5 tips for better email marketing

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By Pat Klopf

Planning an effective email marketing campaign can be tricky business. Several different factors should be considered when writing an email to get people interested in your business, such as recognizing the needs of your customers, setting goals and providing clear instructions. Writing that perfect email can be difficult. The intended purpose of an email will dictate the necessary details, but there are a few tips that can improve any email marketing message.

  1. Customers are people. People respond much more favorably to email marketing campaigns that treat them like real people. A good email is much more than a simple list of facts and figures that closes with a call to action. If you know a person’s name, be sure to use it in the email to make it seem more personal. Telling stories about your successes or failures in your email marketing campaigns reminds your customers that you are a person, too, and not simply a machine incapable of feeling emotion. Use language that is informal where appropriate, but be polite.
  2. Start small and set realistic goals.  Email is a useful marketing tool, but don’t suddenly expect to see a huge wave of new customers after sending out just a few emails. Instead, aim for smaller, more manageable goals. Spark interest that will help build up future sales and form relationships whenever possible. Gather information that can help you win them over and be sure to listen to any specific needs they may express. Aim for small victories and let them build up into something better over the course of time.
  3. Give clear directions.  Prioritize clarity before catchiness in your emails. If customers are interested but don’t know how to act on your offer, the message will be useless. Always give concise calls to action within your emails so that people know how to proceed or what action you want them to take. If you want people to sign up for a service or an email newsletter, tell them exactly how to do it. Give them clear links to follow, big buttons to press, and never assume that something is obvious. A person who can’t understand what you want them to do is likely to give up or ignore your message, so make sure that everything is clear. Confusion quickly loses customers.
  4. Trust statistics and recognize opportunities.  Data is an important tool to any business. If you know what an individual wants, then you can specifically tailor your email newsletter messages to appeal to them. A thorough data collection program makes gathering that information over the Internet reasonably simple, so be sure that data collection is a part of your email marketing strategy. Track what people are looking for and when they look for it. Segmenting your lists by different concepts or geographic regions is beneficial, as well as finding out where those people tend to live so you can personalize the email newsletter message toward them. A study completed by the Direct Marketing Association found that segmented or targeted emails generated 58 percent of all revenue for surveyed marketers. Emails that are segmented often perform better than emails that are not personalized. Once you have that information, you can optimize your efforts and get much better returns for your time.
  5. Remember to be polite.  Gratefully thanking your customers for working with you helps to humanize your business and make people feel good for choosing you over your competitors. Being thankful is a sign of respect. Remember that if a client chooses you, that involves a lot of trust. Above all, be mindful that your new client deserves your honesty and respect. This tip is not likely to continually bring in new customers, but it will help to keep the customers that you already have, and we all know how vital client retention is to a businesses’ success.

Furthermore, while emails are meant to inform your customers, they’re also capable of entertaining your customers. Email marketing is a great avenue for allowing your brand’s personality and values to shine. Being polite and showing your personality will further strengthen the relationship with the customers on your email marketing list. ♦


Pat Klopf is the owner of GreenMail Email Marketing, an Iowa company that helps companies all over the world with permission-based email marketing. He can be reached at 515-288-6245.




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