Effectively Reaching Your Customers via Email

Reaching your customers via email is an inexpensive yet effective way to increase traffic to your website. That being said, you need to make sure to follow a few basic strategies for making the most of your mailing lists and outreach efforts.

The first thing people will see when you send them an email is your “From” name and email address. Since most emailing programs and websites allow you to customize your header settings, make sure your name clearly communicates that it’s coming from your website. For example, if your website is Mark’s Marketing Magic, make sure your email goes out as Mark’s Magic Marketing <mark@marketing-magic.com> or the equivalent for your website. It is also especially important that your email ID is not a Gmail or Hotmail address. That’s the last thing people expect to see from an established brand.

Use the subject line effectively as well. When you send out an email, do not use something generic like “Buy These Products.” Instead, use a phrase that’s more specifically targeted. And form it in an attention getting way like “James, these Magical Marketing strategies will surprise you!”

Get to the point. Long emails are not particularly inviting or easy to go through. With a limited attention span, most people will skip through a large portion of the email. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your emails to about five hundred words and spread the paragraphs apart so that it’s easy to scan and read. The focus of the email should be expressed clearly in the first two paragraphs with links to buy or respond before the first “fold” of the email.

Test before you send to minimize the chance of your message ending up in the recipient’s spam inbox. Many email service providers look for words like “free,” “buy now,” “get it here,” etc., to check if a mail is from a spam source. Most mass email programs have built-in tests for Bayesian spam filters and spam words that should be an essential step in email preparation. Also, the more unique your email looks, the lower the chance for being sent into spam limbo.

Filter mail users, which can be done with most of newer programs, based on opens, click-throughs, privacy requests, unsubscribe requests and sales. When people buy your products, make sure you thank them. And don’t email them again with another pitch!

Include an appropriate method for contacting you and sharing the email with others. Your footer should contain a number of options including methods of unsubscribing, easy forward-to-a-friend links, and contact-the-sender functions. In your email signature, clearly include your name and details.

Make sure to test your email tactics over time, and remember that email can be the cheapest and most effective method of reaching your customers. It is often ignored as it involves some work. But keep using it, and you’ll be surprised with the number of repeat customers you’ll find  in your database.

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