Email marketing has rapidly grown in popularity over the last several years.  And for good reason… it’s an inexpensive, simple way to reach out to clients, customers and prospects.  But are you making the most of your email marketing campaigns?

Here are three tips to keep in mind.

  1. Provide value.  First and foremost, the goal of your email marketing campaign must be to provide value to the recipient.  This is non-negotiable—if you aren’t providing your reader with something that’s useful to him, he is not going to read the email.  This means you can’t simply compile a list of your latest price cutbacks each week… you need to take the time to be sure you’re giving each reader something they can use.  That could mean providing practical tips (say you own a landscaping company. You could include several “do it yourself” tips with each email), or it could mean sharing relevant news developments (a CPA could include a summary of tax implications for new laws passing Congress, for instance.)
  2. Know who you’re emailing.  You can’t provide value if you don’t know who is reading your emails.  Who’s on your mailing list?  Why and how did they sign up?  The answers to these questions will help you build a profile—your readers may be current customers, interested visitors to your website, or fans of your blog.  In all likelihood, you’ll have subscribers from a variety of sources—so consider creating multiple lists and modifying the content of your emails to be more relevant to each audience.  For fans of your blog, you could email a weekly roundup of your blog posts as well as additional content in the same vein as the blog.  Regular customers could receive information on new products and sales, while recipients who signed up through your website could receive general information relating to your company.  When providing value is the goal, one size rarely fits all.  But once you know your audience, you can figure out how to reach them.
  3. Consistency is key.  Your email campaign is a great opportunity to build brand awareness.  Make sure that the format, colors, and logos you use are constant.  Over time, your recipients will develop a strong perception of your brand.  In addition to the branding opportunity, consistent emails have a better chance of making their way into your recipients’ weekly routine.  If they can expect an email from you every Tuesday, and can anticipate the contents and the value of the material you provide, there’s a good chance that they’ll make reading it a regular part of their week.  On the other hand, if your emails show up at random times on random days, and are filled with random content, they are likely to be ignored!

Email marketing is a cost-effective and relatively simple way to reach a large number of customers and prospects.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to spend time on it.  Work hard to provide value to each of your readers and you’ll reap the benefits.

How do you use email marketing in your business? Have you found it to be a valuable marketing tactic? Share your experience in the comments below!