Email : First Impressions
Five keys to email marketing success in a multichannel worldNovember 2010 By Len Shneyder
Direct marketers are much like the town criers of yesteryear. In days of yore, a crier would stand on a street corner with a bell in hand and shout the news for all to hear. Today, unsophisticated marketers use a bullhorn to spread the word and hope that they're casting a wide enough net.
Good thing we're not living in the past, because today's marketers have the means to cast not only a wider net, but a more sophisticated one across channels such as mobile, social, email, Web and direct mail.
The trick, if you want to call it that, is to understand that each of these channels has its own unique nuances and requirements. Successful marketers are able to integrate all of these in order to reach not just a broad audience, but specifically the right audience.
Here are five ways direct marketers can better reach that audience through email.
1. Focus Is Key
A focused message is the first key to successful email communications. The idea of focused messaging isn't new; we all know that a good message is one that takes into account the customer's needs and translates those needs into the right offer to the right person at the right time.
However, email is a more fluid channel with users who tend to be moving at faster "rates." The right message for an email audience is generally a limited message. Because the virtual inbox is a crowded place, marketers need to limit the calls to action and number of offers in any given email to what are most relevant for that particular customer.
Yes, less is more where email is concerned. By limiting how much you send, you keep people interested. Otherwise, their eyes glaze over when they get an email that resembles a newspaper ad. The days of three-column designs with every offer under the sun are over. The most successful marketers are focusing their email marketing efforts and engaging their customers in relevant dialogues.
2. Know Your Customer
The concept of relevancy brings us to another key tenet of email marketing: Know your customer. Successful email marketing means understanding how your customers consume your digital marketing. Consider providing them with a preference center so they can tell you exactly how often they want to be contacted. If they use mobile devices, analyze the addresses you collect and determine the most popular domains in your house file. By knowing how your customers read email—as in which email clients they are using—you can ensure that the emails you design meet the often nuanced and varying design criteria of today's email environments.