Do you remember the days when getting an email was more exciting that getting a letter? We do, and we aim to create email marketing campaigns that bring back that spark. As the internet marketing toolbox has expanded to include social media, video messages and PPC advertising, email lists have lost ground. This is somewhat unfair as, at their best, email messages provide great value to both the sender and recipient. Email messages can be personalized and targeted so they provide actual useful information to the recipient. They wait until the recipient is ready to read them, rather than getting lost in a tweet stream, and they’re very nearly free. Below we’ll discuss a few of the magic ingredients we’ve found to turn a humble email into an internet marketing sensation.
Weigh and measure your audience
It’s essential to know your audience as this will dictate the type, frequency, content and tone of email that will be most successful. As an example, imagine 2 companies who know their clients are mainly thirty-something women. One is a B2B, emailing people at work, the other a lifestyle brand for parents. The first might send short, single topic emails with a clear subject line, recognising that most will be deleted unread but knowing that when one is opened it’ll be useful and that their audience will appreciate being able to winnow their inbox quickly. The other might send a long email, with lots of tempting pictures, on a Friday night after about 7pm when their audience might be sitting down with a glass of wine ready to treat themselves.
Target your offers and tips
Once you’ve understood your audience, don’t be afraid to segment them to target your offers. As an obvious example, if you’re having a grand open day at your store in Hampshire, your customers in Glasgow are unlikely to care. Remember that your customers have limited time and attention to give their emails, so will appreciate receiving fewer, more relevant messages.
Add a tempting headline
Once you know your audience, you’ll be better able to judge which offers, news stories or tips will make the best headlines. Your goal is to get subscribers to open your email – and to stop them unsubscribing. To do this, you need to offer them something that’s genuinely useful at a time when they’re ready to deal with it. As an example, not many people want to buy Christmas cards in January, but plenty will be looking for a great deal on them in November.
Avoid looking like spam
Be careful not to make your email look like spam, even as a post-ironic joke. Spam-like emails may be picked up by automatic spam filters and never get to your client’s inbox. Even if they do get through, the recipient may delete them unread or even mark them as spam, damaging your credibility with the email service.
Check your results
As internet marketing experts, we wish we could write out a formula like: 1 picture + 1 snappy headline + 1 offer (50-70% off) or 2 offers (25-50% off) = SUCCESS! Sadly, every industry and company is different so the only way to ensure an internet marketing campaign is successful is to measure and monitor the results. Keep track of the uptake of offers, whether your list is growing or shrinking, the percentage of emails opened and click through rates. Use this to guide your future communications: do more of what seemed to work and you’ll quickly build a successful campaign.