10 Tips for Using Email to Boost Sales
May 21, 2008
Make sure your email campaigns draw customers in instead of pushing them away.
Email campaigns have the power to guarantee a sale – or kill one. If a potential customer can easily learn about product offerings in your emails, your sales will probably increase. But if you annoy or confuse prospects with your messages, your company will suffer. Use these 10 email marketing tips to ensure that your campaign is successful.
Creating a Smart Campaign
- Promote, promote, promote. Use your Web site wisely so online visitors can easily find the information they want. Potential customers shouldn't have trouble signing up for newsletters or other email correspondence from your company. And during the sign-up process, visitors should be able to clarify exactly what interests them so you don’t bore them with unrelated offers.
- Don't be a solicitor. Sending unsolicited emails can turn off potential customers who otherwise might be interested in your business. Advertise, go to trade shows or reach out with a phone call before you add someone’s email address to your database.
- Quit your lying. Few people fall for the “Hi, Remember Me?” email subject lines companies use to try to sell cheap Canadian drugs or other sketchy products. Though a business somewhere must be making money off these emails, such correspondence is generally not the best way to find customers. Be up front about who you are and why you're emailing people in the first place.
- Know thy customer. It's pretty clear you should use prospects' information to understand their wants and needs. Take your marketing a step further by applying their name whenever possible in the correspondence process. Personalizing emails takes away the annoyance associated with spam. If potential customers are treated just like another number, they probably won't stick with you for long.
- Send clear instructions. Your email message must clearly outline instructions and outcomes for prospects. If there's an offer to which they need to quickly respond, show them how by leading them in the right direction. Don’t make them search for it.
- Get to the point. Elegantly written prose is nice, but make sure the message isn’t lost in florid verbiage. Show off what you're trying to sell right away in your email. Use graphics and punchy phrases to draw attention to your offer. If prospects are enticed, they'll read on.
- Write like a professional. If employees do your online marketing, you’d better hope they aren't putting together a campaign email like a teenager’s text message. Leave the LOLs, the OMGs and the rampant exclamation points to online chat rooms. You’ve got selling to do, and writing like a preteen isn’t going to boost your revenue.
- Have a consistent image. If your email is designed to direct someone to an online order page, or even to a brick and mortar location, images have to be consistent from place to place. The graphics and text in your emails should be readily visible on your Web site or in your store. If they aren't, people won’t make the connection between the emails and products and may decide not to buy.
- Get creative. Allow your marketing staff to make emails visually appealing. Text-only emails are boring and outdated. If you can combine creative appearance with an effective message, you'll connect with customers. Your marketing staff will also enjoy the chance to show off their ideas.
- The buck stops at the top. Micromanaging your sales and marketing departments isn’t going to boost the productivity of your email campaigns. But if these departments don't collaborate when designing marketing messages, sooner or later something is going to go out that misrepresents the company. Management oversight, solid integration and training processes will eliminate most of those problems before they get sent in an email.