Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but you should never stop showing your email subscribers just how much you value them and appreciate being allowed into their inboxes.

We can think of hundreds of specific ways you can show everyone a little love, but they boil down to three essential strategies:

1. Take away their uncertainties.

Let them know right from the start what you offer, why they should sign up, how you’ll handle their data and why your emails deserve a place in their inboxes.

You must offer them more than just a simple opt-in field on your homepage. Sell your email program as vigorously and effectively as you sell your products.

  • Why should someone sign up for your emails?
  • How will you protect their data?
  • What’s your privacy policy?

You might think nobody cares, but people do, and you should be ready with answers when customers question you.

If you have physical locations as well as an online presence, be sure your public-facing people who ask for email addresses can answer those questions as well. Your point-of-sale people are your best advocates. Train them on how to ask for email addresses and explain benefits, even during a cash-wrap crush.

2. Vary the message.

We love MailChimp’s slogan: “Send better email. Sell more stuff.” One statement really does affect the other.

Even if you don’t sell directly through email, you want your new customers to become loyal repeat buyers and to encourage your repeat buyers to buy more. But a steady drumbeat of “Buy This” messages isn’t going to get you there.

Your customer isn’t in the market for your products every day, no matter how many 20% discounts and free-shipping offers you toss in.

Don’t burn out your email subscribers

That’s what burns out a list – not high frequency alone but high frequency combined with the same content time after time. Sure, people might just delete your emails until they want to buy, but do you want them to get them into that habit?

Vary your content by coming up with different uses for your email program beyond pushing discounts to get a sale.

  • One way to get started right off the bat is with a welcome message.
  • Another is to share supporting information, such as a buyer’s guide or other how-to information that makes your customer more certain about buying the right products (and there’s another way to reduce uncertainty).

3. Keep your promises to email subscribers.

This is probably the most important thing you can do for your email subscribers. No matter what you promise, hold up your end of the deal.

  • Do you promise to send coupons and discounts? Keep that promise by offering them more than just the usual 20%/free-shipping deals. Give them email exclusives or early access.
  • Do you promise you’ll never sell or rent their emails without their permission? Keep your word, if for no other reason than you’ll get found out. If you think resisting temptation is hard, try getting off a blacklist.
  • Be transparent. If you change a policy, tell your email subscribers, and explain it to them in plain language. Don’t just email a link to your revised privacy policy; summarize the changes and why you had to make them.

Two ways to say ‘Buy This’ without saying ‘Buy This’

We get it – your emails must drive sales. But, you can still say “Buy This” or whatever your conversion point is; just build in extra value around the offer.

Below are two emails from the FreshAddress Email Creative Archive that demonstrate this approach from different angles.

1. Your Morning Offering

Catholic Co Email Creative

This email from religious-goods retailer the Catholic Company combines a complete daily devotional with subtle promotions for products sold on its ecommerce site. The reader can get the full value from the email without clicking on a single product link, but all the featured products, except for a small banner ad near the end of the email, tie in to the various lessons in the message.

2. Pottery Barn.

Pottery Barn Email Creative

Here’s a more commercial approach from home-goods retailer Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn sends plenty of discount- and promotion-driven emails but often break up the flood with content-driven messages like this one.

In this email, every item is for sale, but Pottery Barn gives the content a meaningful context – small-space decorating tips – and shows the products being used, not just lovely hero images.

What could you do today – or tomorrow – to show your email subscribers a little more love?

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