At first glance, email marketing seems pretty simple. You may already have a great contact list in place and a fantastic product or service to promote. However, in order for email marketing to be successful, you need to set objectives and remember best practices.
On the other hand, email marketing may seem like a low priority due to the accessibility and immediacy of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. However, email marketing is still relevant in order to help convert leads into customers. HubSpot has a great free guide to help you get started in optimizing your email marketing. Just remember that there is a fine line between your email going into the recipient’s junk folder or inbox.
1. Divide & conquer your email list categories
The most important step before you begin is to segment your contact lists. This will help boost your open rates, engage your customers and ultimately, drive business. When you create a contact form for an eBook on say, How to Blog to Attract New Customers, that person most likely will have different interests than the person filling out the eBook form for Small Business Social Media Cases. When you send emails based on the customers specific interests, then the email marketing content becomes personal. Keep your customers’ individual interests in mind and don’t send mass, generalized emails.
2. Personalize your emails.
We know some people disagree with this, but as one of our team members (who is an avid online shopper) attests, this tactic can be extremely effective if done correctly. When we open our inboxes in the AM and see 50 unread messages, the ones that feel less bulky are the ones that greet us by name (typically in the subject line). First name only is typically the best option. However, this tactic should not be used in every email contact. Use this tip sparingly.
On the other hand, it’s always a good idea to add a personal touch so recipients feel like the email is being sent by a person (and not a company). MarketingSherpa tested this theory when sending two of the same emails; one had the author’s specific name in the “From:” field contact line and was signed by an actual person, while the other came from a generic address. They achieved a 137.4% higher open rate and a 128.9% higher click-through rate with the personalized version.
3. Always have an easy opt out option
While this may seem slightly counterintuitive, it is also essential to the success of any business. If someone wants to unsubscribe from your emails, make sure the process is quick and easy. However, make your ‘opt out’ page attractive in order to remind customers of why they were interested in your company in the first place. Also remember to ask why they have decided to ‘opt out.’ This will give you vital information on the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, as well as some insights about your company overall.
There are plenty of dos and don’ts of email marketing, but remember that email marketing is a series of trials & errors to consistently achieve higher results. Also, if you hold and process information about your customers, clients, prospects (or pretty much anyone), you have to abide by the laws of the Information Commissioner’s office. Make sure you read the guidelines before starting a marketing campaign.