This is a guest post from Robert Woodford.
Whether your business is stuck in a rut or you are looking to build on the momentum you already have, you might be thinking about more ways to start boosting your business. Maybe you have considered hiring new employees, investing in a fancy new storefront, or running a new promotion to lure in new customers. While none of these ideas are bad, they are all costly to any business, especially a small one. But there are ways for your business to give itself a boost without making huge expenditures. One tool that every business should be utilizing in today’s age of digital communications is email marketing. But while plenty of businesses are emailing their customers, not every one of those businesses is taking full advantage of the opportunity this direct form of customer communication offers. Below are five must dos for every business that wants to use email marketing.
MUST DO #1: Do value your customers’ time and Inboxes.
A lot of people are very busy, and your customers are probably busy too. This means that they do not want anybody wasting their time. If you send them more emails than they care to read, you are wasting their time. If the content of your emails is not relevant to them, or does not tell them anything new, you are wasting their time. Before you send any email out to your long list of customers, ask yourself: does this email value my customer and his/her time?
MUST DO #2: Do ask for feedback when your customers unsubscribe.
Every business is going to lose customers, and it is only normal for some of your email recipients to opt to unsubscribe from your lists. But if you don’t take the opportunity to ask them why they are leaving, then you have done nothing to prevent other customers for leaving for the same exact reasons. So make sure you ask your exiting customers why they are leaving – were they receiving too many emails? Are they disappointed in your products? Or is it something completely outside of your control – for example, are they moving out of the area your local business serves? These answers will help you going forward.
MUST DO #3: Do make your subject lines informative.
As we already established, your customers are busy. That means that if they see your email in their inboxes, but there is nothing in the subject line prompting them to open it, they will probably just delete it. But if a customer sees a subject line that is relevant to them, they are more likely to open the email. So avoid subject lines like “A Message from your plumber” and instead use something like “Great sales on toilets!”
MUST DO #4: Do use your confirmation emails to promote your products.
When a customer makes a purchase on your website, they should automatically receive a confirmation email. Take advantage of that necessary email and include links to more products that would be relevant to the customer. For example, if your customer purchased a camera, include a picture and link to a camera case.
MUST DO #5: Do be friendly, not pushy.
Don’t send your customers multiple emails with the same information. Always keep your tone friendly, and don’t veer into pushy. If you promote the same product four times, even if the tone sounds friendly to you, the repetition makes it pushy.
Robert Woodford has been writing about marketing topics online, including email marketing for free for the past 10 years. When not writing you can find him at home with his family or out on the golf course working to lower his handicap.
Photo: .gabriel on Flickr