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Targeted email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach your customers and drive sales. According to one report by consulting firm McKinsey, email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective for acquiring customers than Twitter and Facebook combined.
But it’s an art. You need to make sure that what you’re sending is relevant and engaging (and also that you don’t seem intrusive). Square’s suite of Customer Engagement tools gives you a solid leg up here.
Because your Customer Directory automatically creates lists of your loyal, casual and lapsed customers, you can make sure you’re always targeting the people who will be most interested in what you’re sending. One group may be more appropriate for an event invitation, for example, while another may be better suited to receive a huge sale announcement.
But beyond effective targeting, there are a number of email marketing dos and don’ts you should familiarise yourself with – especially if you’re just dipping your toes in. Here are our top tips:
1. Don’t flood people’s inboxes
Think of all the email you get in your personal account – and how quickly it adds up. You want to show your customers’ inboxes the same respect you expect other businesses to show yours. But what’s the right cadence? Definitely not more than once a week (even that can be too much).
A general rule of thumb is to only send an email when the content is truly engaging and worth the read. If you send an email that’s not engaging for customers, you’ll get a slew of unsubscribes.
2. Avoid the spam filter
Click Here for a Prize! WIN A FREE CRUISE! These are the types of subject lines that are likely to get caught in spam filters. Before beginning your email marketing efforts, it’s important to familiarise yourself with Australia’s spam and privacy laws.
Beyond the law, some common spam triggers include all-caps subject lines, a low text-to-image ratio, or exposing HTML in the body of the email.
3. Send actionable content
With each email you send, think about the action you want your customers to take when they open it. Is it to shop a sale? RSVP to an event? Include one actionable link (this is commonly referred to as the call to action, or CTA) as the centrepiece of your email.
Some examples include “Shop the sale,” or “RSVP here.” Square Marketing has beautiful, ready-to-go templates for promotions, announcements or event invitations that make it easy to plug in your CTA.
4. Best time to send marketing emails
If you’ve already sent some email campaigns, Square Marketing has a wealth of information about how it performed. You can see things like your open rate (how many people opened what you sent), your click-through rate (how many people clicked on your CTA) and even how many people came in and bought something as a result of what you sent.
The day of the week and the time of day you send your email can have a big impact on these numbers, so it’s worth poring over your data to spot trends and identify the best time to send marketing emails for your audience. But if you’re sending your first marketing email, common sense will get you most of the way there.
Think about when you’re most likely to open and read your own emails. Typically, most people go through inbox in the morning, around 7 to 9 a.m. (heed the time zone). Generally, weekdays are also better – specifically Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
But there’s usually also an open-rate spike on Sunday evenings, when people are chilling out on the couch with their phone (Square’s email templates are optimised for mobile). Make sure you time your email so it’ll get noticed.
5. Say something enticing
Subject lines are crucial. They’re often the reason why someone either opens your email or deletes it. This topic is an expansive one, but basically, your subject line should entice people to open the email to learn more. This can be accomplished in a number of creative ways, but generally speaking, simple, direct and actionable is the way to go.
There’s a lot to know here, but hopefully this gives you a primer on email marketing best practices.