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Are those Real?

Let’s face it, we have all seen them. Oftentimes, they can be tantalizing and even look authentic. Sometimes, they look so fake that they are almost repulsive. Yes, I am talking about none other than email templates used to communicate with your valued customers.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is a saying from a 2002 Spiderman movie. “with great power, comes great responsibility” ~ btw, this quote was originally from a French writer named Voltaire over 300 years ago.

The fact is, the latest technology makes it very simple to blast your customers with all types of communication. Unfortunately, most of these attempts to create loyal customers are not only ineffective, they have the opposite effect.

If you are going to use templates, keep the following best practices in mind. Of course, my favorite best practice is to encourage your team to send out personalized messages and avoid as many templates as possible. Either way, your staff needs to appropriately “tag” each customer so they are only receiving messaging that meets their needs.

Here are some quick tips…

- Keep your templates simple… and preview them in both the HTML and the plain text versions before saving.

- Know your audience… less is more. If you are truly sending out an important message, make sure you are sending it to only the people it applies to.

- Deliver a clear and PERSONALIZED “call to action” (CTA)… Don’t say “call sales” or “call service” - say “CALL ME or TEXT ME”

- Avoid using background images. When was the last time you sent an email to a friend and you had a background image?

- Connect the dots. Who has the best relationship with your customer? Make sure the email is coming from the right person and they are aware of the content and the timing of the campaign. Nothing is worse than a rep getting a call from a customer saying “thanks for the email” and the rep has no idea what was in it.

- Merge fields can be death. Hello MARY D. I just thought I would drop you a line to say thanks for allowing me to show you the new USED TRK. ~ Remember, if you are using merge fields, the data entry process should come from a pic list and be validated. You are better off avoiding merge fields altogether if you cannot control the data entry process.

Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility. Just because you can send an email to everyone in your database doesn’t mean you should. To build a loyal opted-in customer base, don’t allow your marketing or sales team to abuse the campaign button and send templates that look fake and lack genuine appeal.

Feel free to contact us for more information on best email campaign practices. As part of the Riding Shotgun® program, I review and grade each of your email templates and campaigns on an ongoing basis.

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