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EMAIL MARKETING: How One Marketer Got it Right

As a business owner or manager, you are probably aware of the positive effect email marketing can have on your business. But what are the specifics of an effective email marketing campaign?

For an example of how to do it right, let's look at Borders. I signed up to receive their emails a few months ago while shopping in my local Borders store. While checking out, the cashier asked me if I'd like to become a member of their Borders Rewards Club. In addition to the 10% discount I would get on my current purchase, the cashier promised that special offers and promotions as well as notices of events like book signings at the store would come would be a part of my membership.

As an avid reader and frequent customer of Borders, I gladly filled out the necessary paperwork and slipped the Borders Rewards SKU tag onto my keychain. Since then, each Thursday morning I find an email from "Borders Rewards" in my inbox. As the cashier had promised, these emails include 10 to 25% off coupons, notices of new arrivals, best-seller lists, and invitations to special events.

Eventually, I began to look forward to receiving Border's emails. While I don't use every single coupon or attend every event, the coupons and invitations do entice me to regularly visit the store and continue to buy books and music for myself as well as for others. This has turned into a mutually beneficial relationship between Borders, the marketer and me, the consumer.

What They Did So Right...

First, Border's invited me, a customer at their physical store, to sign up for their email newsletter. In email marketing terms, this is the "opt in subscription" step marketers need to take in order to build a database of reliable email addresses. Second, by including coupons, information, and exclusive invitations, they deliver on their promises. Moreover, the "From" line of their emails say "Borders Rewards," so I never have to guess where this email is coming from. Their email subject lines clearly state exactly what I will find when I open it.

Another thing I like is that the coupons, which are the reason I signed up for the Borders newsletter in the first place, are featured prominently in the email. When I click on one I am taken to a PDF version that I can print and use at their store before an expiration date that is clearly indicated. I know exactly when I need to take action.

No, I don't work for Border's. But I do believe based on personal experience, that Border's offers a shining example of an effective, clear email campaign that most businesses can implement. By making Borders your email marketing role model, you can have the same success. Take the time to get to know your customer. Invite them to receive your email newsletter in a fashion that is non-invasive, such with a subscription sign-up box on your website or in your store. Then be sure to make the email content of interest to them. You don't want to bombard them with ads and promotions. Rather, you want to answer their question: "what's in it for me?"

Make sure your emails include offers for discounts, free shipping, free gifts, and information valuable to them that will compel them to take purchase action.

This article was written by Gina DeHaan, Copywriter at Active Web Group.