Each day I get a plea from the company, ShoeDazzle, to buy the hottest trends in fashionable footwear. This little buzz comes to my iPhone inbox – around lunch time – telling me I have a new email and a reminder to click and save. Now, I have some decisions to make. Either, I could remain engaged – and start saving on this fanciful array of pumps and sandals – and click. I could delete the message and anxiously await the next new offer, or, I could unsubscribe and focus on what’s for lunch.

In marketing, we want our clients’ emails – and our own for that matter – to be engaging and useful. For the shopping connoisseur like me, these tasteful requests are not considered pests, because I simply love looking at and buying shoes. But how did I get signed up? In order to see the entire website of footwear, I followed the friendly ShoeDazzle suggestion and took a quiz on my style profile. In order to see my results, I agreed to be on the email list. http://www.shoedazzle.com/stylist_surveys/registrations#318

I believe there are deeper elements at play here than just an adoration for kicks. Let me explain five of my faves:

1. I Feel Like We’ve Met Before. Have You Lost Weight?

Personalizing the email message and creating an appealing design are key factors in keeping the audience connected to your products. Email allows you to tailor the message to the consumer’s habits, which makes it a great way to keep the reader intrigued. Use the person’s name and connect. Talk to them like a friend. Make them feel good about choosing your product. When you have a limited window of opportunity, you need to grab the consumer’s attention immediately. Marketing with a clean, colorful layout and at-a-glance messaging makes consumers feel good. And when they feel good, they decide to buy.

2. You’re, Like, My Bestie!

Simple and friendly is always the way to go. People respond better to a casual tone as opposed to hearing a “business” pitch. Keep your design easy to follow and the messaging concise. Put yourself in their shoes. Bah, dum, bum. Would you like to get this email or offer? Create useful information and deliver it in an easy-going format with one direct idea. Consumers don’t want to be bombarded with full text ads and no call to action. Give them a reason to want to click and explore what your company has to offer. Inspire them to come back again and again like an old friend.

3. No Spammy, No Whammy

Like anything in owning a business, it’s good to know the rules. Communicating via email with customers comes with a few guidelines to follow: engage the customer often and get their permission. You don’t want to press your luck and become known as spam-a-lot. In fact, you can lose your email accounts, your website and your reputation for sending repeated, unwanted emails. Following the rules will allow you to stay on the consumer’s good side, keep their cash flowing in your door and keep them happily on your email list.

4. Unsubscribe? That’s Just Crazy Talk.

Making your subscription terms known from the beginning is the best approach to customer satisfaction. Steer clear of ‘tricking’ the consumer into being on your email list. At times users unintentionally sign up, for example, when the subscription was an unknown default choice on a web page. More often than not, the customer signs up to receive a promotion and agrees to be on the mailing list because they enjoy your product and your brand. Always give the receiver of the email the chance to opt-out. Overall, if you make the savings worthwhile and deliver your messages in a fun and friendly fashion, the chances are less likely that they will want to opt-out.

5. You Wanna Buy it Now, Don’t Cha?

‘Shop Now’ links are possibly the most important element to include in your email marketing. Offering discounts and added incentives are key factors in getting consumers to click, save and remain on your email list. Creating messages that are shareable are crucial to the life of your email campaign. By adding incentives, such as a Facebook contest where the consumer wins a prize for posting your company’s messaging, is also an easy way to get millions of other users to share your brand online. This is a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience and expand your target market, all in the click of a link.

Buzz. Buzz. I think I hear my daily email calling my name. Gotta run! I have some shopping to do.