E-mail Marketing: Communicating Effectively
#2 Reinforce the value of your e-mail.
Catalogers need to be aware that even though a customer has opted in to receive e-mail offers, he or she may not always remember having done so. It’s very important for catalogers to gently remind the consumers that the e-mail is not only something they themselves requested, but also has relevance and value.
What you say in the first five to six lines of an e-mail is decisive—for one thing, e-mail viewing windows often only show that many lines at a time. First, personalized greetings are an obvious necessity. Second, let customers know that they requested the e-mail and how they can opt out. This is crucial and does not pose much risk to the cataloger, as most customers will not opt out as long as they are comfortable knowing they can. Third, reach out and grab them with the most compelling offer based on their interests.
For example, this offer from Roller Warehouse uses the speech of its target audience of dedicated in-line skaters:
Gotta give mad props to the sk8man for bringing even more of these sick deals your way yo!
IN THIS EDITION:
* FREE skate bags when you buy Wheels & Bearings
* Closeout Pads, Gloves and Helmets @ SICK PRICES !
#3 Brand everything.
A generic “WIN CASH PRIZE” subject line may net click-throughs but it is just as likely to result in your company being flamed (being inundated with messages from angry anti-spam Web users)—particularly if the reply-to address hides your identity. Branding is crucial for opt-in e-mail. Remember, consumers look forward to receiving e-mail from friends, who are easily identified by their addresses.
Also, e-mail offers should look and feel as sophisticated and attractive as a page of your catalog. When reading your e-mail offer, a consumer is only one click away from your Web site. Think of e-mail as the VIP entrance to your online merchandise—an attractive e-mail, particularly in HTML, is the equivalent of rolling out the red carpet. Some e-mail marketing services can deliver your Web pages right into your customers’ in-boxes. And HTML response rates are double those of plain text.