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Making email marketing work for your business

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Email marketing has the potential to be a highly effective element of your marketing strategy – but only if you get it right.  Reaching the right people, ensuring they open your email and then encouraging them to buy are the main aim, but what do you need to do to make email marketing work for your business?

Find a reputable email marketing service

First things first and your starting point to successful email marketing should be to use a reputable digital marketing company. Digital marketing companies will manage mailing lists, deliver marketing emails and then monitor the response rate.  Never try to use your own Outlook to send out marketing emails as it is certain to land you in difficulties with your internet service provider, your emails are likely to be flagged as being spam and you have a high chance of your email server being blacklisted.

Steer clear of ‘spammy’ words

Using words such as ‘Cash’, ‘Be amazed’ and ‘Free’ will attract unwanted attention from spam filters.  Rather than using spammy words and phrases, try to be concise in your message.  Also, be aware that using pound signs, exclamation marks, percentage symbols and capitals letters also tend be considered a sign of spam!  Whatever you do, don’t ‘scream’ at your recipients.

Design and content of your emails

The design of marketing emails is important: a less formal design is best for marketing to consumers and HTML emails should be avoided as the high ratio of images compared to text could lead to your messages being trapped by spam filters. If you want to use an HTML template, the safest option is to get a designer to create a template, but steer clear of the free templates which are widely available online. Your digital marketing company might be able to help as some offer HTML design as part of their service.

Success starts with a quality email list

Successful email marketing campaigns start with a good quality mailing list so if you have an old list, try to avoid using it as it’s likely to create more bounce-backs than positive responses.  In addition, using an old list puts you at risk of being questioned by your ESP as to how your list was obtained.

Sending out unsolicited emails is against the law: your recipients must have consented to receiving your emails.  With this in mind, the best quality list is one which your existing customers have ‘opted in’ to receiving email communications from you.

In email marketing content is king

Email marketing messages must be relevant to those who receive them.  Organising your list into different interest groups is a great way to tailor the content to help increase relevancy and you should always include personalisation in the greeting and subject line.

Is timing important?

There’s been much debate on the best day of the week or time to send out marketing meals.  Although it’s difficult to discover the optimum time, you could try experimenting by sending out emails at a range of times and on weekdays or weekends, before monitoring the results.

Regularity of emails encourages loyalty

Don’t just send one email and then give-up. Sending out regular marketing emails means that the recipients will come to expect your messages; however it’s sensible to experiment with the timing as bombarding your audience is never a good idea. Not everyone on your email marketing list will be ready to buy, however by sending regular emails you have more chance of hitting your target audience at a time when they are thinking about your products or services.

Measure your email marketing success using analytics

For the majority of businesses who use email marketing, actual conversion rates, rather than the number of clicks and email opens, is the best gauge of success.  Google Analytics can be used to analyse the traffic statistics, however your email marketing software should measure the sales and traffic generated by each individual campaign.  It is even possible to measure the performance of each separate link within your email to help you decide which is most effective.

Try offering more in your emails

Although this might sound pretty obvious but why not try giving your email marketing recipients good reasons to not only open the email but to buy something too?  Free delivery, competitions or time-limited offers are great ways to do this; remember that by offering more than you do normally, they’ll be far more inclined to stay on your list.