The Etiquette of Inbox Marketing

As you have probably noticed, we are strong advocates of Email and other forms of “inbox” marketing. Email, SMS, and even phone calls are great tools to reach your target audiences with focused and direct messages. And what’s really so cool about these tools is that you make sure they are actually received by your intended recipients, unlike the case with Social Media messages which may get noticed or not.

Pushing messages via Email and SMS – particularly the latter – is sensitive business though. Your are now communicating with your recipients’ most intimate channels, and as such need to practice caution and play by the rules. This articles shares several tips that ensure your messages are not only opened and read, but also appreciated and shared further.

Opting In

No matter which system you choose, your recipients should have ideally “double opted in”. The “double opt-in” process entails that your subscribers first fill out a form requesting to join your newsletter, and then again click on a confirmation link they receive via email to affirm that they have indeed requested to be included in your mailings.

If your sign-up process entails both steps, you can rest assured in that your followers are really interested in receiving your content, and you may proceed in sending out those valuable emails or SMS messages with no hesitation.

Opting Out

This is probably the single most critical process you need to integrate in your Inbox marketing tactics. People may have signed up by mistake or otherwise grow bored of your content. Or they may just simple wish to reduce the amount of daily emails they receive.

Whatever the reasons are, every single email you send out must include simple instructions that guide people to a form they can click to stop the emails. This process must be easy, simple to carry out, and foremost all – be honored within a reasonable time frame (i.e. 24 hours). And once someone opts out, you need to make sure you never send them a promotional email again until they chose to opt in again later on.

Maintain contact

People tend to forget they signed up for newsletter, and after prolonged periods of absence may opt-out and even indicate “Spam” as the reason for their doing so. This simply happens because there’s no connection with your brand and they have no clue why they are receiving your emails.

To avoid this from happening, you need to make sure you send them a relevant message shortly after they signed up, and then maintain periodic contact – preferably according to a schedule. In our case, we dispatch newsletters each Monday morning just as we’re doing with this one. And by doing so consistently, our esteem readers will eventually come to expect finding an email in their inbox from Pinnacle each Monday morning.

Keep it reasonable

Just because someone gave you permission to contact them via email doesn’t mean there aren’t limits. If you overdo it and start bombarding your lists, you will get lots of opt-outs which harms your marketing efforts.

An average of one email per week is reasonable, but not more than that. If you do need to send out a second email during a particular week, be sure to start with a statement rationalizing the unusual frequency. This will assure your recipients in that this won’t become a trend and that there’s a compelling reason for this week’s extra traffic.

Conduct periodic polls

Asking your readers every now and then to rate the quality of your content and frequency of delivery will not only ensure you can optimize your campaigns, but also engage your visitors more.

This becomes especially the case if you ask them to recommend topics they’d like to read more about. You can do this simple exercise quarterly, or include a “rate this article” option at the end of your email, provided your service provider incorporates this feature.

Keep track of who reads what

Assuming you are using a professional service to disseminate your newsletters, you will have at your disposal some very useful data that you can use to analyze the level of engagement your messages are producing.

You may for example discover that there’s a group of readers that are unusually active and read every email you send out. In this case, you can create a new segment to which you send out content more frequently. At the same token, if you setup your system properly, you can create additional segments by type of content, which helps you in detecting potential leads for a particular service or product you offer.

Socialize your campaigns

Your mailing lists may feature only a few hundred contacts, but you can also tap into your social media channels to get your content out. MailChimp for example let’s you program each campaign so it shows up on your Facebook page and Twitter account.

You are now effectively reaching a much larger audience without risking being perceived as a spammer. And who knows, if your content is really valuable and great, a few of those campaigns may go viral and actually contribute toward more and more readers signing up for your newsletter.


 

We can help!

If you’re interested in boosting the effectiveness and efficiency of your inbox marketing tactics, we can help! Pinnacle has vast experience in using a host of services for just that purpose, and that also seamlessly integrate with CRM solutions for additional analytic and usage data. To learn more about how we can help you in setting up your email or SMS marketing systems, drop us a line below. We’ll get back to you shortly with our thoughts and recommendations.


 About the Author

Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.

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Legal Note

This article has been written and posted by Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting, LLC. Distribution, copying, and sharing is only authorized and permissible if no changes/ alterations are made to the content and appearance of this publication. Credit must be given to the publisher at all times by including this paragraph in any distribution. For additional articles, visit our website. To request an article about a specific topic you are interested in, please contact us with your request.



 

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