Thursday, December 21, 2006
Those who don't believe in the efficacy of email are not using the email medium effectively. Chances are these are the same individuals who send out mass emails without segmentation or an understanding of the purchase decision process.
Here are a number of key factors to keep in mind when engaging in email marketing.
1. Build your own email list. Emails that receive the highest open and click-through rates are house-lists. Simply stated, a house list is a database of email addresses that you've collected from individuals exchanging information with you on your website.
The easiest and most efficient way to build your house list is to offer an email sign-up (for a newsletter, promotion, or access to valuable information) on every page of your website. The more individuals who opt-in, the greater your database and chance for building profitable customer relationships.
2. Be relevant. This may seem obvious, but if you're sending the same email to everyone on you email list, you may have fallen into this trap. Relevancy is more than delivering a message that recipients find valuable, it's also timing your message according to a recent action, event, or behavior.
For example, if someone has recently singed up for a newsletter, engage them immediately. Even if you next newsletter doesn't come out for another month, provide them with the existing month's newsletter or access to your newsletter archive. If someone is taking the time to raise their hand and opt-in for your information, which is clearly relevant to their wants, don't make them wait.
3. Provide something of value. If you're not providing something of value, you'll quickly find your database of email subscribers dwindling. Users will only open your email if you provide valuable information, tools, resources, or content that they find useful. When developing your email program, be sure to think it through and solicit feedback from your audience to continually enhance value.
5. Develop an opt-out page. It still amazes me that many marketers are still using a generic opt-out. Smart marketers are using an opt-out page with between 8 and 12 opt out options. For example, is the user opting out of "important updates regarding their account"? Or maybe just "the monthly newsletter"? The key is to offer options so that users get the information that's important to them and you retain the right to contact them.
6. Effective email takes focus. In the past decade, I've seen my share of effective email as well as email that costs more to deliver than return. The most effective email comes in the form of a well thought through campaign, utilization of email best practices (like having an accurate from line, subject line, designing for the preview pane, having a link for those who can't read your html, CAN-SPAM compliance, and so on), and technology to deliver emails in a disciplined and organized fashion.
If you are sending emails whenever you feel like it or without a specific purpose, then you're not getting the most out of your email program. You should think of email as a medium that requires daily management. Messages should be relevant, consistent, and provide value to the recipient.
Delivering effective email campaigns can be learned. The one thing to keep in mind is that if you want to get results from your email, than work through the consumers purchase decision process (by product, by segment). If your email program can move individuals through this process in an effective way, email will be more than electronic messaging – it will become a revenue driver!For more valuable email marketing tips, visit MarketingScoop.com.