Keep your customers engaged by using the Marketing Manager to send a variety of emails to different customer groups. Get started on your own marketing campaign use the ideas below:
- Start a newsletter to keep your customers informed about changes in your industry, new products, and training opportunities. Send your newsletter monthly or quarterly, depending on how often updates are required.
- Announce a closeout sale to clear dead inventory items. If you are planning to offer a replacement item, an email is a great way to explain why the item is being replaced and to drive sales for the new product.
- Promote a training class. Target local customers who have purchased certain items from you (machines, dispensers, lighting fixtures, boilers, etc.), and offer training on operation or installation. Include companion products in the training to boost sales on these items. Encourage customers to RSVP via a simple email reply.
- Invite prospective customers to an event. Create a customer called "Prospect" and store all of your prospective client emails as contacts under this customer. Throw a demonstration, barbecue, or meet-and-greet event, and invite your prospects via email.
- Encourage customer loyalty by announcing a new Customer Rewards program. Email participating customers their rewards points balance each month to drive sales. For more information about setting up a program, see the Customer Reward Program page.
- Attending an upcoming trade show? Notify customers and prospects of your booth number and encourage them to stop by for coupons, free gifts, and product information.
- Promote companion products by targeting customers who have purchased certain items from you. For example, select all customers who have purchased a dispenser from you and remind them that now is a good time to stock up on the towels for it.
- Gain feedback on new items from your customers. Email customers who purchased a new product from you, and ask them to reply with their opinion of the item. Would they reorder it? How does it compare to other items that they have used in the past? Use this information to determine if you should continue to order the product or if you might want to start carrying another item.
- Keep your customers informed of policy changes at your company and notify new customers of how you do business. Are you instituting a fuel surcharge for orders? Will overdue invoices incur finance charges? Do you have a cutoff time for orders that need to be delivered the next day? Notify your customers when you are making changes that will affect them via email rather than direct mailing. Provide new customers with a link to your website where they can familiarize themselves with your current policies.
Creating professional-looking, functional email templates can be daunting for users who are new to marketing emails. The following options can help point you in the right direction.
- If your company already works with a graphic designer, ask that person about affordable email templates. If a customized template is not an option, ask for simple header and footer images that you can use to create your own unique template.
- Free templates are available from various websites. Sites like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and Vertical Response provide templates when you sign up for free trials. Other sites, such as freemailtemplates.com, provide downloadable templates that you can customize on your own. Search "free email templates" for more options. Once you download the template, see the Using an HTML Email Template instructions for help using the template in Marketing Manager.
- Use third-party software such as Adobe Dreamweaver to create templates outside of Inform. Save the template or email that you create in HTML format and then open the template in the Marketing Manager.
- Create a folder on your server to save all of your templates. When you send an email, save a dated version of the template (ex. "MarchNewsletter3.10.11.htm) so that you can go back and review past templates.
- If you plan to use the same basic template for a recurring publication, such as a newsletter, you can reuse a past template and simply rename the file. Open the template, choose "Save As" and rename the template. Then you can swap out the previous text and images for those pertinent to the new email.
- When creating templates, keep in mind that some of your users may be reading your email on a mobile device. Simple designs with clearly labeled headings, links, and images grab a recipient's attention better than lengthy paragraphs.
A great email campaign can help your business grow, but only if your messages reach your recipients. Spam filters and email blacklisting can prevent your customers from ever reading or receiving your emails. Emails are commonly blacklisted when the mail server recognizes spamming activity and stops receiving messages from the address. To avoid having your marketing emails marked as spam, use the tips below :
- Avoid using words like "Free" or "Sale" in the Subject line of your email. These words are commonly recognized by Spam filters.
- Do not use caps lock on your Subject line. Words displayed in ALL CAPS tend to indicate spam emails.
- Avoid making changes to your Company Name in the From field. Email clients will recognize that different names are using the same email IP address and blacklist the IP so that none of your emails are received.
- Send your emails during the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. Mondays and Fridays tend to be busy days for receiving marketing emails. Studies show that sales emails received mid-day and mid-week receive more attention than those received at the beginning or end of the business day or business week.
- Don't mark your email as "High Priority," especially if you are sending it to a large number of contacts.
- Keep any attachments under 5 MB. This limitation will also improve the processing speed of your messages.
- Recommend that your customers add your email address to their address book. Emails from address book emails are rarely marked as Spam.