Successful email marketing
These days how many people really take the time to read an email newsletter. Unless its offering you a discount at your favourite restaurant / retailer or offering news on your favourite sports team you probably don’t have ‘time’ for it.
When email marketing particularly if you are targeting businesses, there is a lot to consider in order to be successful. Email may be a speedy way to reach prospects, but unless you are enticing them into information that is valuable and easy to digest, your time and effort may end up unread and in the trash.
To do this right takes some planning. So don’t get lost in cyberspace, follow these tips to ensure the best success rates for your email marketing.
1. Target Audience & Segmentation
Consider your target audience in relation to the message you are sending out – does it make sense for every person on your list to receive the same message in exactly the same way or is there a way you can segment your database and approach different types of people in a different way? You could tailor your message to each individual – for example based on their previous or current activity with you or by their differing needs from your service. Think about ways to segment your database, perhaps by gender, industry, geographical location.
Segmentation is a smart way to market and ensures you give your prospect a message they are most likely to respond to. This can increase the chances of your email being viewed and therefore increase the possibility of a click-through or contact.
So check what fields of information you hold in your database, try segmentation, track your results to see if there is a difference in response.
2. Subject Line
Consider your subject line as this is the first thing your prospects will see. Does it really sell your message? The difference between – Newsletter July 2013 and Read the latest updates for July 2013 – The first is a dry statement and the second is a call-to-action which asks the prospect to do something… read on.
You should also consider mentioning a little more about what the email is about / who you are, especially if you are marketing to new prospects who have never heard of you – this doesn’t have to include your company name, but simply what this message could mean to the prospect, for example if a solicitors firm was communicating to small businesses: Read the latest employment law updates for business managers (July 2013). This would be ideal if you were also segmenting your database by industry or size of company because if you were targeting large companies, perhaps you would swap ‘business managers’ for ‘CEOs’.
Also if you are segmenting your database (mentioned above) a very easy way to tailor your message to contacts segmented by location could be simply to change the subject heading of your email. For example, if you segmented your database by location, mention that location like this: Read the latest employment law updates for Leicester business managers (July 2013).
3. Competitor Tracking
Consider your competition and what messages they are sending out. Sign up to your competitors email lists so that you can automatically receive their information – this will help you think about how you could improve your own message and out do them.
4. Digestible Content
Keep your email short and punchy – there is nothing more likely to turn a prospect off then to read long paragraphs of information. The fact is people respond better to visuals so make good use of images and diagrams and only short teasers of information with click-through links to read more on your website. Always include contact details.
Get a company like us to design eye-catching and corporate branded templates that heighten visual interest. We can send those as HTML emailers which will display across multiple platforms and typically make more impact than JPEGs sent via Outlook. [Check out our Facebook album]
5. Web Traffic
Always include one or more click-throughs to your website. Teaser information (as mentioned above) should encourage and increase traffic to your website which in turn can increase the chances of contact. The prospect will get a better feel for your business from your website – plus if they have decided to click-through, you would hope the website sells you to them completely so ensure your website is up-to-date and displaying correctly on all browsers and devices.
6. Landing Pages
Consider a dedicated landing page for your email campaign that carries forward the message you started in the email. Create links from the landing page to other areas of your website to navigate the prospect through all the information they might need to see in order for them to feel comfortable enough to contact you. Create call-to-actions throughout relevant areas of your website by directing visitors to your contact form or page so that you can call them.
Landing pages show you have put time and effort into the campaign because it is meaningful to you. It drives a notion of consistency to the prospect and a good visitor journey shows you value your visitors and have taken steps to make it easy for your prospect to get the information they need.
Not everybody will be interested in making contact, however don’t let that put you off. Remember its quality over quantity, particularly in B2B, so at least you have made sure every person has had the chance to make an informed decision.
7. Spam Filters
Use a low image to text ratio when constructing your email in HTML as having too many images can result in a high spam scoring. To avoid this, use more solid colours and graphic design – use images only for logos and supporting thumbnails for text. Ensure your text makes sense without the image as Outlook etc doesn’t download the images straight away.
Check the display of your email on various email clients like Outlook 03, 07 and 10, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc to ensure nothing is out of place. Also ensure your text is in a web-font so that it displays correctly across multiple devices. If you can, also check your email on mobile devices, as statistics say a higher percentage of business prospects will view your email on the go.
8. Results Analysis
Use a professional online emailer system so that you can track your results. You will be able to see simple graphs and charts showing how many people you sent your email to, how many opened it, how many clicked through and how many unopened, bounced or unsubscribed. You can also check your website hits on Google Analytics where you can see if your email marketing is making a difference in visitors, pages viewed and average duration on the site.
Make sure your web developer has linked your website to Google Analytics and you can be given access via any email address linked to Gmail.
By using a professional email system you can manage your entire email marketing activity better – we use Active Campaign to send emails on behalf of our clients whilst also showing clients how to download and use the same system in-house. Campaign Monitor is another system we highly recommend for user-friendly features and benefits. Finally, Mail Chimp is a nice low cost solution for those on a budget.
Check out the 2014 email benchmark report here.