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Small Business Email Marketing: The Seventh Commandment

Posted by Cheri Gaudet on 7/20/11 11:30 AM

Woman in an Ugly CostumeThou Shalt Not Send Ugly Emails

One of the greatest things about small businesses is their ability to truly delight customers. In a small business, every customer relationship is critical, so they work extra hard to deliver high quality products and services and provide exemplary support. Small business email marketing campaigns can give prospects a sneak peek into what it would be like for them to be a customer - or they can give a terrible false impression.

Businesses that use a customer experience marketing approach put all their marketing resources (and many other departmental resources too) into improving the way their customers answer one question: "How do you like doing business with ABC Company?" Applying this concept to email marketing means helping your prospects answer a slightly different question: "How would I like doing business with ABC Company?"

So all I have to do is make sure my emails look professional - right?

It's more than that. You have to put yourself in your prospects' shoes and ask yourself if your email marketing campaigns are showcasing your customer experience. So much is communicated by the design, but design is more than what your prospects see in the inbox - it's how they interact with it too.

  • Visible design. Is it obvious to the recipient that the email is coming from your company, or does it look generic? Does the email design match your company website, blog, business cards, etc.? Does the design translate well into different email programs? Is the text-only version of the email free of HTML gibberish?

  • Invisible design. Are calls to action and opt out buttons placed prominently? Are they seamlessly integrated with your lead tracking and contact management services so you can follow up on hot leads right away? Does the second email in a series "remember" how the prospect responded to the first email and offer a relevant follow-up offer? Does the email speak to your prospects in their language?

We'll show you the ropes

Email marketing is just one place to start. Let us show you how to optimize all your marketing efforts to improve customer experience with our 12-week virtual internet marketing training course.

Photo courtesy of Derek Nicoletto.

Topics: email marketing, customer experience marketing, email marketing best practices, small business email marketing