Email Marketing: Does it Work?

News PhotoOften neglected or forgotten, email marketing is the stepchild of the social media world, regularly taking a back seat to The Next Big Thing.  Yet, depending on your business goals, it may be one of the best ways to expand your client base.

Email marketing is “one of the most effective means of communicating your brand identity and generating sales,” according to Michael Beaulieu, group manager for digital media at Wayfair – a U.S.-based multinational e-commerce company – who is quoted in a recent article on Digiday.

At our firm, we have had success with e-news – a more subtle form of email marketing that includes newsletters, news announcements and articles on topics of interest to the people on your email list.  Clients who were initially reluctant to try it have been surprised at the positive feedback they get with this means of communication.

Obviously, it’s just one tool in the PR toolbox, but if your firm is trying to reach a specific market, rather than promote to a broad consumer base, it is a cost-effective way to get your message out.  In addition, by using a professional program, you can see who opens your email and how often they do so.  A regular reader might be someone who is interested in hearing more from you.

So while e-news coming from your company will not replace external media coverage, it does offer distinct benefits:

  • Clarity:  Your message is sent – exactly as you want it worded.
  • Frequency:  You can send emails as often as you have news to impart.
  • Targeted:    You can send directly to the decision-makers who can influence your business.
  • Feedback:  You will know if and when your news is welcome – if your email is opened; if you get new subscribers; or if your subscribers “unsubscribe.”

Some cautionary notes to keep your subscribers interested:

  • Keep the content valuable.  If your email is all puff and no substance, people will stop opening it.
  • Don’t send it too often.  You don’t want to overwhelm your audience to the point that you are a nuisance.
  • Make sure everyone on your list is part of your target audience.  Sending information to the wrong person can put you in a Spam category.
  • Have a recognizable design and layout for your email.    You want to look as professional as you are.

Posted by Margot Dimond

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What does your front desk say about you?

There is one client I always look forward to calling or visiting.  The receptionist, who also handles all incoming calls, is unceasingly cheerful and professional.  She is a valuable – and no doubt valued – employee.  I hope she realizes how much she contributes to the success of the company she works for.

The people who are in charge of your front desk and answer your telephone play an extremely important role.  They are the “public face” of the company – often creating a lasting first impression. They should be treated with respect, paid well and know how important you think their job is.

What does this have to do with public relations? PR is essentially reputation building and reputation management.  “Perception is reality,” we often say.  It’s difficult to see how much an executive really cares about his or her company’s image when the first – or even second or third – impression people receive is negative.

And don’t forget to keep your front desk people informed.  You may get a call from a reporter wanting to do a positive story on news your PR person has sent out, but if you never communicate with the person who answers your phone, the reporter may get transferred all around the office and finally give up because no one knows what’s going on.  (That’s why our firm does call list instructions for clients to distribute to their office staff, by the way.)

Smart company managers know this, but sometimes we all get so busy we forget to become objective observers of our work environment.  To quote Scottish poet Robert Burns:  “Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us.”

Posted by Margot Dimond

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