Too many emails. Too many tweets. Too many Facebook status updates. These days, marketers are forever warned about the damaging effects ‘overdoing it’ can have on brand reputation. So easy it is to administer mass communication in the modern world that we’re all fearful of becoming ‘send happy’.
However, there is a simple truth which is regularly overlooked in email marketing. Quite often, one email just isn’t enough if you want to persuade people to part with their hard earned cash and take the actions you require. Consumers often need to be reminded about the value of your brand, products or services or about an offer which is due to expire.
People are busy, we’re forever being told that (and we know this all too well ourselves, as marketers). A series of well-timed reminder emails can be a brilliant way to increase engagement and take them away from whatever it is they’re focussing on. They can bring on board new customers and remind older ones that we still exist.
Don’t be afraid of sending more emails than you think is safe. Holding back could be holding back your entire email marketing campaign.
Automated messages are your friend. Here’s how best to use them:
1. Email series
By scheduling a series of emails, you can drive one or more actions from subscribers and at the same time increase their engagement. Every email should build on its predecessor with a different but related message.
New subscribers are ideal candidates for a scheduled email series. Consider the ‘welcome’ email. It is essential in itself, but on its own, it might not be enough. By sending a few emails you can gradually and gently introduce your brand, products and services. They can also be used to acquire more information about the subscriber, or introduce your team. You’ll be surprised how quickly this can result in an increased bottom line.
2. Resend the first
Inboxes are crowded. Getting noticed at all can be difficult enough and with people constantly on the move and distracted by other things on their desktop PC or smartphone, your message might be missed entirely. Similarly, although it might be received and read, the subscriber might simply not have the time to react at that point.
Don’t be afraid to resend the original message, particularly if you know there is something within it which will benefit the subscriber (a limited-time offer, for example).
It goes without saying that you need to tread with caution here, however, as resending emails can often be a surefire way to receive a spam complaint. Testing is key. Start by only resending to recipients who didn’t record an open for the original email. Then, try a small portion who did open, but didn’t engage. Schedule the send at a different time of the day, as this will decrease familiarity with the message and you might just catch them at a more convenient time.
3. Send again, but modify
A timely reminder email with slightly modified content can work really well. You can retain the same goal, but simply refine or change the copy or images used in the email. Doing so extends the number of emails you can safely send, as they will appear different, fresh and, for most subscribers, won’t be viewed as a lazy multiple resend on your behalf.
Spruce up the subject line and remind your subscribers that they need to react before its too late. By building a sense of urgency, gradually, you are likely to see a reaction.
Such reminders work with most deadline-based emails. These might be service or subscription renewals, invitation to an event or a return survey request. If you can, tie them in with a recent news event or, better still, with subscribers’ birthdays. If you have an offer on the table which would be a perfect ‘treat yourself’ gift, there’s no harm in reminding them of its existence when their big day approaches.
4. Cart abandoners
If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll be familiar with the above term. Filling virtual shopping trolleys and leaving them unattended at checkout isn’t something to get upset about – it’s a fantastic email marketing opportunity. Providing your ecommerce software allows you to hunt these down and attribute them to a specific user, send an email to remind them that they left their trolley behind. They may not have intended to abandon it, and your email could be just the jolt they need to complete the purchase.
So, what can we learn from this? Well, the simple fact remains that sending more emails is a good tactic, despite what you’ve read elsewhere. Common sense prevails, as always, and we can’t highlight enough how important it is to test in small, manageable steps. Rather than pestering subscribers, consider it as a way of nurturing your relationship.
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