Subtlety in Email Marketing

Know the distinctions!

Typical Web users receive tons of emails encouraging them to purchase certain products or visit specific websites owned or managed by the email senders or merchants with whom they are affiliated; and while these emails arrive in inboxes of unsuspecting web users each day, most of them pay very little attention to such emails. This is because emails which are blatant advertisements are often viewed as spam, and most Web users have very little tolerance for spam; but it is very important to understand the distinction between these two types of communication.

One distinction is the reaction of recipients, which is to say that reactions to spam tend to range from simply ignoring such emails and having the email addresses blocked from sending future communications, to reporting such emails to their Internet service providers (ISPs) for further investigation. We realize many Web marketers have difficulty keeping their email marketing subtle and, as such, this article will provide some information which we hope will be useful in determining how email marketing can be kept subtle so it is not viewed as spam.

Criteria for subtlety

Among the most important criteria for ensuring your email marketing is done in as subtle a manner as possible and not be viewed as spam is to provide something of quality to your recipients. This thing of quality may consist of insightful articles, interesting quizzes or other useful facts which members of the target audience are likely to find useful, if not valuable.

The simple fact is when email recipients realize that an email they received is offering them something worthwhile such as knowledge or information about a particular niche subject they are much more likely to spend some time reviewing the email and therefore will not likely consider the email to be spam. In addition to using the creation of something qualitative to convince recipients that the email is not spam, business owners can also take advantage of qualitative content to provide subtle advertising which may include product references in the articles or links to his/her website throughout the email.

Avoid outrageous claims

Avoiding language which makes outrageous claims can also help to keep advertising quite subtle since the opposite – using certain superlatives and adjectives of greatness with which to describe specific products – is likely to be viewed as blatant advertising. When such language is used, it is highly unlikely that email recipients will believe there is validity in anything contained within the email because they will believe the entire email is simply one big advertisement for the senders’ products or services.

One method proven to be most effective in keeping advertisements subtle when running email marketing campaigns is to only send your email(s) to those who are likely to be extremely interested in your products and services. This is important because when email recipients receive an email that does not reflect their interests in any manner or form, they are not likely to take the email seriously and may very well view such email(s) as a blatant advertisement or spam.

Blatant advertisement is taboo

However, when emails are sent only to those who share a common interest the email seems more personalized and therefore, those email recipients are not likely to view every product reference as a blatant advertisement since they understand there is sometimes a need to mention products or services in emails of high quality content which are sent legitimately.

Finally email marketing is considered subtle – and remains so – when the content of campaign emails is written as though it is not coming directly from the business owner. In other words, the copy might discuss products and services as though they are being offered by a third party. This method makes the advertising seem more subtle because it does not appear to come directly from the business owner.

Be minful of perceptions

Of course, business owners can help to ensure their email marketing efforts are not viewed as blatant advertisements by keeping reference to their own website to an absolute minimum, while being mindful of the fact that most Web users often view links from one website to another strictly as advertisements. For this reason it might be advisable for business owners who are promoting products/services via an email campaign to keep links to a minimum and to carefully weave these links into even the most quite benign copy.

The links should be provided as though they were only included to provide readers with an opportunity to learn more about certain products/services and not as a way to encourage them to purchase these products/services. It might be worthwhile for business owners to consider hiring a writer with this type of skill and experience to ensure the copy conveys desired message, message formats and message intent which should therefore convey the desired effect to the email recipients.


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Email Marketing to Reach a Target Audience

Marketing basics applied

In theory email marketing is not any different to other types of marketing, simply because basic principles of marketing which are applied to most other types of marketing apply to your email marketing efforts as well. One of these most important principles is the importance of reaching a designated or “target” audience; because the ability to reach an audience you have designated as your target audience and convince them to make a purchase cannot be underestimated. In this post we will discuss a few approaches that Web marketers can use to effectively reach their target audience(s).

The simplest way to reach your target audience is to allow existing customers as well as potential customers to register on your website and decide whether or not they want to receive emails with additional information and advertisements. When the users register they should be required to enter a name and email address and, as a result of this registration process, you will be able to compile a list of names and email addresses from each potential customer who expressed an interest in receiving additional information.

Sending your email marketing materials to members of this subscriber list is much more effective than sending out a mass email to recipients whose email addresses you purchased simply because the group of email addresses you compiled all have an interest in the products/services you offer while there is no information on the other set of email addresses to indicate whether or not those list members will even have the slightest interest in the products or services you offer.

Capturing their interest

There are a number of tips published on the Web for reaching a target audience, and one of the most important of those is to do adequate research to determine how you should communicate with members of your target audience. Such communication may include changing the language of your emails to suit the preferences of target audience members, designing the layout and colors of the email so that it can be appealing to them and tailoring the emails to include content which is of interest to members of the target audience. This type of research can really pay off because it will make your emails significantly more effective.

Still another tip for reaching your target audience via email marketing is to keep your message simple in the sense that being subtle is important so your email does not seem like a blatant sales pitch, but it is also important to present your message in a clear and concise manner which can be easily understood by the members of your target audience.

If you have any doubts your target audience will be able to understand your message, you can certainly leave information for the email recipients to contact you with your questions. This interaction can prove to be extremely useful because it is only through communication that you can learn about the needs of your target audience and how you can better tailor your email marketing strategy to meet these needs.

In conclusion

Finally, it is important to solicit feedback from the members of your target audience to ensure you are meeting their needs with your email marketing campaign. This should be done on a continual basis as the needs of your target audience may change over time. However, when you solicit feedback from your target audience you must be sure to ask specific questions which require answers that can easily be interpreted, especially because the ease with which these answers are interpreted will greatly impact your ability to further refine your email marketing efforts to conform with the expectations of your target audience members.