One strike and you're out and other email marketing rules

By: rogier van der veen

Date: 26 January 2011

There is so much focus on social media that it is easy for marketers to forget that email is still an equally important part of the marketing mix. However, email is only a powerful tool if it is used intelligently - and as technology advances, the rules change rapidly. But by always respecting the customer, you can see a significant return-on-investment.

1. Respect the recipient

Before sending anything, put yourself in their position to check that the email is of value in some way.

2. Do not broadcast

Sending the same message to everyone is no longer effective — or acceptable. Instead, it is important to send people content that is relevant to their preferences and therefore likely to engage them.

3. Be human

Consumers are real people with individual preferences, interests and life-cycle events. Emails must treat them as such.

4. Engage in dialogue

Social networking has led consumers expect two-way conversations — make sure you deliver.

5. Learn about the customer

Use each communication as an opportunity to develop and strengthen your relationship with the customer by learning more about them.

6. Personal details have a price

If you want consumers to divulge the personal information that you require for targeted email campaigns, you need to “pay” for that by providing something that they perceive as valuable in return.

7. Gather, store and analyse data

CRM is the essence of intelligent email marketing. It requires that as much information as possible about the consumer is gathered, stored, analysed and used to enhance messages.

8. Develop loyal customers

Treating recipients as individuals by sending them emails that make them feel valued and important will encourage all-important customer loyalty.

9. Viral adds value

Getting the recipients of your emails to share the content via social media or forwarded messages introduces a powerful snowball effect to your campaign. Encourage them to do this with easy-to-see, relevant buttons in the body of the email. Spreading the word through recommendations is a fast and straightforward way to develop your subscriber database.

10. One strike and you're out

Some consumers are forgiving - most are not. You usually have only one chance to get it right. Use it wisely!

Rogier van der Veen is the UK business development manager for CRM-focused digital marketing tool, Clang. You can read the full white paper on email marketing here.