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Effective Dedicated Email Marketing

Being in digital sales and marketing for quite some time I think dedicated email marketing is still the most effective way to reach your customers. If you have an effective dedicated email marketing strategy your business can propel itself to the next level. There are so many different parts to the email process and strategy that you have to be aware of in order to put together an effective campaign. First off, the copy is only part of a successful email strategy. The subject line, creative, offer, call to action, and the list makeup are all just as important. Don’t go hiring a copywriter before you have the other parts mastered first. This is a common mistake in the email marketing industry and I see it happen often with large companies.

Try to avoid spam at all costs, if you’re sending out a promotional offer try to make sure it’s not spammy. Don’t use words like “free”, replace them with words like “complimentary”. Also, if you have your own list don’t let spammy offers get sent out. Your loyal subscribers will unsubscribe at a fast rate if you do and you’ll get complaints. It’s all right to let the good offers go through, but try to avoid the bad types of email offers.

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Pick an email provider

There are many, many email providers to choose from. Some are cheap and some are expensive. One may offer more features than the next. What it comes down to really is it depends upon how much you are willing to pay and what email features you must have. I’m not going to say I like one over the other, because different folks have different tastes. What I will do is list a few of them and link to them so you can find out more about each one on your own. I’ll try to link to some of the more popular providers:

  • MailChimp
  • GetResponse
  • Savicom
  • Aweber
  • Amazon SES
  • Constant Contact
  • Clean your list regularly

    First of all, you should be doing this regularly to be CAN-SPAM compliant. You should be removing all unsubscribe requests from your list. Don’t try any trickery with this either, the most annoying thing for a user to see after opting out from a newsletter is to be redirected to a “baby come back” page asking the user if they are sure they want to leave. This is a sure fire way to get that user to NEVER come back. You always need to make sure you remove those recipients that are dormant as well, if you find that a part of your list is not even opening your emails it could be for a number of reasons. You would be surprised how many lists DO NOT do this. A good way to tell if a list does not do this is if you have a gmail account look at all the ongoing spam mails you get in your promotions tab. These are examples of companies/lists that never clean their subscriber lists. It’s wasteful not to do this, companies/blogs/individuals that don’t do this end up paying higher fees for sending out useless emails.

    Get opt-In newsletter subscribers

    There are many ways to get opt-in newsletter subscribers. You have got to start by having a web site that engages users with content, tools, and a purpose. It can be any kind of website, an e-commerce site, a blog, or a content site will do just fine. You should have the newsletter sign up stick out, but not so much that it dampens the user experience. If you have an e-commerce site add an opt-in link to order confirmations and customer surveys that you send out. Adding a link to your opt-in email on every email you send out to conduct regular business won’t hurt either. If you advertise your site, add an opt-in link to every landing page you try to drive customers too, even if you’re trying to promote a product and not your site.

    Pinpoint your campaign

    One thing that you need to do right off the bat is determine the purpose of your campaign. Your call to action should be straight forward and to the point. You should promote one product at a time and have a clear and accurate landing page. No gimmicks either, you already know what works best with your offer. Don’t have a pop-up window either when visitors try to exit your landing page, this infuriates them and they most likely will never come back even if they had a sliver of interest in your product to begin with. Additionally, don’t put a video on your landing page with no call to action. Visitors don’t want to sit through a twenty minute video only to find your offer at the end. Lastly, don’t have call to action links below the fold in your email campaign. These links should be above the fold and prominent. Midway through the email in the body is also a good place for call to action links if you’re telling a story.

    Email design

    When you are thinking about which HTML template to use or if you have a designer working for you, make sure you don’t overdue the design. In most cases your emails design should have a minimalist effect. It should have two or three colors at the most and it should be appealing to your subscribers. This is your list, so it only makes sense to give the recipient the best possible user experience. You should be using primarily text and no more than one or two images. Sending out text messages is perfectly fine too as long as the HTML is correct and well constructed. One of my favorite email marketers and bloggers Ben Settle, who is a well known and respected email marketer in the industry only sends out text messages. When I get an email from Ben I read it right away because he does everything right and makes sense to me.

    Subject lines make a difference

    Your subject line can make all the difference in the world. If you have a catchy subject line you will most likely have higher open rates, a more engaged audience, and higher conversion rates. If your subject line is vanilla, the email you’re sending probably won’t get opened and it could even get marked as SPAM. I would avoid words like free, guarantee, opportunity, prices, thousands, obligation, etc. You can find a pretty good list of them right here. Personalization is one of the best tactics inside the body of the email in my opinion, first, last and then introduce the offer. Some choose to use it in subject lines, I don’t. There are a number of catchy words you can use in subject lines. Some of my favorites are complimentary, invitation, introducing, etc. You can find a shortlist here. Some other things I like to do are keep the subject line under 40 characters (including spaces). Lastly, I always try to make sure subject lines are intriguing, funny, compelling, and memorable. Usually, one of these will do but a combination of two doesn’t hurt.

    Set up Tracking

    This is a common must have for both publishers and advertisers. You should be able to track your email through a variety of different ways. Being able to recognize your campaigns effectiveness is a definite if you want to evaluate and maximize your ROI. You should look at a variety of factors here such as, open rate, click through rate, number of clicks, number of emails delivered, bounce rate, and conversion rate. You can usually find these factors from your email provider (i.e. Savicom, GetResponse, MailChimp, A. Weber, etc.) or Google Analytics.

    Testing every part of the email

    You should always test subject lines. It’s perfectly all right to test more than one subject line on the same creative. Test multiple creatives often, it’s a good idea to do an A/B split and you can almost always find which creative works better when you do this. Test often, and you will find the email creatives that have the best subject line, best creative, and highest conversion rates. Additionally, you’ll probably find out which call to action works best for you when approaching your customers via email marketing. If you do it all right you can come up with a number of excellent emails boosting your sales and marketing efforts which can be a gold mine for your business.

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