| Digital, Marketing
10 rules of effective email marketing
E-marketing, if done well, can be a very effective (both in cost and conversions) way of reaching your target demographic. Helping you maintain good relationships with prospective customers and your existing client base, it also gives you a platform to spread the word about new products and services.
We have put together a list of 10 tips to make an email marketing campaign more successful, including what to say and what not to say if you want to avoid being thrown into the trash – or worse, the spam folder.
1. Have a purpose
To run a successful campaign you must first decide what defines success. What are your aims and objectives? Whether it’s finding new customers, getting additional business from existing clients or introducing a new product you need to define these goals so you can judge the campaign’s success at the end.
2. Get your mailing list together
Once you’ve outlined your goals you can then start pulling together a targeted mailing list remembering that quality is more important than quantity. You need to remember how much one lead could be worth, and how much bad publicity you could receive for spamming the wrong people.
You can always add people to your mailing list, so long as they agree and are happy to receive your newsletters or product information.
3. Decide what software to use
There are a whole host of email marketing software packages available, so avoid using standard email systems such as Outlook. Use one that allows you to send your emails and newsletters with an editable layout and include graphics – this way you can get exactly the right look that suits your message.
These packages also make it easier to deal with unsubscribes and collate statistics to help you measure the campaign’s success such as open rates, click reports etc.
4. Content is king
The email’s content is the number one concern. When emailing B2B customers or potential customer you are not so much looking to sell a product or service, but engage with them and establish yourself as the expert. This way you’re top of mind when they’re looking for that product or service.
Don’t try to fit too much. Keep it easy to read, most recipients won’t finish the email – they will look for keywords that interest them and remember them. Keeping text short, and split using bullet points (customers love bullet points) makes it easy to scan and pick out the key messages from the email.
5. Include obvious links
So, what’s the purpose of the email? You want people to visit your website. If you have a landing page specifically set up for the email then make sure you include a link and a clear call to action.
Without links your recipients are unable to convert into sign-ups or customers (if it’s an order you’re wanting). Capitalise on the moment where they might feel compelled to do something, for example link an emotive word, sentence or direction to your website or landing page. Make sure your links look like links and don’t blend into the body of the email, using strong calls to action or even asking the reader to ‘click here’ will increase your click through rate.
6. Minimize your use of images
Remember that an email is not a mailer. An email is personal, you are inviting yourself into someone’s mailbox so be nice. Try not to include too many images as many will not see them in the email, which means it could end up being wasted space.
Instead of images try using well coded html designed templates. That way it looks good, but it will be compatible for most platforms.
7. What to avoid
There’s an entire dictionary of words and phrases to avoid in your email marketing content. Sift through your spam folder and the chances are you’ll come across them all.
I’m not saying you can never utter these words, but try to reduce the amount of times they appear in the body and certainly try to avoid using them in the subject line.
Here is a short list of words and phrases to try (where possible) to avoid using when sending your campaign: Bonus, Free, Win, Prizes, Discount, Subscribe, Save up to, Visit our website, Call now, 50% off, Special promotion, Order now, Great deal/ offer and guaranteed. There are more, lots more.
8. Commit and plan
Successful email marketing is a process and not a flash in the pan. This is where you need to plan ahead. It’s easy to publish your first newsletter, it’s when it comes to the 6th, 13th or 21st than it becomes difficult. This is where having a good stream of quality content comes in handy, nobody is expecting a newsletter every week (I think they would probably unsubscribe) but one a month or quarterly is common practice.
Agree the frequency of your emails in advance and devise a way of generating newsworthy content for the emails with time to spare. This could dovetail with other marketing activity such as an active website blog or social media platforms.
9. Measure your success
Using email marketing software means you should have access to a good level of statistics on how your email campaign has performed. You should also be able to see which links have been clicked, how many were trashed before being read and how many ended up in the spam (hopefully none).
This will give you an insight into whom you can identify as someone who is particularly interested in your product or services based on the links they clicked.
10. Connect the dots
Email marketing should not be in isolation, but as a key part of a marketing strategy. Your email campaign can be used to support other marketing activities such as an event or exhibition, and in turn these will feed great future content for blogging and subsequent email newsletters.
Email is a great tool, but it needs to be used well to maximise its effectiveness. When used right it is a great resource to engage and communicate news and information to your customer base or potential clients, specifically within your targeted demographic. Essentially what marketing is all about.
Follow these 10 rules, and you will be well on the way to delivering an effective email marketing programme. Want us to do it for you? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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