Email marketing is an effective way to keep in touch with your existing customers, prospects, and networking contacts. When partnered with a strong inbound marketing program (including local SEO and social media), it’s a great tool to generate new leads and revenue, thereby growing your business. However, in order to be as powerful as it can be, you’ll want to design your email marketing campaign in such a way that it 1) gets through the spam and junk filters of your recipients, 2) is compelling enough to be opened and read, and 3) incites action and qualifies a lead (i.e., a phone call or email reply).
Below are seven easy steps you’ll need to follow to make your email marketing campaign a success:
7 Easy Steps for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns
1. Define your campaign objective(s) as clearly as possible.
Be specific. Know your target audience for each list segment and craft your message accordingly. Decide what action you want each list segment to take. Some possible techniques might be to offer a promotion for a product or service, to announce a new product or service, or to drive traffic to your website (by way of a blog or article, for example).
2. Choose an email marketing provider.
It’s important to research a bit here. If you can, talk to other businesses you know to find out who they’re using and the results they’ve seen. There are several reputable companies, three of which are: Constant Contact, GetResponse, and MailChimp.
3. Develop an “opt-in” technique
Many email marketing providers will require that all of your contacts have opted in. This simply means that the contact gives you permission to send them emails by signing up in some fashion and confirming their email address. Having contacts opt-in not only increases your chances that your email will be opened and read, but it’s a best practice to avoid having unsolicited emails discarded or reported as spam to your email marketing provider. You can include a sign-in form link on all outgoing business emails, add links to a sign-up form to all electronic documents you send to customers, or include an email sign-up form on each web page.
4. Create a new email database or “scrub” an existing one.
If you’re like most businesses setting up an email marketing list, you likely have a few with expired information. Take the time to update existing information and scrub expired listings from your database. There are online tools, such as Verify-Email.org and VerifyEmailAddress.org, that will verify that your email addresses are active.
5. Compose compelling copy that’s useful to your audience.
Keep the design simple and uncluttered. Keep graphics to a minimum (about 20% of your email) and write relevant and meaningful copy in easy-to-read fonts and standard font sizes.
6. Create a standout subject line.
This is where the rubber meets the road. It needs to be attention-grabbing to get the reader to open the email.Your subject line should include no more than 50 characters and should include your company name. In order to minimize the chances of your email ending up labeled as spam, avoid words such as “free”, “call now”, or “urgent”. You could consider segmenting the mailing list and testing different subject lines to see what delivers the better open rate.
7. Implement a system to track results
Your email provider should have a “dashboard” for each campaign that will allow you to view the following (among other statistics):
· Received/open rate
· Click-through rate
It’s vital that you develop a way to follow up with those recipients who open and click through, so that those leads don’t fall through the cracks!
So, now you know the benefits of email marketing, the power of a well-designed email marketing strategy, and the steps to create and execute an effective email marketing campaign. All email marketing efforts should be consistent with a well-planned marketing strategy, and they should be done frequently to attract attention with the objective of lead generation – getting the reader to take action.