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How to email your customers

Email is a cost effective way to communicate with customers. It could be a product announcement, opportunity, news or knowledge. Whatever you have to say, you need to ensure that you follow a few basic procedures so that your email recipients have a positive experience.

How often will we email our customers?

An email newsletter will be best suited monthly. A good period of time relevant to gathering information and staying on top of mind without bombarding the customer. A special announcement or tie in with offline media will require special timing.

What will we say?

The key to email communications is that you send information that is relevant and contains value for the recipient. Spam has made many people sensitive to overtly commercial propositions via email. Just because you can send 1000 emails to all your customers doesn’t mean you should. Consider ways to appeal to customer differences or sub groups of customers via tweaked email messages so that you can create more relevancies.

Try to get away from sending email advertising. Is your message of enough value to be telling your customers personally via email? Many people receive so much email that low value email advertisements are considered intrusions. If you are sending “buy now” propositions they need to be high, high value

How do I create the email?

If you are talking about 50-100 email addresses you can potentially use conventional tools like Outlook to create and send your message. In this case keep it simple and create a predominantly text based message. Ensure that your recipients are in the BCC field. Break up the recipients into groups of 50 and send away.

Think very carefully about whether your email needs to be a graphically rich html based message. These are usually overkill for this predominantly text based medium. Not to mention the problems images in emails can cause with anti-spam checks. If you must then keep the image size really small ie 100 kb.

Any larger than 100 email addresses and you would be better suited to a more industrial emailing solution. World Cast is a good option for most. Try www.fairlogic.com. This type of solution can better manage the email creation and mailing process.

Getting through

Although you are a legit email sender it doesn’t mean you will make it through all the spam checks. Eliminate embedded and attached images; reduce linked images and hyperlinks in the message. Watch the words you use in your email.

Keeping friends

You may have people who don’t want to be on your list. Easy unsubscription is a must. The low tech option is to write at the bottom of the email: To unsubscribe from the “ “ Mailing List please reply to this email and enter unsubscribe in the subject field.

High tech option is to create a page online and link to it in your email. Either the page recognizes a unique code and un-subscribes them automatically on visit, or they have to enter their email address into this unsubscribe page online. Usually this process occurs because there are multiple entry points to unsubscribe. I.e. webpage and email prompts.

Must do’s

1. Send your email to yourself first to check it looks and reads as you intended.
2. Remove unsubscribed addresses from your list or face the consequences.
3. Only send emails to people that expect to receive an email from you.
4. Don’t buy email mailing lists!
5. Tell people how they may have got on your list.

Now I bet that all seemed like a lot to swallow and it is. Although it’s just the icing on the cake of a very large topic area. If you have any doubts about sending emails to your customers then I strongly suggest you get help sooner rather than later.