Good email marketing campaigns must be closely tied to quality products and good customer service.
Each week I receive numerous email marketing offerings. I am not talking about the spam emails, which seem, fortunately, to have diminished considerably in recent months, but rather newsletters to which I have subscribed. These email newsletters all have some things in common. They are all clearly identifiable as coming from the organization that I know, they all have a subject line that gives me a quick idea of the main topic of the newsletter and they have a simple ‘unsubscribe’ mechanism. These are all good things.
Why do people sign up for email newsletters?
Why do I sign up for email newsletters? There are two main reasons. I I want learn what’s going on in my field and I want to keep up with any good offers on products or services that I might need for my business.
In my case, the offer that is most likely to get my attention is some sort of online seminar. The second most likely to catch my eye is some sort of discount on a product that I’m already interested in although I have to admit to receiving constant emails from Staples with a 20% or $10 or $20 discount offer and never once taking them up on it. I think it has something to do with the minimum purchase involved. It also appears that they send the same thing over and over again and I just tune it out.
My (very brief and very unscientific) research into Staples emails.
I decided to look at all the emails I have received from Staples in recent months. Here are some stats.
- 29 Emails since July 27, 2009
- Number I didn’t even click on – 5
- Frequency – 2 to 3 times per week
- Least interesting subject line, “Celebrate with Savings”
- Most interesting subject line, “Save 50% on 250 full-colour business cards”
- Action I took out of all those offerings? None. I bought the business cards, but only learned about the discount by accident, not from the email.
More interesting email marketing
Another experience I’ve had recently is with Vistaprint. I bought some business cards from them last week and was very pleased with their service, delivery and paper stock quality. I started to worry when they sent me six emails in the week following my order. However, I have been really tempted by their offerings. Some of their subject lines are, “Sorry to bug you”, “We don’t mean to brag”, “Oops, did you forget?” These subject lines seem so much more personal than the “Celebrate with Savings” from Staples. Although more personal sounding, their emails are clearly identified and professional. In fact, I may order some more cards from them today. They have great deals and so far, good quality. (Note – I do not work for Vistaprint or get money for promoting them. I am only reporting on my one transaction with them.)
Vistaprint.ca did two other things right that support their email campaign. When I received my printing from them, they included a small of offer-filled miniature catalogue. The other thing they did right was something that happened when I was looking around their site for information on a product on a Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t find information on card stock and complained (albeit in polite terms) on Twitter. I received a response from a Vistaprint employee on Twitter within minutes. In the meantime, their customer service, which they said was closed on Sunday, had also replied to me.
So, good email offers are fine and should be carefully thought out. But good email offers without good products and service will get you nowhere.
What are some of the things you can offer prospective clients that will get them to visit your site and buy or retain your services? Think about discounts, coupons (helps with tracking your ROI), informative articles, reviews, or news. What do you already have that you could send out or share online?
Just make sure that you include lots of useful content and don’t overwhelm the recipient with too much sales talk.
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