I’ve not done many email marketing campaigns, mostly because I dislike being on the receiving end of such campaigns, so I made the decision to basically avoid that method of outreach. I was remiss, because there are times when an email marketing campaign fits the bill. Content marketing, or the new advertising, is an excellent way to stay in contact with clients and cultivate prospective clients and that strategy forms the basis of email marketing campaigns.
What I needed to do was learn how to craft an effective email message, create a catchy subject line, avoid looking like spam and send the email to the right group of people. In other words, I had to learn how to do a proper email marketing campaign. To that end, I invite you to copy my homework.
1. Start with a good list
Everyone on your email list should want to receive your emails. Include a safe unsubscribe feature to allow those who would rather not receive your emails to opt out. When collecting names, ask if the person would like to receive email updates from you. To track emails sent, you may want to invest in Did They Read It http://didtheyreadit.com, which will anonymously report to you the read rate of your emails. Constant Contact http://constantcontact.com , the email marketing platform, will send out and track your email marketing messages and your newsletter, too. According to the Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark study done by the marketing firm Silverpop in 2012, the open rate is 20%. The click-through rate, or the measurement of how many people clicked on a link that was embedded in your email and most of all the conversion rate, or how many people signed up for a special offer or did business with you, reveal the value of your email list. Still, the open rate is a very telling measure because nothing happens until the email is opened.
2. Information, not sales
A few paragraphs that give newsworthy updates about the industry sectors of your principle client groups, or info that can be used to help list members solve a common problem, will greatly improve your email open rate. An email marketing campaign is not the forum in which to swing for the fences and score a big sale or assignment. Rather, an email marketing campaign is the place to let your expertise shine and offer no-cost value to current and prospective clients.
3. Subject line that pops
Be edgy and provocative, be witty, be amusing, but don’t be boring. When your recipient opens emails and is faced with a huge stack, make him/her want to open yours and see what you have to say.
4. Interesting photo or video
A picture is worth 10,000 words, so add a good photo or two to your email, one that communicates some aspect of your message. A short video of you speaking to a topic, or a testimonial by one of your clients, is also compelling.
5. Easy call to action
Once you’ve made the case, remember to ask the recipient to do something with the information that you’ve provided: take a survey, sign up for a free 30 minute consultation, sign up for your newsletter. Resist the temptation to go for the jugular and force a sale in your email marketing campaign. The more successful strategy is to entice the recipient to make some small contact with you that appears to have more benefit for them than it does for you. Build trust and familiarity first and you will become the obvious choice when your services are needed.
6. Optimize for smart phones
It has been reported that nearly half of all emails are now opened up via smart phone. Figure out how to size and space your email and links to make it easy to read on a smart phone.
Despite numerous pronouncements to the contrary, email marketing is alive and well, according to a January 2013 survey conducted by the marketing services provider Experian. Their survey indicated that correctly conceived email marketing campaigns remain the best way to draw traffic to your website and increase sales revenue. So copy my homework and get busy creating one for your business.
Thanks for reading,