That’s the question I asked myself as I stared at my cell phone and saw the minutes ticking away on my patience.  As many of us do, I’d decided to make a list of all the things I needed to accomplish today.  So as I waited for my daughter to finish her dentist appointment, I thought, hey, why not make a dent in this enormous list I just created.  Am I just impatient?  I had to ask myself the question as I saw 5 minutes, 7 minutes and then 10 minutes tick away as waiting time on my cell phone.  Well, it was obvious to me in my agitated state that the business I was calling on forgot about me.  How else can we explain making me wait so dog gone long???  As I contemplated hanging up and redialing, a voice finally came on the phone and apologized for the wait.  Guess what my response was???  “Oh that’s OK.  I understand.”  That response was funny because clearly 1-minute ago, I didn’t understand.

Since every situation is a learning opportunity, I thought I’d ask the question.  How long is too long to make a customer wait for a response?  How would your business handle it? 

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Here's a trick question.  What's your preference, Quality or Quantity?

When you consider that building a successful business can depend on both quality and quantity, choosing the best course of action would largely depend on the company's goals. Both have their merits and their challenges.

Email marketers answer the question more definitively. Quality definitely TRUMPS quantity.  

When a client starts their email marketing program, they often want to take the fastest route and use someone else's mailing list to get them jump started.  Well, this is a definite no-no. For one, the *"Cann-Spam Act" which all email marketers should be aware off, expressly forbids this practice. To get the best results from your email campaigns, you want to make sure that you are communicating in a useful way with your clients and potential customers interested in what you have to offer. Quantity doesn't work here as your message would go to the masses but would they be interested in what you have to say or offer?

Be patient as it often takes time to build up your following. Build your list slowly, effectively and efficiently. Use your website, social media channels and word of mouth efforts to let people know how to stay in contact with you and your business. Using these methods will go a long way in building and keeping a quality email list. 

*The CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003) is a law passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003, requiring national standards for sending commercial emails.

Tip #10: Shareable Content & Resources

Email marketing provides an opportunity for you as an organization or a business to share content from not only your direct source or expertise, but of other trusted business colleagues and resources.  You know this already, however let me remind you that people don’t want to be sold to “all the time”.  Want they want is to have an understanding of what you do and above all, how the connection they have with you is going to help them.  You’ve heard of WIIFM right?  That’s “What’s In It For Me”? Your job is to show them why you are a good connection for them and to share resources that will help them reach their intended goals.

Tip #9: Higher Delivery to Intended Audience

Targeted email marketing campaign are by design intended to be more effective than other email messages  seen by using Outlook, Google or Yahoo as an example.  One of the reasons for this is that a good email marketing program will allow you to capture key details about your recipient such as their first and last name, company information, telephone numbers and varied interests. 

When you as a company or organization are crafting your emails, you can easily and efficiently include those unique details in the email.  When someone receives a personalized email, they are more likely to pay attention than if you say, “Greetings or Welcome”.

An additional feature is that email marketing programs often provide you with statistics so you can measure the effectiveness of the emails being sent out.  You’re able to see who is opening their emails as well as click-through and forwards.

Tip #8. Always Get Permission!

I can’t say this enough.  Get permission to add anyone to your email list.  Don’t SPAM them.  Do you know what the key is to a successful email campaign?  It's being able to communicate with people who want to hear from you.  In other words, they want you to reach out to them.  Permission-based email is vitally important to growing your contact list and thereby your bottom line.   

Tip #7: Make Your Emails Readable

Some people designing email campaigns tend to over-due it. How?  They design their campaigns around images.  Make your email readable without images enabled – For privacy reasons, most email clients like Outlook, Google as examples, disable images unless the user allows it.

Because of this, any images you include in the email should have descriptive text set for the alternative view.  If you have a targeted email list, it’s likely your email recipient will put your email on the safe list so that your email is always delivered as it was intended.   

Tip #6: Reinforces Your Brand 

Match your email to your brand – Your email marketing message is an extension of your company.  For that reason, you would be sure to include your company logo and company colors on all your emails for consistency.  Taken this approach will make your emails more familiar to the recipient.

Tip #5: Testimonials

Share the stories and experiences of those pleased with your product or services.  If you've delivered on your promise to your customer, get their feedback in writing.  As you wrap up with your customer, ask them if they'd take a moment to give you some honest feedback on their experience with you.  If it's positive, you'll be able to share those comments with others who may be interested in using your type of service or working with you in particular.  If it's negative, you have something concrete you can review to improve your services. 

Tip #4: Relevancy & Relationship - Is it relevant?

Keep it short and simple (5-8 words).  You want to incorporate the most compelling and immediate benefit for someone to open your email.  

Question:  Subject Line OR From Line. Which of the two is the most important?

Answer: THE FROM LINE: According to Doublick, 60% of consumers say the “from line” most often determines whether they open and email or delete it. 30% open from the subject line.

Provider Coalition (source) 79% of people will hit the “Spam” button when they don’t know the sender.

Tip #3: Inspire Feedback 

No one wants to hear from a talking head all of the time.  Tailor your email marketing campaigns to inspire feedback.  Ask your customers how they like the company’s new logo; or a new product offer; direction; or encourage them to ask questions.  This can be used with all types of professional service industries like lawyers, restaurants and organizations.