Because of its ability to go directly to each customer individually, email can be an effective marketing tool. Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that businesses make in using email for marketing that not only waste the time invested in getting the email addresses, but may squander the customers’ good will as well. A good marketer will avoid the following common mistakes.
Not Realizing that Timing is Everything
Email messages aren’t as intrusive as phone calls, but just like a jangling telephone can interrupt a pleasant meal, an email that shows up in the middle of the night can get ignored. Emails are best sent when customers are most likely to be checking their messages, so make sure that automated emails are set to go out during prime time.
Another facet of timing is the frequency of your messages. Nobody wants an overwhelming barrage of marketing, so space out your emails to avoid making your customers feel spammed. However, don’t neglect them, either. Keep in touch with a regular, but not overwhelming, feed of messages. Of course, make sure that timing is relevant. If you have just rolled out a new product launch or redesign or are running a special promotion, send out an announcement to build excitement in your customer base.
Not Tailoring Your Message by Demographic
Your company may have different products or product lines that appeal to different types of consumers. If you know your different demographics–age, race, profession, location and other factors–you can organize them into specialized groups to receive messages that promote the goods and services they prefer, rather than casting a wide and general net that may not catch anything. After all, retired people wouldn’t be very interested in a video series about job interviews, and teenagers wouldn’t find advertisements for arthritis medicine or hearing aids very useful. Use common sense and purchasing patterns to make intelligent decisions about email marketing to different groups.
Sending People Down the Rabbit-Hole
Your marketing emails should not only be directed to the right people, but be sent to the right place. If you are plugging a specific product or promotion, the link or links in your email should be sending them to those precise sections of your website so they can go naturally from being curious about something to immediately finding out about it (and, hopefully, acting on it). It’s a cardinal sin to get a customer jazzed up about something and then plunk him or her down in the middle of the forest with a generic link to your home page. It gets a lot less jazzy the more navigating they have to do just to find out what you were talking about. Send them right to the hot spot while they’re still hot, and you will get better results.
Ignoring Data That Shows The Relative Effectiveness Of Your Email Marketing
There are three different types of data that can be gathered in various ways:
1. Explicit Data – This is information that you come right out and ask for via customer surveys and feedback opportunities such as profiling questions asked by customer service reps or during the ordering process. People appreciate an opportunity to be heard, so seeking direct comments and feedback should return a decent amount of information.
2. Inferred Data – This is information that is gathered in a more subtle way than by simply asking. Because some people may not take the time to fill out and return a survey, it is also important to monitor your social media outlets for comments and analyze replies to emails. This can help you adjust the tone and content of your marketing to provide a more natural message that is tailored to the customer.
3. Implicit Data – This one is the most telling. Believe it or not, sometimes people don’t tell you everything, as free with their opinions as they seem. This is the type of information you get by analyzing what your customers do rather than what they say. The response to individual messages, activity or attrition on your mailing list, and general buying habits can help you zero in on what people want or what they won’t respond to.
By avoiding these common pitfalls and mistakes, you can tighten up your focus and ensure your email marketing is directed in the right way to give your customers a good buying experience and a sense that you know what they want.