How often do you check your email? I know I don’t enough, which is why I always miss the best Domino’s coupons—and then all the great Groupon deals, sales at ColourPop, and emails from my grandmother telling me to call her.
Everyone has a certain kind of personal relationship with email, and this extends to the way they check the email lists they willingly (or unwillingly) subscribed to. Email blasts can be so ignored that their email server starts sending them straight to the spam folder. Speaking personally again, it feels only like a rare occurrence that an email can apply to them. And if it isn’t guaranteed that the email is going to be read by the consumer, it begs the question: is email marketing dead?
You’re Not Doing It Right!
I don’t mean to be blunt, but if your email newsletters simply aren’t working, then it’s time to reassess how you’re doing them. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I emailing my subscribers more than once a week?
- Does it take longer than a minute to read any given email I send?
- Do my emails offer deals directed only at some of my customers?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then I implore you to take a look at your own inbox. How many emails from online businesses remain unopened? And if you do read them, how often do they offer something that you would want to buy?
Deals, Deals, Deals
The key thing to always remember about email marketing is that any and every email should always be something you wouldn’t mind receiving yourself. Advertising sales on specific items really only works if your shop sells specialty items; for example, makeup, or skincare products. If I’m subscribed to the email list for a shoe store and get an email about men’s hiking boots, not only am I not going to care because I’m so lazy I don’t exercise, but also I’m not a man.
A good example of an email customers won’t mind receiving is one that offers discounts site-wide, like a promo code or BOGO offer. It’s not bad to advertise a sale on a specific category in your store, per se—it’s just bad use of marketing and may dissuade customers from further opening your emails if they can’t get something out of it.
Here’s a good email blast that has a great deal for everyone:
Short ‘n’ Sweet
Full disclosure: I’m just a simple blogger who cuts her own hair and you may be a well-seasoned entrepreneur who probably leaves the house more than me. So when I tell you I’m not interested in an email that takes more than a minute to read, it’s not because I’m lazy. It’s because unless it’s personal or business, an email blast shouldn’t take up that much of my time. Think of it like seeing a billboard or an ad in the magazine; those only require brief attention too.
Here is an example of an email that takes less than thirty seconds to read:
It’s also good practice not to bother your customers too often. It may be tempting to send out two or three emails a week to get customers to shop at your store, but it’s unlikely you’re offering something new and exciting each time, and excessive email blasts that simply advertise your collection become annoying. Straight to the trash they’ll go, just like these emails from my own inbox that were sent to me every day of last week:
If all else fails, a touch of creativity never hurts. Stunning graphics, the best photos of your catalogue, and witty copywriting will make the reader say, “Hmm, I should be shopping here more often.”
Suffice to say, this really only works if you follow the above steps first. Email marketing is in so many ways like advertising, but it also isn’t, because your customers have already shopped at your store and these emails serve more as updates to the shop. They also assume that the customers are frequent shoppers and don’t need as much enticement as a traditional ad, which is why these emails can sometimes be so dull.
At the end of the day, respect for your customers’ time will get you a long way. Keep your emails relevant, short, simple, and interesting. Your email marketing is reflective of your brand’s image, and your customers will appreciate you for that integrity!