Breaking barriers with creative e-mail marketing

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E-mail is a valuable marketing tool for conveying short, simple messages. But sometimes the barriers to sales and usage are more complex. In cases where the message is not very straightforward, marketers have to find creative ways to use e-mail to sell products and drive usage.

Getting customers to adopt a new product is one type of challenge. Convincing them to switch from a trusted product or service presents another. Trying to accomplish both in a single e-mail is a true marketing dilemma.

For example, companies often find that they want to cross-sell a product to customers who may or may not be using a competitive brand. In doing so, the level of education a customer may have about a product can be difficult to judge. You may be convincing one group to start using your product and asking another to switch from a competitor.

By taking a creative approach to e-mail marketing, companies can often overcome such a challenge.

For example, developing a single e-mail with two distinct, graphic sections - one with a "Why Switch?" message and another with a "Why Start?" message - allows potential customers to scan the e-mail, choose the message that is most relevant to them and then click on the appropriate call to action.

Users can then be directed to separate jump pages that answer each question. When done correctly, companies can expect that their response rates will be approximately 10 percent versus control groups.

Barrier-Based Messaging

E-mail can also break barriers to entry and change customer behavior.

This is often the case with services such as online financial management, where customers can be distrustful of the technology and fear breaches in security and privacy. Using a single e-mail to address all of these issues at once means that that the messages are diluted and none of them come through loud and clear.

The most effective way to change behavior is to create a series of e-mails to address each barrier separately. Delivering single-minded messages about ease of use, security and privacy measures in close succession can improve the education process and significantly lift use of the service.

Using e-mail to break down barriers to sales and change customer behavior can be challenging. However, analyzing the situation and applying informed, yet creative, approaches can be the key to unlocking new opportunities.

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