When thinking about reaching out to the mobile consumer, we tend to gravitate more to the obvious use of sms – either directly via bulk messaging or shortcode. There has been a market for hawking lists and databases locally that has seen many hapless Kenyans spammed silly with non – opt in, non targeted marketing material.
Email seems to have slipped to the back burner as many may not have noted mobile device manufactures adapt their devices and software to cater for mobile email.
That various social networks have over one million Kenyans registered; it very well means that there are the same number of active email addresses with real people behind them waiting to be engaged. The social networks have also primed consumers for alerts via email as practically all actions that occur on their platforms are communicated back via email.
However, the rules of engagement are not far off from what we have seen adopted for the more ubiquitous messaging channel that is sms. The key challenge with email, is that delivery may not be guaranteed and if delivered, it may not be opened by the target consumer. The obvious advantage of email over sms is the amount of information you can disseminate and the ease of retransmission of your message to the social graph.
So how do we ensure that email is plugged back to our consumer communications?
Build your database
I would advise to start from scratch when building your database of users. There are numerous tools and services out there that your business can use to reach out to consumers on various platforms and have them sign up to your list. Use double opt-in to ensure that you are less likely to be classified as spam as the user will be expecting your emails. Don’t try to cut shortcuts by harvesting or buying email lists. No one likes unsolicited email and it may do more damage than good to your brand.
It is important to reiterate what the consumer will be receiving from you as well as the frequency of the expected communication. Also key is to educate them on how to add you to their whitelist should their email provider still classify your communication as spam.
The quickest way to have a consumer unsubscribe is to send them content that’s unrelated to why you had them sign up in the first place.
I have noticed that many firms use Outlook and the blind copy facility to send out their communication. This should never happen. There are many service providers who offer robust solutions for email delivery at affordable cost.
Getting your message delivered and read is just but the basic benchmark for email engagement and the above will go a long way to ensuring that this happens for your business