great or not-so-great experience with calls-to-action?