With the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday behind us and cyber shopping in full effect, I wanted to thank ClickZ readers for actively responding to my columns and engaging me in great conversations. Since my first column, I’ve received questions and comments that help me better understand e-mail marketers’ needs and interests.
A question I’m asked fairly frequently: “What circumstances justify sending e-mail these days?” Given inbox clutter and questions surrounding relevancy, this is a fantastic question. While the answer changes a bit based on the line of business and industry you’re in, let’s consider the top five reasons to send e-mail. Each reason is a pretty safe bet to ensure you’re driving relevancy, impact, and results at every stage of a customer’s or prospect’s engagement with your brand.
The top five reasons to send e-mail:
- Awareness building. This e-mail isn’t direct response focus. Instead, it works to aid other forms of media, like online, TV, and print, to help bring the product or service to the top of a prospect’s mind. “Hey, maybe I could use another credit card!”
- Consideration. This e-mail works hard to get someone to opt in to future messages. It’s very valuable to a company, as it opens the door to direct- and results-driven messaging. Keep it simple and engaging and offer something of value. People who read this e-mail will want to learn more about the different types of flowers you sell for the next special occasion.
- Conversion. This type is the most popular. It drives sales. Make sure this message renders well and actually makes it to the inbox.
- Usage. Woo hoo! A purchase was made! This e-mail has to kick things in to high gear to make sure that the purchase is being used and to drive a positive experience. Sometimes known as transactional messages, this message works hard to reinforce the value of the monetary spend the customer just made and make her feel good she did.
- Loyalty/advocacy. Without our customers, we’d be nothing. And e-mail at this point in a customer’s lifecycle is critical. Asking for feedback with surveys and polls and making it simple to share one’s love of a product or service with friends makes these messages an invaluable source of future sales and lifetime value.
If any of these five reasons to send e-mail resonate with you, create a test and learn strategy to validate effectiveness for your business.
Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.
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