In 2009, a survey by the Direct Marketing Association found that for every $1 that was spent on email marketing $43 was made in return. For 2010 they are predicting a $42.08 return for each dollar invested.
So, if you aren’t using email marketing, why not? And, if you are using email, but aren’t experiencing that kind of return, what could you improve?
I have found that the most common problem for my clients is simply “getting around” to creating the email messages. They tell me that they don’t know what information to include in their email marketing. And, they don’t know how to put an interesting email together.
There are two fundamental elements to successful email:
1. Combine offers with interesting, relevant information; and
2. Send out your emails on a regular schedule.
Many businesses attempt to send out email that is strictly a sales message. Even if you are offering a truly “screamin’ deal,” you need to incorporate non-sales oriented information in your email if it is going to be regularly opened and appreciated by your customers and prospects. Developing ideas for non-sales oriented articles stymies many businesses, though.
The truth is that it’s not difficult if you follow 3 simple tips. But, if you still can’t find time, you can hire me to create emails for you at a very reasonable cost. (Contact me for a quote.)
Here are my “3 Simple Tips for Creating Email that Gets Opened and Read”:
1. Standardize Your Information. A good way to start is to come up with 3 standard categories of information that you will include in each issue. For example, one of my clients has a monthly newsletter that includes a “Product Highlight,” an “FAQ,” and a “Company News” item.
Typically, the 1st Click Consulting newsletter includes a “Tip of the Month,” a second article on either Internet news or company news, and, third, links to articles on the Internet that I found interesting this past month. Because my audience is primarily business owners, I don’t restrict myself to articles that are about Internet marketing. Sometimes I choose items that are of more general interest to business owners. You can do the same.
When you standardize content in categories like this, I think you will find it easier to identify and create content of interest to your
readers—and you will have a newsletter that can be formatted consistently to maintain and enhance your brand.
2. Collect Information Throughout the Month. Once you know what categories of information you are looking for, lots of activities will engender ideas for you. Here are a few examples:
• Emailed information received from sources within your industry
• A newspaper or magazine article
• Something you read on the Internet
• A question posed by a customer or client
One of my favorite ways to make sure that I don’t miss important news within my industry is to create a Google Alert. When you create an alert, Google will send relevant newly indexed information on the alert topic to your email address.
Constant Contact, the email service I use to create and deliver this newsletter, has introduced a new application integration—NutShell Mail. Like Google Alerts, NutShell Mail is designed to help you easily keep track of and compile new information on selected topics. However, NutShell Mail focuses only on conversations taking place in the social media that you select.
Create a computer file of ideas for upcoming issues. If the idea is based around an Internet article, just copy the URL (web address) where you found the article into a Word document and file it that way for future reference when you are creating your next email. I usually create a file for each new issue as I come across ideas during the month.
3. Make Sure Your Email is “Interactive.” The most obvious way to do this is to include lots of links. Link to pages of your own website. Link to other websites, like trade or professional organization sites or the sites for the product lines you represent. Include email links to your staff, so readers can easily contact you.
Other ideas for interactivity include polls, surveys, or a contest. A coupon that can be brought into your store or office is another form of interactivity. You can also create an opportunity for your readers to interact with your newsletter by posting your email articles to a blog, so that readers can leave comments for you on the blog posting.
Creating a great email that will be appreciated by your readers need not be a chore. Follow these three tips, and you’ll find it much easier. But, not everyone is a writer. If you need help, contact me.
Remember, the Direct Marketing Association says that you can expect more than a 4000% return on your investment.