Email marketing is widely regarded in the marketing industry as one of the most cost-effective forms of regular communication. So it’s always a surprise to us when businesses are underutilising this activity. As such, we’re doing a series of blogs all about email marketing and how to go about getting it right.
Yes we all get hundreds of emails a week and the sceptics would say that they’re therefore a waste of time. But even amongst the crowd, email campaigns can and do work; generating enquiries and revenue for businesses. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t still receive so many, would you?
In the first edition of the series, here are some top tips for ensuring your email marketing activity hits the mark.
Numerous studies suggest that email marketing that includes a person’s name is more likely to evoke a response. Many mail programmes allow you to personalise the ‘to’ field of an email, and some even enable adding the recipient’s name into the email subject line.
This of course requires a bit of extra effort when inputting recipient info into your database as you will have to enter a first name alongside their email address. But who ever got anywhere without a bit of effort?!
Many lists make light work
It may be time consuming, but splitting your email data into targeted lists will make it much easier quicker when it comes to actually sending out emails. Whilst you may only currently send one type of email communication on a regular basis (perhaps an email newsletter), there may be a time when you want to use your database to send other forms of communications, such as emails about an event, a competition or a specific marketing message. You may not want everybody in your database to receive these emails, and will therefore have to weed through and select each and every recipient.
At the very least, have separate lists for clients, prospects and general contacts.
Having separate lists will also make it much easier to do the following…
Target, target, target
As with every marketing communication you send out, it will only have the desired effect if it appeals to the audience it is trying to persuade. So rather than sending the same email out to everyone, you will get more bang for your buck if you are able to send out tailored messages to different groups or types of customer. For example, you would want to send a completely different message out to customers who haven’t used you for a while than you would to active customers or those who have never used you before.
If you have put the time and effort in to produce a beautifully crafted email, don’t ruin it by using a dull title! Try to make the title of your email snappy as this is the only way you have of encouraging the recipient to open it, no matter how great the content.
Words are great (I make a living out of them!) but having too many in an email marketing communication very rarely works. If your email is informative, use images to break up text into manageable sections. Any if images are the focus, make sure they’re good ones! This is particularly true if you are selling a product – great photography can make the difference between somebody clicking through to visit your website (and perhaps even going on to make a purchase) and simply pressing the trash can icon; condemning you to their black hole of deleted items.
If you don’t have your own photography, use stock images. But be careful about copyright permissions – only use images that you purchase or are marked for re-use.