Done well email marketing is an efficient and effective marketing tool. It can help build a brand and generate sales. But there are guidelines. If followed they will make an email campaign far more effective.
- Treat email addresses like people. Why? Because there are people on the other end. Respect their privacy and preferences the same way you would if you were sitting in the same room with them.
- Ask for permission first. An email address, alone, is not permission to market to someone. An email address is a channel with which to market to someone — only after you’ve secured permission.
- Make opt-out easy, extremely easy. If you do market to people with email, it’s necessary to make opt-out easy. That means your opt-out links within emails and corresponding Web sites should be prominent, one-click and instant. It’s not o.k. to hide your opt-out links with gray text on white background, or require tedious click-throughs and confusing forms in order to opt out of an email marketing program. In fact, opt out should be easier than opt in.
- Honor opt-outs…When recipients opt out, don’t keep their email activated in your marketing program. Deactivate requests for opt-out immediately. Don’t disturb means just that.
I know many agents who harvest email inquiries and promptly send out a weekly email of their latest listings. I suspect it’s not what the customer intended and that it’s doing more harm than good. What say you?