Today I had a “learnable moment” about email marketing, and thought I’d share because it speaks to D&A Design’s philosophy on this media (email).
I was hard at work when the email tone sounded, and after a few minutes I checked to see what the email tone was about.
It was an email sent by an organization I follow and have signed up to be part of their updates. I quickly opened it and was immediately ticked off that I had stopped work for that email.
The disappointment was due to: A.) it was a poorly written hard sales pitch from an organization I normally respect, and B.) it was an all-text email with no engaging or interesting visuals whatsoever.
Point being, this organization is using their email marketing without thinking about who they’re talking to, and at what time the emails are being sent out.
Let’s face it – most of us are productive small business owners, managers, or contributors who like what we do, and we don’t want to be tapped on our e-shoulder for a hard sales pitch at 1:15 pm on a Thursday. Sales should be born out of relationships, not from poorly written, poorly executed, and poorly timed emails.
If the emails continue I will have my email address removed, and that is sad to think about because the emails are normally informative offerings of useful information that lead me to conclude I might need or want to purchase something from this company.
D&A Design believes that email marketing is part of a business’ conversation with the people they serve, and we learned this by experience.
Earlier in 2009 we experimented with one of the big providers of email marketing with our “Refresh & Engage” promotion. In the planning stages of that email campaign we really tried to figure out a way to sell, but not sell. The solution we arrived at was to start every email with information that hopefully was engaging. We surrounded the content with interesting visuals and used the formulas for best practices in email marketing that we have been trained to utilize.
After the information and need was established we offered a soft sell approach: Here’s what we’re offering, get in touch if it sounds like something you need. We tried to keep the tone at a level where it wouldn’t be pushy or obnoxious. What’s more, every email we sent out had a different slant to it, with a different offer.
The results were far better than we expected – big ROI for what we put into it. Better than the ROI, though, was that we put to practice what our convictions told us was appropriate, and I am happy to say that since that campaign we have designed and launched about a dozen email campaigns for different clients.
This may border on the line of preachy, yet it is important to realize that the emails we send out are speaking about and on behalf of our brand – perhaps as much or more than our web site and stationery. Let’s be careful and thoughtful with email marketing, and respect the time of we’re sending to.