Effective Email Marketing vs. SPAM
Take a serious look at your inbox for your business. Do not delete any messages for a week and then go back and see what is in there. Count how many of them are prospective leads, communication from clients, setting appointments, solicitations for business, jokes, and junk.
Depending on how much you rely on e-mail for your business you could be receiving anywhere from 50-500 e-mail per day. I am willing to bet that about 80% of those e-mail fall into the junk category and chances are you will continue to receive those e-mail messages until you change e-mail addresses or die. This is because of the following circumstances. One, the sender has knowledge of e-mail but not the knowledge on how to send e-mail correctly. Just because has the ability to buy a car does not give them permission to drive it unless they have a license. Two, the sender has bought a list or ripped your name from a website and is now marketing to you for your hard earned dollars. Although this can be effective in reaching a large audience the feeling of receiving a marketing piece from someone you do not know can be frustrating and uncomfortable.
If you have a product or service that you are trying to sell using e-mail to get the message out there are some highly effective methods that will increase the success rate of your marketing and contribute to your bottom line. After all the average cost to send out one e-mail is $0.02 and the cost to send out a full color, laminated both sides including postage is $0.45. The e-mail can be tracked from being sent according to released, bounced, opened, clicks, subscribes, forwards and links chosen from the e-mail. Postcards are sent and you sit at your desk and pray for the telephone to ring.
Below are nine proven methods you can use quickly in your business to increase profits using effective e-mail marketing strategies:
- Ask for e-mail addresseses. Some people will be hesitant to give out their phone number since they know they will receive a solicitation call later to decide whether to take action on a product or service. It would be much less
- Put your e-mail on your business card. People will want to e-mail you so make yourself accessible.
- Ask for permission to e-mail. We know who the spammers are because they keep sending us emails that we did not ask for or do not know them. If we ask for permission then we will have a higher success rate of opens, clicks, and forwards.
- Create multiple e-mail signatures. This should not be overlooked. We may want to have one e-mail signature for every new e-mail that is sent out or another e-mail signature for every reply or forward upon receiving an e-mail. This can be done easily in your e-mail software on your computer.
- Become a hyperlink junkie. Every chance you get, post a hyperlink from the e-mail message to your website or a separate page on your website. This gives people options on what topics they can get more information on so be sure to include as many hyperlinks as you can.
- Learn how to create e-mails in plain text and HTML. Some e-mail servers or e-mail software programs may recognize HTML e-mail messages as spam because they contain too many hyperlinks or too many pictures. The way around this is to send the message as plain text. Your e-mail software should give you the ability to do this. This may take some practice to get it right.
- Master auto-responders. An auto-responder is an e-mail message that provides static content on a predetermined schedule that does not change. If you sneeze then I say god bless you. That is an auto-responder. Categories describe the relationship that you have with another person. A series of auto-responders can be attached to a category to stay in touch more often and those emails are sent individually and personalized.
- Create and track surveys. Consumer satisfaction is dependent on surveys. Also research to find out what people want can be measured by using surveys. e-mail marketing software, ie. www.icontact.com, will help you send surveys out to track your level of service.
- Use video. Plain Jane emails just don’t cut it anymore. Pictures are great but video is better. Learn how to capture video using web cam or digital camera and then how to post them to an e-mail or your website. If you use www.YouTube.com to upload videos then just forward the link of your video to someone using e-mail.
e-Mail is filling your inbox everyday of junk and jewelry. Jewelry is the gems of useful information that benefits the consumer you are trying to serve. As real estate professionals we are competing for real estate in peoples’ inboxes. The more value that you can add to your emails will result in more opened messages, clicks to your web site, appointments set, forms filled, and dollars in your pocket.