Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Is your email marketing missing the mark?"

Four reasons no one is reading your email newsletter.

"Like almost everyone who uses email, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so exciting." - Bill Gates

A continuously growing trend is the use of email marketing--a cost-effective, measurable, adaptable resource to create awareness and brand promotion in the marketplace.

As a marketer, if email marketing is in your toolbox and you've worked hard to establish an email newsletter, you've probably scratched your head in wonder as to why no one is responding. Although there are quite a few assumptions as to why you may be unsuccessful, Sean D'Souza from Copyblogger.com states that "most of the reasons have the same common problem-readers just don't like it."

Here are four possible mistakes that you are making with your email newsletter:
  • Too much self-promotion. Readers sign up for newsletters expecting to receive ideas on topics they are interested in. They want to be informed with something fresh, something trendy-but if they receive a whole bunch of promotional stuff, you'll lose them. If you push and promote your product or service via email newsletter, you better have a compelling, one-time offer because it is most likely the last time they will read it. Delete!

  • You're boring. Sorry. If you have something of interest to say about your industry or about your market, say it with vigor and energy, and stick to your voice from newsletter to newsletter. Make sure your personality and your tone shines through. Simply stating facts and figures with the hopes of being compelling is not going to cut it. If you believe that your content is hot and relevant, then don't be bashful about it.

  • Too much mind-numbing data. Tell stories and make it real. Many think their newsletter has to be a structured article with facts and figures; however, most of us personally relate to stories and experiences. We enjoy learning through others and their experiences, and we engage because we want to relate. Be open to informing your reader about what you've discovered or experienced, and elicit a response. You may be surprised.

  • Your call to action is not (a call to action). Most believe that customers will simply know what to do to respond-but usually they don't. This is simple-if you want your customer to respond, ask them to! However, make sure your call to action is clear and obvious. Should they click a link? Hit reply? Pick up the phone? Be specific in how you want them to respond.

    For example, if you think this article is helpful and useful, click reply and respond with "BRILLIANT!" (Was my call to action compelling enough? At least it was clear.)
If you feel you are missing the mark, assess your current email campaign or newsletter. Successful email newsletters require a solid strategy and a manageable plan for implementation. Some organizations like to manage their newsletter internally, while others prefer to find an outside partner. At Creatis, we see a growing number of customers reallocating resources to email marketing, and newsletters tend to be a popular way to stay in front of customers with a relevant message.

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