By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
Email marketing is growing in popularity. However to be successful in today’s business climate and to reach the more savvy recipients it is essential to understand the dynamics of email marketing — from spam filters, content creation that inspires, email branding, the ability to test and track, group segmentation and more. In popular response to my previous article, “Increase Your Email Campaign Effectiveness”, I have added some additional key guidelines to consider in order to run a successful email marketing campaign and increase your ROI.
1. Test How Your Emails View
HTML emails and look and function differently when viewed. To ensure correct rendering of pictures, colors and graphics, you should: send a sample email to the major providers like EarthLink, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo! to flag bad links, poor visual or other formatting problems; use an email provider that will show you how your email is viewed; and most importantly, design an email header that will give the viewer the chance to see the offer or desired outcome.
2. Insure Deliver and Flag Spam Filters
It is always a good idea to text your content against spam filters and see what gets blocked. You can have great creative and enticing offers but if they don’t pass the spam test, you wasted your money. If you have a high rate of blocked emails, consider optimizing your emails for inbox delivery, create good headers, and rewrite the content.
13. Give Subscribers Admin Control
Recipients need to feel in control to manage their subscriptions, be able to contact you and send information to others. These admin functions should be embedded in every email, usually at the bottom so they don’t have to search for it.
4. Test, Test and Test Some More
The best way to achieve optimum results is to test your emails, not only for deliverability, but for content. Subject lines, offers, time sensitive date and expiration date are test factors. You can even segment your list to compare one to the other to see which is more effective for open rate and sales.
5. Send a Clear Value Proposition
You want to give your recipients good reasons to open your email. An Email Value Proposition should be unique and consistent with your brand messaging and marketing objectives; and of course it should be clearly defined, engaging and motivate one to open your email by being benefits driven. Of course, when they open the email your message should keep with their expectation of your offer to them.
6. Segment Your List
You can use information on your subscribers who have opted-in by dividing them into groups or segments. Then you can deliver a unique and targeted message to each group. Offering these segments more targeted or relevant information will insure greater email success. Segmenting also helps you better understand your audience, trends and demographics for your products or services.
7. Personalize Your Message
If you know your recipient’s interests and behaviors – like buying patterns, hobbies, and geographic location — you can use their personal information to develop more relevant and valuable emails. We generally open emails that peak our interest or we can relate to the topic.
8. Consider Mobile and Social Media
Remember that more often your emails will be seen on mobile devices and your HTML might look like gibberish. So be sure to test accordingly and offer viewers a mobile version option. Social media is another selling opportunity to gain response and ROI. Combine social media marketing with your email marketing campaign can produce greater results. And of course, use your social media links in your emails
9. Email and the Marketing Mix
You should have an overall marketing plan that integrates email marketing. If you combine email campaigns with CPC, mobile, social media, direct mail, webinars you will have a coordinated effort that will increase your chance of web success. Other suggestions are to develop keyword rich landing pages to increase your Internet presence, promote online newsletters, use social media to boost your email opt-in list and do not neglect mobile as a powerful marketing force.
10. Deliver Value – Often
There are many ways to deliver the same message. You need new fresh ways to connect to your subscribers. Things change overnight on the web and you must be prepared to act and react to subscriber needs and the competition. Ask for feedback, keep up with trends and the demands of your customer base. You may have to revise your email campaigns to deliver consistent value and be true to your Email Value Proposition.
Measuring for Success
The success of an email campaign should be based on certain metrics – not jus open and click-through rates. Establish your objectives and the measure of your performance. For example, a yardstick might be based upon how many downloads your get, number of transactions, direct sales or leads for a coupon code offer, and email or phone responses. As always, we like to hear from our readers on how they have overcome their email challenges.
If you liked this article you may also like:
- Increase Your Email Campaign Effectiveness
- Integrating Social Media into Your Email Marketing Campaign
- Don’t Forget Your Roots: Email Marketing for 2011