People have said that 'email is dead', that our inboxes have become so cluttered with SPAM that no one actually opens their mailbox anymore. You can now reach your customers using much more targeted methods like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare - so why bother with email? At this year's NY Internet Week, the chiefs of Daily Candy, Gilt City, Thrillist and Netted argued that email is still a great way to engage with your audience. And there's a way to build loyalty of the kind via email that you would never be able to achieve in 140 characters or less.
So how do you create email newsletters that stand out? Here are some tips from the experts themselves:
- Always be true to the brand. Your customers signed up for your email newsletter for a reason. There was something about you that they liked, that they wanted to be a part of. Make sure that your email newsletters are written in the same voice as your website, your products, etc and make sure that the content of your newsletters is inline with your brand.
- Personalize it. Your customers want to feel like they're getting an email newsletter that's been personalized by someone who's thought about them and their needs. Did you know that Gilt Groupe sends out 2,000 different KINDs of emails per day? You may not need to go to those lengths, but customize your newsletters to the extent that you can.
- Be brief and to the point. Remember that old adage of always leave them wanting more? That's the goal of your newsletter - you want to remind your customers of something, send them to your website, encourage them to buy a product. So say what you need to say (in of course the engaging, branded manner as per above) and move on.
- Subject yourself. More and more people are moving from viewing email on a computer to viewing it on a mobile phone and your newsletters are no different. You only have two seconds to get your audience's attention when they're scrolling through multiple messages so make that subject line sexy!
- Time it right. We're told that 6-8a is the most highly traffic'd time for email. Think about that when you're setting up your email schedule. When and where is your audience most likely to be sitting down to email with a few extra minutes? Is it during lunch? While they're getting their 3p pick-me-up? Target your email drops during those times for maximum impact
These five tips will help you stand out from the got-mail crowd, will generate more interest and hopefully engender more loyalty from your customers.