E-mail marketing is now many consumers preferred method of communication, argued Lissa Napolillo, of MBS World Marketing, in a seminar on “Email Best Practices: Finding Diamonds in the Rough.”
“The new consumer is not going to be interested in receiving physical mail,” she said. “They are going to be interested in communicating in the way they are comfortable, which is online.”
Among her “best practices” for marketing via e-mail:
– Take into consideration “cadence” – how often you are communicating with your customers.
“I have a brand that e-mails me every day,” she said. “I like the brand but after a while it becomes static to me. Not every one of these things could be relevant to me.”
– The most effective e-mail appeals are the most targeted.
“The more targeted you get, the better your sales ratio,” she said.
She said you should segment your e-mail file based on past purchase frequency; product affinity; open and click frequency; geography; shopping cart activity; and browser activity.
She said that “every interaction with your customer should be recorded in your database.”
“You should know who clicked, who opened and who purchased,” she said. “Your e-mail server will give you all the information.”
– Choose your subject line carefully.
She noted that 35% of e-mail messages are opened because of the subject line.
“The shorter the subject line¸ the more apt a user is to open your e-mail,” she said.
She noted that including your company’s name in the subject line increases your chance of click-through.
– Make sure your e-mail is not considered “spam.”
“You should make it easy for people to opt and opt out,” she said. “The last thing you want to do is to annoy your customer.”
In addition have one database that keeps track of your “opt-ins” and “opt-outs.”
– She noted that consumers seem more likely to respond to e-mails that arrive early in the work week, and on weekends.
– Design your e-mail with the assumption that images will be turned off by the email program.
“One in five e-mails are invisible and ineffective due to blocked images,” she said. “Use description tags for all your images. And never use images for important content like headlines, links and calls to action.”
– Make sure every e-mail includes a “link to purchase.”
“You have to make it as easy as possible for someone to say: I love this image, and I want to buy it,” she said.
– Look into social networking.
For example, if you have a new TV commercial, place it on youtube.
“It’s very simple to do, and it’s free,” she said.