I’m constantly surprised how many businesses send out emails, or pay someone else to send out emails on their behalf, seeking to promote their business which simply irritate (or worse). Here are ten things not do if you must send out marketing emails:
1 Don’t send out generalised emails, intended for people you don’t know, to people you or your business does know or has met. They will be at least puzzled and, possibly, offended. You need to segment your readership lists in more detail, sending out appropriately worded emails to each, and, potentially, individual ones to some recipients.
2 Don’t send out emails offering services to businesses for which those services are likely to be inappropriate. For example, bookkeepers might pick up work if you ran an email campaign to promote your marketing services for them; relationship counsellors are unlikely to.
3 Don’t send out emails describing the solutions you offer when you don’t know what problems (if any) the recipient has and therefore whether the email is relevant to them.
4 Don’t define your service in terms the reader may not understand, or which they understand in a different way than you do; eg, “email marketing”. Explain what you mean.
5 Don’t include wording in your email which mismatches with the way your services are described on your website. It just creates dissonance in any reader who has taken the trouble to look at your site.
6 Don’t make absurd, or unsupportable, statements, such as “We offer the perfect solution to…”. No, you don’t. Nothing’s perfect and, if it were, it would be unfeasibly expensive.
7 Don’t attribute wholly to your services a result obtained by your client in which you only played a part.
8 Don’t make grammatical mistakes in your email. It might (might) be OK for a plumber to do this. But for any business which has to live by the quality of its communication, don’t demonstrate to potential clients that your communication skills aren’t what clients need them to be.
9 Don’t tell the reader what to do. Heading an email, “Immediate action required”, is a demand that they meet your need and is unlikely to be received well: people don’t like demands being made of them.
10 Don’t assume recipients don’t experience these reservations just because they don’t tell you. They may not even be consciously aware of them.
Remember, the meaning of a message is what the recipient makes of it.
It doesn’t matter what you intended, or what you think the email meant, or what you think the recipient should be able to understand. If the only result of your email is that you create resistance in the reader to your message, was it worth sending the message?
In case you think that a professional email marketing business wouldn’t make these mistakes, here is an email I received today from one which transgresses at least rules 1-7 and 10 above:
People are far more likely to buy from a known and trusted source.
So, how much of your marketing is focused on relationship building?
Where do you start?
How about email marketing – the perfect medium for sharing relevant, helpful information with your target audience, creating awareness and respect for what you do.
It’s what we do here at Company X for our clients.
And the results?
Well one client was invited to pitch for a £75,000 contract in leadership training, another won a £36,000 a year account in the logistics business, and another has claimed that 70 – 80% of orders for office furniture come to him as a direct response to email marketing.
It’s a conversation worth having. We can work with you to elevate your business to the level of known and trusted source. We have a very sophisticated method – and it works!
To start, please call me, XXX on XXX and I’ll tell all!
Kind regards [etc]