Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

Email Marketing the cost effective client engagement tool

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It never ceases to amaze us that in the world of business so much time, energy and money is spent on the acquiring new clients yet very little thought or energy goes into maintaining and growing those already hard won clients.

Most businesses know the math – It can cost up to 10 times more to win a new customer than to engage those you already have. So it is a little incomprehensible to try and fathom out why so many businesses continue to ignore this goldmine sitting on their server somewhere.

With a simple email marketing strategy and the right email marketing software, businesses can begin to mine this vein of gold and re-engage customers that have already purchased from them. The great news is that email marketing is by far the most cost effective marketing medium available to any business today. And because your customers have supplied you freely with their email addresses your message is not considered spam (more on this later).

A Simple Email Marketing Strategy

For those starting out in email marketing the best rule of all is… “keep it simple!”

Follow these simple rules and you’ll be surprised by the results.

At the risk of repeating myself… Create an email marketing plan. Plan to send at least 6 – 12 emails per year. More if your business runs regular promotions… but a good rule is never more than once a week. Plan the format you intend to use, either text or HTML emails.

HTML offers the benefit of being able to dress up text, add pictures and dynamic links, but again keep it simple as not all email clients are created equal. What looks good in your in-box may not look the same in another using a different email client.

However using Maxmail’s real time HTML Acid Testing Tool and intelligent HTML mail formatting engine you can rest assured of best results across a broad spectrum of mail clients.

An HTML Newsletter format works well as it allows you to highlight other areas of your business, include links back to your websites, blogs or micro-sites. Don’t be totally geared towards trying to sell something. Make your Newsletter of interest to your customers.

Most importantly, HTML emails can be tracked – you can tell who opened it, clicked on a link inside the email etc. and use powerful auto responders to enhance your email marketing strategy.

Give something away, whether that be via a competition, discounted coupon or an added incentive of some kind. Remember these people are already your customers so make it worth their while to come back again and again. Remember also that your cost of retaining these customers in significantly less.

Make opting out of your newsletters simple, most email marketing software (worth considering) should have this option built into them.

Make sure you have links back to your website from your email newsletter. The reason for this is that you want your website to be the information risk part of your online strategy, the email newsletter is more of a teaser.

Be consistent in both the frequency of your email marketing and the look and feel of your HTML Newsletter template… This makes it easier for your customers to identify who the email is from and to get to whats important to them.

Finally, don’t make it to long. Now there is a lot more that can be written on the subject of email marketing but for now this is a good start point.

Food for thought

We now live in a world with a great deal of financial uncertainty. Where the cost of doing business is getting beyond a joke and where governments seem to think that business is a bottomless pit of financial resources. So why are you spending so much  on the acquisition of new business when you have a pool of customers who would probably buy from you again… if you just asked.

Credits:

Don Henderson, Communications Manager – Genesis Interactive
(don @ genesisweb [dot] co [dot] nz)

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Written by manaskumar

October 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Email Marketing

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