Inundated with unsolicited email? Junk email box getting full? The emails you send are only to those who know you, so it seems unfair, doesn’t it? (It is unfair.) What about emails you receive from companies you do already know? Do many of them have a fairly attractive design? How’d they do that? It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t even take a programmer to create. These companies have most likely acquired a third party service that allows them to select from a library of pre-designed templates, plug in their own message, colors, graphics, links, etc., and send them out to opt-in recipients. However, you may even have stopped paying attention to these as well. (Have you?) It may be because even you are tired of this template approach, presented with too much copy, or both. So, how to make YOUR email marketing more impactful and memorable? Answer: less is more. Here’s exactly the strategy:

  1. Frequency: “Advertising 101” says no brand reach without frequency. So plan on one email marketing campaign per month. (12x per year)
  2. Email Content: The actual email should look much like the front of a traditionally printed postcard: overall concept, headline, subhead, striking visual, and “Click anywhere on this e-card for more information.” This is the first hurdle. Your efforts are only worthwhile if you can make it worthwhile to the reader. Work the concept until it is perfected. Here’s an example “Feeling deckled or vellum? The myriad of paper selection…” Also remember that color sells.
  3. Web Content: Link your e-card to a text-based article that starts with “Thanks for clicking in, [first name]!” The article can be as brief or as long as you want here, and can even take the reader to a full database, etc. While this will require some minor to moderate programming on your own website, the most daunting task is writing the referring article. Some suggestions: tidbits from your industry, cool facts, new products, upcoming event with registration form, etc.
  4. The List: Create your email list and export it to an Excel file – one column for the first name, one column for the email address. Nothing more. Important: Make sure these recipients will accept your email and not get angry.
  5. Acquire: Research the best third party service. They should be well established, have a deep and rich web tool with many interactive pages, live customer service, etc. One such is ConstantContact.
  6. Compose: Use the service’s tool to compose your campaigns, do a test sends to yourselves, until approved.
  7. Blast: Import your email list and hit the “send” button.
  8. Next Month: Do the same. Hint: There always must be some amount of struggle (the good kind) to create these campaigns, i.e. writing, concept, design, etc., or the reader will unsubscribe, or worse, not care. The results? Your emails look anything unlike the typical e-newsletters and more like a traditional post card (refreshing!). As you track who reads on, you can assume at the least you are helping to generate further awareness OF and interest IN your company.

Happy branding.