The chemistry behind Email Marketing

Champagne and caviar, white wine and cheese, humus and pita bread – I’m sure all of us have heard these terms as a part of our routine lives. Now picture this – Champagne and humus, wine and pita bread, caviar and cheese – if you dare to offer these combinations to guests at you party they will either think you’re too high on your own spirits or you’re finishing off all the left over you got home from a friend’s party!

Why is it that caviar goes well only with champagne, cheese compliments white wine alone and more often than not, humus is heard in conjunction with pita bread.

Some things are best when paired with the best!

Well if that statement isn’t an eye opener why do we forget to apply this to our marketing mailers – the only agents that are capable of getting us new customers and repeat business?

Why don’t we work enough to see if the subject line is apt for the mailer?

Why are sender names frivolous females?

Why do we send a single generic offer to the whole customer base?

At netCORE, we recommend clients to follow certain basic guidelines around these and many more. Recently I received an email from a huge e-commerce player. The offers and contest were brilliant, but the subject line really ruined it for them – ‘Apple Ipad waiting inside’. Now why would anyone with a decent IQ open such an email? For god’s sake all iPads are from Apple only, and it’s written as iPad, not Ipad. Typography is another important aspect. One needs to be very careful about it as silly typographic mistakes make your brand look equally silly. I know of some major brands who have suffered because of dingy content. Still wonder why most people wouldn’t use MS Word’s ‘Spelling and Grammar’ check options. Almost all text editors provide this feature. There’s an excellent blog from Marketing Profs on this topic named ‘Tripped Up by a Typo: Five Real-Life Examples’.

Please spend more time with on subject lines because having your email land in your customer’s Inbox is a huge challenge itself. And it would feel really silly to have your email delivered perfectly but the recipient not opening it all thanks to the last minute hurried subject line. Have 2-3 versions of each subject line and test it across a small subset. Choose the one that performs the best.

Now-a-days I often spot mails with female sender names. It’s one thing that there are certain aspects that are well appreciated and responded to if you involve a feminine element – e.g. Having female customer support executives; but it’s a totally different ball game when it comes to your email campaigns’ sender names. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t open a mail pitching the latest electronic gadget coming from some Pooja. Sometime such senders really amuse me by using celebrity names, but not enough for me to open the mail. In fact, I mark it as Spam – end of story for the sender.

To avoid such scenarios, companies should use more realistic names – e.g. newsletters@xyz.com or contests@xyz.com. (*Note – xyz is a sample domain name). These convey the intent of your mail and also build trust about brand name. We have seen improved campaign performance and better results post implementation of this recommendation.

And last but definitely not the least, personalization is the key to realizing improved ROI. Of course, this isn’t some piece of enlightenment but I am really shocked at the amount of people still sending a single boring message to their entire customer base. There are so many of them addressing me as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Such salutations are very disturbing (maybe because now I know the importance of personalization having been in the digital marketing business for quite some time now). Personally, I don’t like such mails for precisely these reasons – I wasn’t proclaimed a knight by the Queen and I’m certainly not a ‘Madam’; and knowing that you don’t have the slightest clue about me just makes me feel you have no idea of my needs and selling me some random article.

Personalization is much beyond merely knowing your customer’s name. You need to analyze their buying behavior, purchase history, feedback, likes-dislikes and craft an offer that will entice them to go ahead with the purchase. Read more on personalization by clicking on ‘Too much of anything is not good’.

Email marketing is much more than simply drafting a sales pitch and sending it out to your customers. Of course it involves critical analysis of your customers and creating customized offers, more importantly, you need to abide by certain guidelines to ensure your domain and sender reputation are maintained. And hence it becomes essential that you pair your marketing efforts with industry best practices to deliver the best – Remember.. Some things are best when paired with the best. You can pair your champagne with anything.. but only caviar adds that classy touch 😉

Jan, 08, 2013

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