When your computer or phone pings and you know an email has arrived do you open the new email hoping to see a sales pitch?

No – I thought not.  But that’s what many people send out – and then wonder why people unsubscribe from their lists or just delete their emails unread.

Remember it’s email MARKETING, not email SELLING.

Marketing is about raising awareness, education and communication.  It’s helping people to understand what you do and how it can be of use to them.

There are statistics that have been researched over and over again that say that, on average, it takes between 5-12 ‘touches’ before people are ready to buy.  Your email marketing is part of that process.

Yes, there are some people who are ready to buy right now – and the right messages won’t stop them doing that – but most people aren’t ready yet.  It can be that they don’t need your product or service right now, but do have an interest.  Email marketing helps to keep them in your loop so, when the time is right for them, you’re the first name that pops into their head.

Sometimes the time lapse can be months or even years, but, in the meantime, the right messages can turn a ‘haven’t bought yet’ into an enthusiastic advocate.

Good practice for email marketing

  • Aim for a series of messages around a single subject
  • Anything that’s just product/service description is boring, so aim to deliver something of value to the recipients. A good rule of thumb is value-value-product education, that means start with something of use in message one – related to your business – and add a web link to your product/service as a P.S.  Repeat this in message 2 – then in message 3 you can explain a bit about your product or service.
  • Keep it short. Of course, you’ve probably read l-o-n-g emails from professional marketers that have kept your attention, but most of us are busy and find shorter emails have more chance of getting read at the first time of opening.

I have folders full of emails I’ve never read – not because I’m not interested, but because I was busy at the time they arrived and a quick glance told me I’d need some time to digest the content – and I put it in a folder to ‘read later’.  A year down the line I’ll cull all the old ones – that I’ve never got around to reading.  I don’t think I’m alone – except maybe some people delete rather than file.

  • Make the subject line interesting enough for people to want to find out more – but make sure the message delivers when they open it.
  • Plan your campaign for the audience you’re sending them to. What will get their attention.

If you can go and sit in the recipient’s chair and see it from their perspective that will help you to deliver powerful email campaigns that get results.