Email Marketing: Friend or Foe?
The amount of times consumers willingly hand out their email to stores and companies is astronomical and makes many businesses wonder why their business is not a direct reflection of hundreds of email addresses they receive. One would think that the two would be in direct correlation, but this is rarely the case.
Take for example, Verge Pipe Media’s very own Philippe Scheys. Scheys just last week was expressing his aggravation towards these mass email-marketing schemes and how they are starting to feel less like marketing and more like spam. He told the VPM team how he gets at least one email a day from a lumber company that he used over a year ago while remodeling his home, Scheys was pleased with his home update and was happy to have found reasonably priced lumber to do the job. Scheys expressed how he has become so frustrated at their email-marketing plan, a plan that sends him weekly discounts and promotions, because it is evident that the company is not paying attention to their client base and they are simply sending out useless information to everyone who has ever given them their email address. Even after unsubscribing to the email list Scheys continues to get email updates about lumber sales. Scheys does not need to know any more information about lumber sales and prices considering he already completed his home renovation.
Philippe Scheys is one example that documents the frustrations that many of us deal with everyday because of annoying email marketing. There are a few things that businesses need to know when it comes to running an effective email marketing campaign so they don’t end up like the lumber company.
First, survey your customers. Utilizing consumer information and opinions is necessary for a business to thrive because the business can use this information to their advantage. Set up a survey through the emails or on your website and reap the results. These surveys can also show who is a responsive person to keep on your email list and who needs to be purged.
Second, regularly clean up your email lists. If you’ve been sending weekly updates to firstname.lastname@example.org for four years without any sort of response take the customer off your list. Continually harassing uninterested customers is one of the best ways to make your brand look desperate and lose appeal. No one will be offended if they get removed from the email list if they haven’t even opened an email from said company in two years. Make sure to look at your analytics and evaluate who is a responsive and worthy consumer and who are you just bugging.
Lastly, simply think about your campaign. If you are a clothes boutique or local deli, then it makes perfect sense to send out weekly promotions and sales in order to get new customers and have previous customers return. But, if you sell something that only needs to be bought one time or very infrequently, like lumber or a refrigerator, do not harass your previous customers through email. Instead of promotions and sales consider sending them tips for keeping their product looking brand new and staying functional. This will not only build trust with your customer, but it will make your company seem more credible.
Email marketing schemes seem like an easy and surefire way to grow a businesses client base and get more business, but it has proven to be much more complicated than simply sending out weekly sales and promotions. These campaigns must be extensively thought out and customers should be researched in order to execute these campaigns successfully and to make sure to not annoy the consumer.
Author: Katie FitzGerald is our Fall Community Manager here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.