Presentation given by Heather Maloney at the Anderson-Gray Networking Breakfast 30th April, 2008, St.Kilda
If you're not taking advantage of technology by sending regular electronic messages to your customer base, then you are missing out on a big opportunity. In this article I will set out some 7 mandatory steps for achieving a great result from electronic messaging (sms or email). Don’t do these, and you are headed for trouble!
- Get Consent, and then honour it
The Australian Spam Act laws require (among other things) that you get consent before sending your electronic messages - no you can't send a message to ask for consent! NB. This Australian Spam Act laws are NOT the same as the CAN SPAM Act of the USA.
First obtaining consent will ensure that you retain your good reputation, and don't totally annoy people! Avoiding the hefty fines that can be imposed for breaching the Spam Act is also a good motivator.
- Have Strategies to Build your List
So, how then do you get the opportunity to email / sms people? There are a myriad ways to do this, here are some examples:
- Invite people to join your list (give your list a name unique to your business) from a prime position on your website - not buried in a footer or an inner page.
- Allow visitors to see examples of previous communications to your list so that they can get value right now, and know what to expect.
- Have a bowl at your reception desk.
- Ask people you meet at networking events, who are interested in your business, if they would like to be added to your list.
- Add a request to be on your list to all your physical communications and on your transactional communications e.g. bottom of invoices.
- Send a Welcome Email / SMS to new subscribers
A welcome message helps your subscriber to remember that they subscribed when they receive your next electronic communication. It's also a great opportunity for you to build anticipation which will help ensure the new subscriber opens your message. It also reassures people that they have in fact subscribed.
- Plan your Communication Strategy
At this point, I know you are groaning. The fact is that planning your communications will enable you to know what topics you are going to talk about and when, ensure that these topics have some logic to them (your audience will notice), and most importantly, it will help you get prepared ahead. Your strategy should also specify which segment of your list which receive which communications, and your communication frequency.
- Add Value
Don't be just another sales message. Ensure that you provide special offers or information that only subscribers receive. Make sure it's useful to your audience. Don't be afraid to provide information of complementary businesses and products.
- Keep it Fresh
You don't want your readers getting bored and no longer bothering to read your messages. So mix it up from time to time with different levels of personalisation and interactive options such as linking to your blog, conducting a survey, and running a competition.
- Grab their attention
Especially for email, you need to ensure you stand out in the inbox. You need to keep something consistent about your subject line that people recognise, but also add something to encourage your audience to open and read. Once the email is open, you need to make it easy for your reader so that they will read on. To do this, use images (though don’t over do it), an interesting introductory paragraph, and a table of contents allowing your readers to click through to the area most of interest to them.
If you were at our breakfast, I gave some examples of amazingly effective emails where eNudge subscribers experienced minutes of money making mayhem through the delivery of well created emails. These didn't take that long to prepare, but they did have some very important elements. Ensuring that you have take care of the above 7 mandatory elements, you will be a long way down the track.
eNudge - the nudge they need!