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February 2013
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Do Your Email Marketing Tactics Make You Relationship Material?

Consider this scenario: A man asks a woman for her phone number. She gives it to him. He calls her the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And every day … until she blocks his number. A week later, another man asks the same woman for her phone number. She gives it to him. And then she waits. And waits. And waits. Eight weeks later he calls … and she hangs up on him.

Clearly, neither of these men is relationship material, but could you be making similar mistakes with your email marketing tactics?

Of course you know that potential customers don’t have to hand over their email addresses. When they do, smart businesses should treat that gesture with respect. Don’t contact them too much, but don’t contact them too little, either. The key is to make your communication regular and pleasant, so readers expect and look forward to it.

Here are four steps to go from deadbeat to dreamboat when courting your customers via email:

1. Create a schedule.

Whether its weekly, biweekly or monthly, make sure you choose a time frame that you can stick to. It’s better to have less frequent communication that is consistent than communication that is sporadic. It’s also a good idea to clearly let your customers know when they sign up for your list what they can expect. Customize your signup box to say, “Sign Up for Our Biweekly Newsletter” or “Sign Up for Our Tip of the Week.” This establishes frequency and content before you ever wind up in an inbox.

2. Choose a good day.

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules on the best day or time to send email marketing. It will depend on your audience. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons might not be the best time, as inboxes might be full and focus might be elsewhere. Determine which day and time is best for your list by doing a test and looking at your analytics. Which emails receive the best open rate? This measurement might give you a clue as to best time of delivery.

3. Assign the responsibility.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, email marketing should be part of someone’s job description. Not only will it become a scheduled part of his or her workday, it will keep the voice of the emails consistent. If you are having a hard time sticking to a regular schedule, consider outsourcing your email marketing to a freelance professional.

4. Finally, send emails that do more than sell.

Too much selling will result in a higher opt-out rate as well as a higher risk of being caught in spam filters. Instead, use your emails as a means to deliver valuable information. Concentrate on quality. Creating an editorial calendar can help with your content planning. When you consistently send email marketing messages that contain relevant and useful information, your subscribers get to know you and gain an understanding of how your business, product or service can benefit them.

Remember, consistency builds relationships. It keeps your company fresh in the minds of consumers. As relationships deepen, it makes it more likely that these subscribers make purchases from your business instead of another competing business instead.

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