With the rise of instant messaging and text messaging has come the idea email is going the way of the floppy disk. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Email remains the best bang for the buck in terms of marketing; it also still provides a solid platform for both internal and external communications.
And yet, even though it’s a decidedly mature medium, there remain email headaches SMBs face every day. Here are a few tips to help you maximize the benefits of email for business.
Minding Ps Qs
One of the biggest problems with email communication is the lack of aural and visual cues to draw upon to contextualize the words. As a result, the intent of a message can be easily misconstrued—unless it’s composed very carefully.
Emotions should always be kept in check when composing a message. If you’re angry or irritated, save the discussion for a time when you can communicate face to face with those involved.
Proofreading is also essential to maintaining a professional presentation, as is getting directly to the point. Busy people will only scan a couple of lines of a message to determine whether they should read on. Meanwhile grammatical errors, misspellings and the like will reflect poorly on your abilities or attention to detail.
One should also be very careful with the CC, BCC and Reply All functions. Be certain to only copy those who have an absolute need for the information.
As mentioned above, email remains the most cost effective method of online marketing. However, you have to be careful to avoid abusing its power.
Permission-based email marketing goes a long way toward preserving the potency of the platform. Communicating only with people who are glad to hear from you makes them more likely to take action based upon your messages.
Never buy or rent email-marketing lists. Instead, establish avenues whereby people can ask to be included in your mailings. Or, ask them if they’d like to be included. This can be as simple as placing a signup sheet on a counter, or running an online form at your social media site. By the way, when people ask to be unsubscribed from your list, do so right away. Aside from being the right thing to do, failing to do so could find you in violation of the law. Keeping a clean mailing list is essential to maximizing the return on your email marketing investment.
Finding a Solid Provider
You’ll need to choose your email service provider carefully if you’re going to derive full benefit from your efforts. To make a wise choice in this regard, consider all of the ways you’ll employ email, whether for sending marketing newsletters, internal communications, external communications, etc. This will determine the nature of the features you should get, which, in turn will have a bearing on the price you’ll pay.
Also, make your business name part of your email address. In other words, rather than; YourName@SomeoneElsesWebsite.com, your address should be YourName@YourBusinessName.com. A custom domain name gives your messages more credibility and sets you apart from fly-by-night organizations just trying to scrape by.
These solutions to the email headaches SMBs face every day will help you maximize the potential the medium holds for managing and promoting your organization.
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