Don’t let your followers, customers, or fans forget about you!

Retailers have this down pat, but most non-profits, senators, small businesses, and museums tend to fall flat. The best way to ensure your consumers don’t forget about you, is to remind them. RSS feeds and status updates on social media can work, but the best way is often through direct email marketing.

Retailers benefit from email marketing because it provides a direct incentive for buyers. For buyers, receiving emails in their inbox is convenient. It is easy to use and more personal. Buyers, with a few easy clicks, can browse products and find the best deals without searching through racks of clothes. I enjoy receiving email marketing from my favorite retailers because they highlight the best sales that I wouldn’t have had time otherwise to search for myself.

Ann Taylor Email Marketing Example

Displayed is an example of direct email marketing. This example is from a retailer, Ann Taylor.

Direct email marketing can be effective for organizations as well as retailers. Often times, public figures and organizations like non-profits tend to overlook the advantages on direct email marketing. For public figures, email marketing can help you directly connect to the communities you serve. Occasionally, I would receive direct emails from Senator Arlen Specter when there was a new major legislation being proposed. He would use the direct emails to talk about the issues surrounding the legislation, and also to reach out the community to hear their views on these issues. The emails came infrequently, but still stood as a reminder that the Senator was working on the community’s behalf. It helped dissolve the mystery around what legislators are up to, and helped pacify voters that work was actually done. Non-profits can benefit in much the same way as public figures. The best use thus far that I’ve seen from a non-profit was a direct marketing email from the National MS Society. I participated in a walk for MS in Washington, D.C. and afterwards the MS Society sent a thank you email to all volunteers and walk participants. The email contained a link to a survey that I could fill out to leave my impressions about the walk, a photo album from the race, some news about MS, and most importantly a donate button. The email kept my experience of the walk alive, giving me incentive to make a further donation and check out the MS Society website.

Effective direct email marketing strategies target customers who have already built relationships with your organization or brand. Emails should be targeted to different groups within your customer base. By targeting emails and messages you will increase the impact of your marketing efforts and enhance your customer’s perception of your brand or organization. Another good tip, is that they should also be sent as infrequently as possible. Unless I signed up knowing the emails would come every day (for example: Gilt Groupe distributes daily emails with the best shopping deals of the day. Customers sign up for this willingly, especially because many deals cannot be accessed until certain dates/times through the email), you should not spam my inbox. Don’t go overboard, your best options are once a week, two to three times a month, or once a month. You’ll know what option works best for your organization’s goals and resources.

The top 10 reasons you should use direct email marketing?

1. It gives added value to your communications strategy. Every effective communications strategy should include direct email marketing. Different consumers like engaging in different mediums. For every fan you have on Facebook, there will be another one who is solely an email junkie. Incorporating different customers’ habits into your communications strategy is imperative.

2. It is more cost-effective than direct email or print advertising, less time-consuming, and only minimum use of personnel to create/populate the emails.

3. Hello Nicole! You can tailor each email to show the customer’s names, give them suggestions based off what they usually buy/read, and more. I love seeing my name in emails, you probably love seeing your name too. It feels good to know that Ann Taylor knows me, knows what clothes I wear, and can even tell me that this new green jacket could look good on me.

4. It’s not boring. People like links, videos, pictures. Direct email marketing livens it up way more than a static direct mail or print advertisement ever could.

5. Measurements and Statistics. Free (and paid) tools exist that can measure everything from click-through rate to time spent reading your direct email, and more!

6. Built-in Scheduling. Pre-schedule your direct email marketing so emails can go out any time needed.

7. Faster Results. Built-in links mean followers can see your news sooner, can donate or share opinions with a click, and buy with less hassle directly from their email.

8. Targeted marketing. You can select each one of your targets based on geography, age, income, hobbies, etc.

9. Opt-in or unsubscribe options. Cut through the bull, discover which customers are loyal to your brand so you can target only those communities most interested in you.

10. Bringing all the information to the consumer/follower effectively cuts through all the noise from the millions of organizations already out there. It ensures they will not forget about you anytime soon!