Online Marketing: Etiquette for Individual E-Mails

By Alexander Hiam

One good tool for online marketing of your company or business is e-mail. You can create, or hire your website designer to create, an e-mail that looks like a well-designed web page, with animation and clickable buttons linking to your site. Then all you have to do is blast it out to millions of e-mail addresses and surely you can make millions overnight.

Not so fast! Okay, so you have this great marketing message or sales pitch, and you want to send it to everyone in the world who has an e-mail address. You can do that, but it’s not advisable.

The more specific and narrow your use of e-mail for marketing, the better. And U.S. marketers must be careful to avoid violating federal restrictions on spam (junk e-mails). Stay on the sunny side of these laws in the following sections.

The best marketing e-mail is a personal communication with a customer you know, sent individually from you with an accurate e-mail return address as well as your name, title, company name, full mailing address, and phone number. It may read as follows:

Subject: Thanks for your order!

Dear So-and-so,

I wanted to follow up after your purchase of (your product) on (date) to see how it’s working out for you and to thank you for your continuing business. If you have any concerns or questions, please let me know by return e-mail, or feel free to call my private cellphone number, (xxx) yyy-zzzz. Thanks!

Best,

Your Name

Your customer is going to receive, open, read, and appreciate an e-mail like this one. He may even respond to it, especially if he has any current concerns or questions or has another order on its way. Even if he doesn’t reply to it, however, he appreciates that e-mail. And that message doesn’t bug anyone or look like spam.

Use e-mail as much as you can for legitimate, helpful, one-on-one contact and support of customers or prospects.