Email Don’ts: Don’t Just Sell

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Editor’s Note: Sometimes, a little tough love is necessary. Thus, we bring you ‘Email Don’ts,’ a recurring series on Email Marketing No-Nos. On today’s episode: Don’t Just Sell.

Most consumers sign up for email newsletters to be in the loop about promotions, sales, and new products, so it only follows that businesses should email them with that content. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that companies don’t use their email platform to inform customers of these important updates. I’m merely suggesting, for brand equity and loyalty purposes, that you don’t forget to mix up ‘selling’ emails with other emails as well. Here are other types of emails you should be sending on a regular basis, even if you can’t directly tie them to sales:

Reviews/Testimonials - For subscribers who haven’t purchased yet, testimonials are a tried-and-true way of gaining trust. For customers who have previously purchased, testimonials remind them why they should love and use your product as well as give them faith in new or different offerings. You may not see a huge lift in sales directly from a testimonial email, but it will make customers more likely to buy in the future.


Your Brand in the Wild- Similar to testimonials, showing how other customers use your products is a great way to gain the trust of a wary buyer. Also like a testimonial-focused email, you may not see a huge lift in sales directly from a ‘brand in the wild’ email, but it will make customers more likely to buy in the future. Features of customer images are also a great way to thank customers for providing user-generated content and encourage more of it.

Social Follow- We’ve all heard the oft-cited statistic that a customer needs to see an advertisement seven times before remembering it and taking action. So it only makes sense that getting someone’s eyeballs in more than one location (ie email AND Twitter AND Facebook) makes him or her more likely to remember you and to purchase. Here’s how to get social follows from email.

Behind-the-Scenes- Everyone loves a good story. For subscribers to trust and love you, they must associate a good story with you. One great way to do that is to show behind-the-scenes images and stories of your team, your operations, and even transparency into typically taboo subjects. Everlane does a great job with ‘Transparency Tuesdays.’

Surveys- Sometimes you really don’t know what your customers ask until you let them tell you. Send out a survey asking about their email preferences, product preferences, what they like and don’t like about your brand, and what they hope to see. Giving them a voice will lead to positive thoughts about your brand and eventual purchases.

Brands You Love- Sharing a brand you love, whether it’s a competitor, complement to your product, or just a brand you admire, is a great way to engage your subscribers without selling. When a company is promoting competitors, you “know” they’re authentic and are more likely to trust them when they do suggest buying something. There’s nothing I trust more than when a restaurant can’t accommodate me and recommends a different restaurant instead, and let’s be honest, it probably makes me more likely to return to restaurant #1 someday.

Want help implementing some of these in your own emails? We’re here to help.

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