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By Anne Goetz

Four tips for tweaking your marketing emails

Email marketing is a double-edged sword. Give recipients what they want – coupon offers for things they actually use or free merchandise that they genuinely like – and they are going to love you. If you mislead them or misunderstand their wants and needs, prepare for a mass exodus.

And once they are gone, they are history. You are not getting them back. And that is one less consumer who is going to be the first to know about your blow-out summer sales, your Black Friday events, and your post-Christmas clearance.

Accidentally losing a consumer because of an ill-advised email marketing campaign does them an injustice. And that is not the way to build a strong and trusted online presence.

Pen the perfect email every time by following a few simple guidelines.

1. Do not take liberties with the subject line

Is your email about a sizzling summer sale on sandals only? Then do not allude to your entire footwear collection in your subject line. Few things are more frustrating than clicking on an email to find it has little to do with why you bothered to read it in the first place.

This just alienates your consumers. And an angry consumer will scroll a long way to find the unsubscribe button.

Be brief. Be witty in your subject line. But more importantly, be honest. Your click-to-open rate is not as important as your click-through-to-conversion rate. When it comes to your email campaign, sneaky is not the way to go.

2. Be timely

Make it worth your consumer's while to click right now, today only or while supplies last. Adding an element of timeliness to your conversion encourages shoppers to act right away.

It also helps to play upon your consumers' emotions. Create a mood. Evoke a fond memory. Incite anticipation. If you can reach your consumer at an emotional level, you stand a better chance of encouraging a higher conversion.

3. Know who you are reaching

Be specific in your choice of audience. If you are announcing new additions to your line of Gucci handbags, do not target customers who only buy Prada. This type of email is almost the equivalent of spamming – hitting everyone on your list in hopes that one or two will eventually bite – and it rarely works. Consumers are loyal to their brands. They know what they want to buy. Unless you are advertising a close-out sale of epic proportions, target your emails to the consumers who are going to welcome them most.

4. Remember the prime objective

Yes, you want your recipients to open that email you took the time to pen, but more importantly, you want them to click through to your online store and make a hefty purchase. Now ask yourself this: What is the best way to encourage that reaction?

Send out a missive that is concise, exciting and intriguing, of course. There must be a good reason for following links through to completion. And in the fashion world, that usually means an opportunity to save money or to score a coveted item before most of the rest of the world has the opportunity to do so.

Everyone loves trendy. Everyone loves original. If you can hit upon both of these objectives in your email marketing campaign, recipients will take the time to stop and look. Some might even buy. And it is these consumers who make all the hard work worth it in the long run.

Email marketing – the double-edged sword that can make or break your online business. Make sure yours is sharp, its aim true, so it can cut right to the heart of a hefty conversion rate.

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