I recently re-discovered this great article from last fall on trends in email marketing. (Courtesy of Direct Marketing News.) As the article points out, email is still a top performer, but getting noticed gets harder and harder every day.
Some things the industry experts they surveyed suggest for making that easier:
Yup! Can’t stress this one enough. Nothing else matters if the content you’re creating isn’t relevant to the audience you’re sending it to. Recipients hit the Delete button remorselessly, so you’d better be sure both your subject lines and your content grab them quickly.
This is an fascinating area, and not unrelated to relevance. Providing your audience with information they want about recent transactions with you is a great way to improve the customer experience and win raving fans. Obviously, this works only with those people with whom you have an existing relationship.
Targeting and Personalization
Hit your list too many times with things they aren’t interested in and you lose them forever. That’s might not be a problem if you’re promoting just one product or line, but even then you have to pay attention to relevance. As in, if you sell shoes don’t send a promo to a customer who wears size 9 if you only have size 11 available. Pay attention to customers’ history with you and use that info to build and strengthen your relationship.
Click through to the full article for more insights. Some are more enterprise-oriented than SMB-specific, but it’s a good article about improving your email marketing.