We don’t have to tell you how important clarity in communication is when it comes to communicating with your customers, website visitors, vendors and other stakeholders. As regular users or as a company, the importance of communication, and more importantly, its clarity are of paramount importance to you. That said, what role does effective communication play in email marketing, especially of the opt-in variety? Let us find out.
5 Hurdles to Overcome in your Email Marketing Collateral
Given the fact that 294 billion email messages are sent every day according to About.com, the popularity of email messaging, SMS and IM not withstanding, continues to be on the rise. A significant percentage of this daily communication falls into the spam category which is quite unfortunate since spam messages, especially those which don’t make it to your junk folder, tend to waste a great deal of your precious time and your company’s valuable resources. So that your marketing messages hit the spot, comply with statutory requirements, and generate the leads they are intended to deliver, we bring to you 5 email blunders you can easily keep at bay with a pen stroke:
Take Content Seriously:
Whether you should focus more on form or on style is a matter that will always continue to remain a matter of debate. We think both are important. For this reason, the message in your email should be razor sharp, highly focused, written in the active voice with plenty of action words, totally error free grammatically, and short. Long-winded email messages tend to dilute the intended impact in a heart beat. The ideal length of an email message, including salutation and signature line, shouldn’t really exceed 300-400 words.
Craft high impact Subject Lines:
The subject line of your email message is like the headline of a news story. It is the hook designed to inspire your prospective or existing customers to open your message. Summarize the primary intent of your email message in the subject line. Better still, if you have an offer you can include such as a discount promotion, a sales announcement or an incentive, mention it clearly in your subject line because they are known to push the right buttons.
Check for Broken Links:
Sending broken links in your email marketing collateral is like shutting the door on your customer’s face if you own a brick-and-mortar store. Just ensuring that all links are functional at the time of message delivery isn’t enough any more. Instruct your web development team not to alter those web pages to which your email messages link. Use an email shortening service such as www.Bit.ly to shorten your links if they are long and have a tendency to break due to URL wrap around. Finally, useful and information-packed email messages are stored by customers for months and even for years. If your analytics indicate that a significant portion of your traffic is being generated through your email marketing collateral, preserve those web pages even after your website goes through a facelift.
Test your email message on Multiple Browsers:
Before you hit the SEND button in your email marketing software application, test the message on multiple browsers and email clients such as Mozilla, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. If you have access to email clients such as Outlook, Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail, check your message on these popular email clients as well. Look for font consistency, image stability and overall look-and-feel of your collateral. Since many millions of email messages are being opened on smartphones and handheld devices each day, consider checking your email marketing collateral for people on the go as well. We recommend that you use responsive email templates which your email marketing company is bound to provide to ensure a consistent user experience across multiple platforms.
Remain Legally Compliant:
The last thing you want is law enforcement knocking on your door because of a complaint from a disgruntled receiver of your message who claims that his or her privacy was compromised. Familiarize yourself with the statutes that govern your country or region and follow them to the letter. In the US for instance, you need to comply with the CAN-SPAM law, which requires that you include your physical mailing address and a link for unsubscribing from your emailing list in each email you send.
Email marketing is an excellent way to build relationships with your customer community through sustained engagement. Instead of sending out hard core advertising messages which really don’t work any more today, focus more on informing your customers and prospects through your email collateral, solving their problems, and helping them learn about the innovation that is taking place in your industry or vertical. Once you build a level of trust and loyalty, your customers are going to come right over to your website the moment they feel a need to use your products or services.