Once upon a time in the 1990s, a popular song would play on the radio with the lyrics “Hello it’s me, I’m not at home. If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone.” (Yes, all these years later, random Sheryl Crow songs just spring forth when I sit down to think about email marketing. Let’s not examine that too closely.) “How does this apply to email marketing?” you might ask. In just about every way possible, I answer! Being present and available is a huge part of marketing on a personal level, and there are some very good ways to ensure that you actually are present in your marketing efforts.
Hello It’s Me. Being present is one part literal and one part figurative. The literal part is easy: somebody has to answer emails, return phone calls, and reply to Facebook messages. Figuratively, we’re talking branding. Make sure your email addresses are all obviously related and that you identify your brand clearly at every turn.
I’m not at home. This is the message that gets sent out when you have an abandoned blog, social media accounts that haven’t been updated in a long time, and email addresses that auto-reply. You also give this impression, in more of an eyes-glazed-over kind of way, when you don’t take suggestion or survey results to heart or when you reuse subject lines that didn’t yield good open rates (More on fixing up subject lines over here), or anytime you just aren’t paying attention.
If you’d like to reach me. Make sure that your contact information is readily available at all times. Include helpful links so that you are simply one click away. Now, here’s an important one: check the email address that you send your email newsletters from. Hitting “reply” to a newsletter may not be how you expect readers to get in touch, but it’s a pretty good likelihood that some people will do exactly that. You want your email newsletters to come from a person that can be replied to from that very newsletter.
Leave me Alone. “Go away, I don’t want to talk to you!” is the message that your readers get when they are unable to easily contact you, or when you don’t respond to their attempts at communication. If you goof up and miss something, acknowledge it and reach out - you might be surprised how much people like it when you apologize.