Last year, I and a colleague signed up for a sales training in Lagos. The firm organizes trainings on several subjects from sales, to marketing to HR management and even courses on oil and gas and agriculture. The sales training was good, the facilitator was on point and we met a few interesting people at the training. However, in the weeks that followed, we started receiving emails from the training company of upcoming sales, human resource and marketing trainings organized by the firm.
To be honest, I did expect to receive emails from the firm. What I did not expect was to be bombarded by trainings I was not interested in (like the Human Resource trainings I kept on seeing). It wasn’t long before we had to unsubscribe from their mailing list.
Even though email marketing provides you with a platform to increase sales for your business, it could damage your brand if not done right.
Let’s take a look at what the training firm could have done differently with their email marketing campaign and how they could have turned us to repeat customers and what you need to know before you start your email marketing campaing.
An email address is a currency today. People protect their emails like they protect their money, and for good reason. According to a report, the average email user receives 147 emails per day. So don’t blame them if they are a bit cautious with who they give their email addresses to.
As mentioned earlier, email is a currency today, so for you to get it, you have to give something in return.
For the training firm, they were offering us something we valued – a sales training. So in order for us to participate, we had to register with our emails. For an online store, they could ask you to register with your email before you can purchase anything, or sign up to exclusive deals and discounts.
So before you start your campaign, determine what you are willing to offer in exchange for that email address. Here are some ideas
- An email training series
- A free eBook
Ok, here is where the training firm got it wrong. There was probably no segmentation in their email list. That was why I kept receiving emails about upcoming Human Resource and Agriculture trainings.
They could have simply segmented their email list by the trainings the customer registered for and send that customer related trainings. I am a marketer; I have no business in Agriculture. I would rather get more information on upcoming sales and marketing trainings. What’s better? Since I already completed a sales training, I would rather receive resources that can help me in sales.
So before you begin your campaign, you should set up a mechanism to segment your list. It could be
- A prospective customer list (you only send emails designed to convert tese prospects to customers)
- A customer list (Send emails designed to up-sell or cross-sell. Amazon sends a ‘’recommended catalogue’’ based on your prior purchase)
- Product Updates list etc.
Simple things like using a personal email to send out your email campaigns versus using a company name, and including the recipient’s name in the subject line can really make a dramatic difference in your campaigns.
The training firm also failed in this department. Every email sent looked like it came from a robot. No personal touch at all.
What you could do for yur email campaign is
- Send from a personal email
- Use the word ‘’You’’ or ‘’Your’’ in subject lines if possible
- Include the recipient’s name in the subject or greeting line (e.g. Hi Frederick)
- Add a personal note to give your email a human touch
Your email marketing campaigns should be about bilding profitable relationships with your recipients. So you need to be there when they need to talk. Respond to as many emails from your recipients as possible.
This point further buttresses the point of using your personal email to send. For example, if you received an email from email@example.com versus Richard@xyz.com, which are you more likely to respond to? My guess is Richard.
Call To Action
Every email sent should ask the recipient to do something. Either click to read the full article, click to register, click to buy, whatever it is you want your recipient to do.
The key to effective calls to action is clarity. The entire email should build up to and focused on the call to action.
Finally, you need to optimize your email for mobile readers. Why? Because 49% of email is now opened on a mobile device according to Litmus
- No large images
- No large videos
- No large graphics
- No small font size
For your email marketing campaigns to be successful, you need to keep these points in mind. Email marketing provides the best Return on Investment at 4300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association). So plan before you jump right in.
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