Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
So, you have taken the first step and realised that an email marketing campaign is one of the best e-marketing tactics you can use to promote your company and product. What now? Before you start putting your campaign together there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself to help you ascertain exactly who your target audience is and what you ultimately want to achieve with your campaign.
A few points to consider:
- How can I build up my subscription list? The most obvious way to do this would be to have a ‘sign up’ link on your website, which will ensure that all your subscribers have genuinely opted-in. It is also necessary by law to have an original opt-in list, so try not to take short cuts here.
- What type of content would my customers like to receive? Newsletters, promotions, discounts, price changes, special offers, updates, latest product information,editorial, entertainment, quirky offbeat news etc.? Do a bit of research, ask questions on forums, join different focus groups and look to feedback from previous campaigns for guidance.
- What is the purpose of my campaign and what would my customers read and respond to? Your call to action needs to be clear and enticing. ‘Call’, ‘subscribe’, ‘join’ etc. People need to be told exactly what to do.
- How frequently should I send out my campaigns? Daily, weekly, monthly? Whatever you choose, you need to be consistent about when you send it out, for example, every Thursday afternoon. Ideally you want your customers to recognise and look forward to your emails, at the same time every week.
- How do I make sure my campaign doesn’t end up in the spam folder of my intended recipient? This can happen even if you have an opt-in list. Be aware of the CAN SPAM ACT – the U.S. law that regulates commercial email. Mail Blaze’s email marketing solution includes a special feature that puts your email campaign through a spam filter before it gets sent out, so you can see the results of the check and amend your campaign if necessary.
Once you have given some thought to the above, you are half-way there. Now for your first email campaign! Of course your objective is to get a decent response right from the outset but how do you go about this? Follow these tips to maximize your chance of success right from the word go.
- Always send your email from a valid address, not from a non-existent one. People will want to reply to your message, so make sure that it gets to you.
- Keep your original aim in mind when creating your campaign. It’s easy to get distracted along the way. Promoting a new product; offering a special deal, increasing your readership? Keep your focus and ensure that your email works towards this. Once again, don’t forget a strong call to action.
- Correct grammar and spelling. It can’t be over-emphasised enough. The amount of emails that get sent out with bad grammar and typos is mind boggling. SPELL CHECK, double check and then and get someone else to proof read it.
- Keep your content short, sweet and to the point. You have a very short period of time in which to grab your reader’s attention. Use it wisely. Remember people usually skim over text so try to make it as eye catching as possible. You can always have a click-through link to your website so people can get more information if they need to.
- Make sure your HTML and plain text message are equally well composed. Don’t assume that your readers can or even want to open an HTML only document.
- You want your customers to act fast, so it’s a good idea to put in a time limit / expiry date in your email. People generally do not like missing out on a great deal and you can use that to your advantage.
- Make it easy for your readers to unsubscribe to your emails. It’s a good idea to have a quick link posted in the footer of your email and also a link in the header so that they can view the email in their browser.
- Always, always test the compatibility of the campaign on yourself before you send it to 20 000 people. Send it to your own email address first and then to that of a friend or co-worker. You need to be able to see if your text and images have come out correctly and make any adjustments if necessary.