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Bonus material: How to increase email open rates [infographic]

Data is big in marketing. We all know that. Today, lots of companies collect data from their customers and then use email marketing services so that they can promote products and services to them. Not long after supplying their email, customers can expect a message of some description from the business to drop into their inbox, trying to persuade them to buy this or that product or service. Not cool. Email is not a direct sales tool.

So, what is it then?

A way to spread the word

You don’t have to use email to sell, necessarily. If you’re launching a new product or you’ve got another big event coming up, email is an effective way of getting the word out and generating interest. The recipient doesn’t even have to open it — sometimes an effective subject line is enough.

A chance to build a relationship

When a person supplies their email voluntarily, they’re willing to hear more about your company, but it’s not an invitation to hammer them with stone-cold sales pitches. No, email is a chance to build a relationship with that person. By sending regular news and views through to that person, you’ll build a trusting relationship. They’ll start to feel more connected to your brand.

An opportunity to keep your finger on the pulse

Email offers a terrific way to communicate with people. Are your customers happy with your product or your service? Is your audience enjoying your content? You can use the power of email to find out by sending a short survey to them. Of course, email provides them with a channel of communication to reach you, too. If they’ve got something on their mind, good or bad, they can (and will) let you know about it!

When a person supplies their email address, they’re not giving you the green light to bombard them with sales messages, although, admittedly, they’re suggesting interest in your business and what you might have to offer. Sliding straight into their inbox and commanding them to buy from you, however, is a one-way ticket to them unsubscribing or asking you to remove your data from their database. Don’t call them, they’ll call you.