Many (business) people tend not to answer their office phones anymore. Staff use the company mobile for phone, email, text. Screening calls on the office line through an answering service.
If you are a business developer, calling the front desk works. Can you pass the gatekeeper? Get the email for the decision maker? Arrange a meeting? Send a brochure, offer, or forward company details?
Email is a formal and direct channel that most business people monitor daily, at a minimum.
There are many free email messaging vendors out there.
We recommend Mailchimp. Its the best. It has excellent analytics. You can build using it’s drag and drop templates. The same method applies to other vendors. Learn one, know them all.
A quick note on email etiquette.
Email has its own mojo. One of the key requirements is that you are not spamming your readership (or non readership in this case).
Some terms, syntax and punctuation are “spam folder friendly.” When you use them you are more likely to end up in the trash. If this happens your messages will continue to go to spam automatically, incrementally increasing your spam ratio.
Don’t “Shout” – Don’t Spam
Be aware that subject line and text description (the bit after your name in the inbox queue) are key elements, which will make or break your campaign. Most people scan their inbox regularly. The eye catches the text descriptor.
One of the easiest ways to make yourself memorable in life is to remember someone’s name (and some of their general interests). This holds true for email.
A quick note on email timing
I made the mistake early in my startup emailing career (three months ago) of sending a batch of emails in the middle of the night to my target market. Nobody opened them!
By morning, my email vendor had withdrawn my service – 9000 free emails per month (Sendinblue.com) – due to low quality score – “low opening rates and clicks.”
Hit your metrics – remember the best time to reach your audience.
A quick note on email content
Many (business) email inboxes do not show images, or have this setting turned on.
If your style is visual and beautiful, then you may need to moderate your output to more text based style. Or flip the script other way, use embedded video/image and force a curious reader/viewer to double click and reveal.
If you attach PDF files, many systems will not accept files larger than a certain size. Some people (meaning me) tend not to open files attached to emails, unless very sure that they are “safe.” In many larger companies the security dragnet will stop this type of email, running it first through a manual vetting process.
If in doubt – leave it out.
The usual content rules apply; keep it simple, precise. Hit the major points quickly; who? what? why? where? when? how?
On the positive side, links work well. It is possible to send nice hyperlinked emails, offering deep product information, without overloading anyone’s attention span.
Some of the smartest people I know effectively use colored clickable icons for meaning (semiotics), affect (attractive visual), and function (call to action). Most customers highly value a clickable document that adds clarity and value to their purchasing decision.
Email takes an investment in time to learn. Not that long, but an investment nevertheless, in understanding the barriers to your process/progress (both human and machine based) before hitting the “sweet spot.” Good reporting functions means email marketing shows you definitive trend, interest and awareness levels for your customer base. Use this feedback loop.
Business Value – I know of no other channel that gives me direct access to 2000 decision makers with 2 mouse clicks (for free).