With so many fancy websites today, automation strategies, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and beyond, nothing can grab your attention more than a personal email to a client. When you want to give a client specific information regarding their order, status or anything under the sun, a personal but bulk email is often the only way to go.
However, assuming your client base consists of more than 10 clients, writing a personal email to each one is simply not a feasible option. The solution of course is sending automated emails (via a bulk email service), but then you lose the personal touch of a personalized email and the message can and will be lost among all of their other impersonal messages (or maybe even deleted before it is opened which is NOT what you want to happen).
Below are some do’s when it comes to bulk emailing to guide you on how to use email and still have time for other things. We’ll follow up this post with a guide to finding the right system to assist you in your personalized bulk emailing adventures as well as our “don’ts” when it comes to bulk emailing.
Do personalize your emails.
Nothing says spam like an email that starts off with “HEY!” or “HI!” or “Dear Sir or Madam”. And there’s nothing people hate more than spam, I mean bulk emails, I mean…nevermind. Your clients want to see an email that was created just for them, where there is no general information that could be for anyone, instead they want ONLY information specific for them.
A personalized message gives your client the feeling that you’ve taken the time to personally communicate with them, that you care about them and that they are important to you. Therefore the information contained in your message must be meant for them and them only. The result: they will actually read it and act on it, and bonus is that they feel unique and that you value them as a client! Which of course you do, but until now might not have had the time to show it.
Do communicate effectively with your clients. But how? Bulk email!
1. Always start the email with something like “Dear Joe” or “Hey Joe!”. Even if Joe is pretty savvy and knows this is a bulk email, seeing his name will still clue him in that this message was sent to him because he was meant to receive it not because he’s just on some long list of emails …
2. Make sure that the information in the email is actionable information and that it is both accurate and relevant to them. Do not send out emails to clients telling them they need to complete a stage in their application if they have already completed it. This is where an intelligent registration system comes in handy! Any great online registration software should have the ability to filter and find the registrants who have a specific outstanding payment or form, you can send a reminder email to JUST those people and not to the entire group.
You can do this without a sophisticated system, however the time it would take to copy and paste every client with an outstanding payment THEN emailing them all, then responding to each one when the ask how much they owe, is just time consuming! And that’s just for one “issue”. What about the clients who are missing a form, who haven’t sent their travel information, etc etc…you get the picture!
3. Make sure any links contained in the email work and by clicking them, the reader can easily complete the action you are asking of them.
4. Make sure the information you give the reader is up to date and accurate, including payment amounts that are due, dates, etc.
5. Always send the client to your website to complete the action so you are not overwhelmed with returned emails.
6. Make it short! People do not have time to wade through long and complicated messages. Most people treat their emails like a to-do list. Take the the Mailbox app as an example, the App Store’s 2011 App of the year essentially turned your email inbox into a to-do list!. Convey the basic information and a call for action. Keep all the marketing lingo for the website (you’re sending them there anyway)!
7. Put documents and information in a link if you have to. It is best to include all the information in the email, but sometimes you just have to add an attachment. Don’t! Most people read their email on their phone!
Adding an attachment will just annoy them since opening attachments on a tiny screen is annoying and filling them out to send it back to you, even more so! Some of them will not be able to open it on the phone anyway, making your attachment even more useless. If you want to include additional information either upload the document to a web server and link to it in the body of your email or better yet set up a page on your site with the information that is easily viewed and easy to act on.
8. Add social media buttons to your email. If the email is “shareable” meaning information contained has the potential to be interesting or valuable to the social networks of the recipient, allow the reader to share the contents of the post. For instance, if your email includes a registration deadline or an upcoming event, allow them to share this on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
According to recent research, “the click-through rate (CTR) of an average email is 2.4% without social sharing capabilities. Add social icons in the email, and the CTR jumps to 6.2%”.
Personal emails to clients is 100% worth the effort since it will increase the number of early and on time payments and completed forms you receive. However creating these emails can be a time suck. Finding a system that can personalize your communication with clients while saving you time and money is worth the effort to shop around and worth your financial investment.
In our next post, we’ll take a look at the type of systems available to facilitate bulk emailing and what to look for when shopping around!