In science, itâ€™s call the carrying capacity. When a species multiplies to a certain level, it tops out its resources of food and territory. After that, the population plateaus, and can even decline.
I think thatâ€™s what has happened in the world of email. Most of us have an overflowing inbox.
While email is still a smart small business marketing tool, itâ€™s time to make sure you have something to offer before you press â€œSend.â€
A few years ago, it was exciting to hear â€œYouâ€™ve Got Mail.â€ Now, with blackberries dinging every two seconds, most of us have to spend a good day once every two weeks just catching up on emails.
Email Doâ€™s and Better Notâ€™s:
â€¢ State the purpose of the email in the subject lineâ€”and deliver in the first sentence or two. Keep those sentences short. Even if your email is deleted, they should know what itâ€™s about without opening it.
â€¢ Make sure thereâ€™s â€œwhite spaceâ€ around your words. Create emails that are easy to glance atâ€”even if you happen to talking on the phone and reading a file at the same time. Use bullet point when possible.
â€¢ If itâ€™s a reply, respond quickly (within 48 hours, if possible). People are sensitive about being email ignored.
â€¢ Answer their questions. Itâ€™s a sign of respect, and no oneâ€™s got time to ask something twice.
â€¢ Address them personally when appropriateâ€”youâ€™ll be much more likely to receive a personal response (such as an order!)
â€¢ Avoid attachments, if possible. Itâ€™s better to direct them to your website to download a large file.
â€¢ Lay off the high priority exclamation point. If itâ€™s that time sensitive, pick up the phone.
â€¢ Donâ€™t CAPITALIZE. Itâ€™s considered shouting.
â€¢ Itâ€™s okay to add a disclaimer. The disclaimer stating that you have checked for viruses makes some feel a little more at ease.
â€¢ Reread your email before you press send. Take the time to spell and grammar check. Itâ€™s less embarrassing than having to resend to correct a major faux pas.
â€¢ Reply to All should not be overused, even for promotional purposes.
â€¢ No emoticons. Your business isnâ€™t the place for a bouncing happy face.
â€¢ Donâ€™t do a â€œRequest Receipt.â€ People donâ€™t want to feel pressured to read your email and respond immediately.
â€¢ Donâ€™t overdo the bc or cc. field. People donâ€™t like their email addresses shared.
â€¢ Email discounts, contests, helpful hints, e-newsletters in a consistent manner.
â€¢ Use that e-signature at the end so that viewers are encouraged to check out your website.
â€¢ Do state if your emails can be forwarded. Your goal is to get your name out there.
â€¢ Last, donâ€™t abuse your email address privileges. Only send your e-viewers relevant business related information, but keep your tone business-casual and inviting.
Small business marketing is about connections. A short, relevant email offers something new and respects otherâ€™s time.