My last entry touched on the subject of "Me-Centric" versus "You-Centric" emails. This entry, Part 2, will be a continuation of the last entry. It will expand on the "You-centric" and "Me-centric" concept.
In order to utilize email marketing to its fullest potential your emails should be “You-Centric” (customer) and not always Me-Centric (company). The self-absorbed approach to email content and design may not always persuade visitors to become buyers or users. If done in excess, you become another push-sell email in the inbox with the probability of easily getting deleted. Your emails should try to contain information and solutions catering to your users. Take the initiative and add a personal approach to your email making it beneficial to the user. For example mention case studies on how your product/services helped another user. Include the compliments you have received on that product/service.
Studies have shown that going through emails is stressful for people. Users are too busy to deal with certain messages and they consider “fluff” email a waste of time. Remember they are getting messages in their inbox from their boss, colleagues, family and friends. For many people “checking their mail” is a task they want to finish it as quickly as possible. Your email should stand out in that clutter as an email they want to read. Converting glancers into readers of content is probably the toughest job out there. Once you have done that, you have acquired a loyal user and a potential long term buyer.
To fulfill email potential, companies need to view email creation as a user interface design activity even though the majority of email content is text. You can and should combine relevant graphics along with content. However, don’t over do it. The images you display should receive the same consideration and thought as the content displayed. Images can be one of the easiest ways of doing a soft-sell. On the other hand, make sure your content has links and soft-pushes towards your services. At the end of the day, you too need to capitalize and see returns from your emails sent.
Emails are a powerful tool for strengthening customer service, increasing users’ confidence and trust in your company. They allow you to reach out to users in ways that are impossible for websites. Websites sit still and wait for users to approach, but emails can reach out to users. For you to approach, you must go through the acceptance phase where you talk about your user and how beneficial your services are to them.
Email marketing takes time. It is not a quick solution to marketing. It takes planning, testing, measuring and consideration. Email strategy is about building relationships with your users. You don’t rush relationships nor do you abuse them. If you take care of your relationships then you will reap the benefits. Make sure you show your users how important they are to you in 2008. I am sure your customers will appreciate the gratitude.