Entrepreneurs quickly jumped on to the fact that email is a fast and effective way of marketing a business. But we’ve all become tired of endless spam interruptions, newsletters and various forms of email communications. So you need to become more savvy with your email marketing before you even get started.
1. Be Human and be You: this might be the virtual world, but don’t distance yourself from your subscribers. People buy from people, as the saying goes. So a good email campaign is based on the same principles as any other sales and marketing drive. Study your audience and what appeals to them. What do they want to read about? What are their concerns and interests? How much time do they have to read and digest your message?
2. Check Your Data: have a close look at your customer relationship management (CRM) information, and any other relevant data. Make sure that what you are saying is relevant, timely and interesting to the market you are sending to. Are the people you are contacting really the ones you need to be targeting? Is email the most appropriate means of reaching them? Weed out old or inactive accounts from time to time, to stop wasting your efforts and be loved by anti-spam regulators.
3. Acquire New Leads: an objective of your marketing is to constantly refresh your data through your website, social networks, CRM, networking and other available channels. Segmenting your data into a variety of lists and categories will help you to make messages as personal as possible. Data can be a commodity in the Information Age, but if you can get a good return on the investment, it may be worth purchasing new leads too.
4. Make a Call to Action: some companies fire out e-newsletters without ever reviewing why they are doing it. You must be clear on your reasons for messaging your clients and customers: branding, sales, a news message or a combination of the three. But there has to be a call to action. How do you want your audience to respond? What is the most-desired action your reader needs to take? And don’t be afraid to repeat your call to action a few times throughout the message.
5. Quality, NOT Quantity: the above consideration applies to the frequency of your campaigns and to the information contained there. A sharp, well-prepared, targeted and relevant message can work wonders. Yes, good be just good enough on one hand, but sending just for the sake of sending will not bring you any extra profits.
6. Beware of Spam Filters: emails containing large images and attachments are often prevented from reaching inboxes by firewalls and filters, so focus on ways to make simple, text-based emails work for you. There are spam testers available online and with most email marketing systems, but use your common sense and try softer methods of selling.
7. Think Mobile: Research by Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2015 more people will access the internet via their phones than by their desktops (and this can include iPads and similar devices). Therefore, you need to test how your message will be viewed on a small screen. Again, large images, graphics and attachments are not appropriate.
8. Use Hot Incentives: Incentives shouldn’t cost you a lot of money, but as long as they appear valuable to the audience they will actually make you money. Look-out for hot topics and trends, and try to use them to your advantage in marketing.
9. Don’t Just Rely on Email: In 2009, more communications were conducted on social networks than via email, according to research conducted by Morgan Stanley. Your newsletter is just one part of your marketing mix, along with social networks, blogs, articles, and all other offline and online tools. A service like FlowTown can help you collect more data about your subscribers using their publicly-available information on all major social networks.
10. Track Results and Monitor Feedback: Your e-marketing software should offer the facility to track results: deliverability, the number of opens and bounce-backs, click-through ratios. As long as your stats are improving month on month, you are doing a great job. You can also encourage interaction from your subscribers by asking for feedback and comments.
What about your top tips for managing your email marketing? Please share with us and other readers!
Member since: 8th May 2012
I'm a Virtual Assistant offering secretarial, book-keeping and social media marketing services to small businesses and self-employed professionals. I design and write e-newsletters, blogs, websites and...