Although there are a lot of other marketing methods available for communicating your messages to your target audience, Email Marketing is still alive and well. But if you’re going to do, make sure you do it well. Send quality campaigns that are compliant, consistent and include valuable content.
Email marketing has been around for a long time, so it might not have the same sizzle as newer, hotter marketing channels. But don’t confuse lack of flash with lack of effectiveness. Consumers are more open to email messaging than most other digital marketing and it still gets results.
Here’s a review of the basics of quality email marketing campaigns, and links to where you can get further information.
To create a quality email marketing campaign you need:
- Email marketing software.
- An email design template that aligns with your website image and branding.
- A process for adding new contacts to your recipients list and ensuring that people who unsubscribe are removed.
- A plan for how frequently you will send your email campaigns and the valuable content you will include to keep your readers interested, so that they open your email each time and do not unsubscribe.
- A method of tracking the results of your campaigns including how many people opened the email, clicked on the links and ideally any outcomes from the campaign such as sales generated.
Email marketing software options include AWeber, Constant Contact and Feedburner.
The Grassroots team and many of our clients love an email tool called Mail Chimp www.mailchimp.com because it:
- Is “Forever free” while your list is less than 2000 people.
- Is easy to use
- Manages your list
- and you don’t need to be a designer to create a great looking email.
1. Provide Valuable Content and include a Call to Action
One of the keys to getting people to regularly open and read your email is providing content that they find valuable.
Get ideas for the type of content you can provide here.
When creating your email campaign, elements you need to get right are:
- The subject line
- Personalising your greeting
- The Call to Action (which is the main thing that will drive the value your business gets from the email campaign).
Find out more
- 7 Key Elements of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
- and improve your Call to Action by reading Why your Call to Action Sucks
Be smart about the email campaigns that you send out.
- Link your header image to your website, to remind people of where they signed up.
- Make sure you use text as well as images, otherwise people who have the images automatically turned off when they first view your emails will have no idea what your email is about.
- Get more Tips for Smart Email Marketing.
2. Be Consistent
Send your email campaigns consistently
Work out how frequently you will send your email campaigns and stick to the plan. Let people know how frequently your emails will be sent when they sign up.
A lot of businesses build a list for a few months before they send their first campaign, or they only send campaigns infrequently, for example more than six months apart. This gives people plenty of time to forget about where and how they gave you their email address, which can lead to complaints and unsubscribers. It also means more email addresses will be out of date, and will therefore bounce, making your list less effective.
Review your results consistently
Like all methods of marketing, it’s important to measure the results of your email marketing campaigns and always aim to improve.
Keep a track of how many new subscribers you attract, how many people unsubscribe from your campaigns and your open rate (which will probably be between 20 and 40%). Ideally the next step is to measure the business value of the email campaign based on how many people took action.
3. Comply with Anti-Spam Laws
Complying with local anti-spam laws is a critical part of your email marketing program.
Unfortunately I still see way too many people sending emails to multiple people using Outlook, with their full email list displayed for all to see in the “To” field.
Outlook style emails might be OK when you are starting out and your list is small, but never ever ever share your list. If you use this method add the list to the “bcc” field. And make sure you offer a way to opt out of the list.
A much better option is to use a program like MailChimp, as mentioned above. MailChimp lets people unsubscribe and be removed from the list automatically, so there is no chance that you’ll accidentally email then again in future.
Find out what you need to do to comply with Australian anti-spam laws in our article on Do you have consent from your subscribers?
What other tips to you have for successful email marketing campaigns?