Do you have an email marketing plan in place? Randomly sending an email to clients when you have something important to share (new products, sales events, etc.) is certainly in the right spirit, but devising a specific marketing plan and sticking to it can reap huge benefits down the line with regards to new customers, while still keeping your current customers informed and up to date.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EThe elements of any good email marketing plan are simple. The things you need to know are
- Who you are sending to,
- What you are sending,
- How often you are sending it, and
- What happens after you send it.
Knowing your audience is crucial. Did they find you through an online search or a physical visit to your store? Have they bought anything from your online services before? And if the email will be your first contact with a potential customer, you need to provide the most useful, most action inspiring, and least intrusive information possible.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EContent is king when it comes to email marketing. Always provide clean design, clear copy, and helpful graphics. And in this age of instant gratification, you must consider load times as well. Every second spent watching an email render in an inbox viewer is a second closer to the potential customer deleting the email without giving it a chance.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EFrequency of mailings can be a delicate balance in any email marketing plan. No one wants to incessantly bother current or potential customers, but maintaining their interest is crucial to maintaining (or instigating) their patronage. Realize, too, that the kinds of emails you send may determine how often you send them. Newsletter updates can be weekly, even biweekly, occurrences, whereas announcements of sale events are sometimes more effective when spaced out. Constant “special event” announcements make each event seem less special and more like an everyday happening.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EFinally, have a plan to respond (or not respond) to each possible action a recipient might take. If an offer or announcement results in a clickthrough, be ready to respond as quickly as possible with the appropriate action. If the email remains unopened or was deleted without opening, decide on a tasteful period of time before resending. And if a potential client requests to be unsubscribed from your list, be courteous and prompt, and thank them for their consideration.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EEmail marketing providers devise specific plans for specific companies every day, and can certainly help you devise yours. But if your current database is of a manageable size, it may be in your best interest to develop your own email marketing plan. Just be thorough, be diligent, be proactive, be prompt, and above all, be patient.