In this era of smart devices, online marketing is a cheap and effective way of getting your message across to customers. For small businesses who cannot afford traditional marketing channels like TV advertisements, online marketing will be helpful in order to reach more customers and make them aware of your product or service.
With proven results of boosting sales and generating leads, it is no wonder that email marketing campaigns are increasingly being used by businesses, both large and small.
As business emails become more popular, one question arises: How to get the customer to open and read your emails out of the many that he may be receiving? Here are some tips for running a successful email marketing campaign:
1. Beware of anti-spam laws: An email marketing campaign does not mean collect a list of all people or businesses that would benefit from your product or service and send them an email. You will find yourself on the wrong side of the law. As per Australia’s anti-spam laws, you can only email customers who actively consented to receiving your emails. Even pre-checked boxes in your website to join an email list are not permitted.
2. Permission based emails are effective: This is about effectively converting strangers to loyal customers. If your messages are valuable, people will read them – and share them with friends. A sign-up form on your website, asking for emails when people make a purchase, trade shows etc. are legal ways of building a permission-based email list.
3. Find out the best times to send mail: When should you send your email for maximum success? Many people check emails throughout the day, but are more likely to open business mails during certain times. Afternoon emails have been shown to be generally more successful than early morning or night time emails. The opening rate also varies based on the day of the week. As a general rule, midweek emails are best.
4. Let customers choose how frequently they want to receive mails: Frequency of emails is also important to get the desired results. Make the customer involved in this decision by having them choose weekly or monthly emails. Customers are more likely to open an email, the frequency of which they can control.
5. Send mails to targeted audience by segmentation: Do not send a generic email to everyone in your list. Of course, a newsletter or news of a goal achievement can be generic, but information on a new product for parents of young children? That should be to a targeted audience. Segmenting your list based on customer preferences, demographics, hobbies etc. help increase marketing success.
6. Personalise your email: Addressing customers by name, signing off as a person instead of a company and adopting a conversational style for your email are all ways to personalise your email and develop a relationship. After all, your aim is to build a loyal customer base.
7. Choose an interesting subject line: The subject chosen should be honest and interesting. Do not put anything like FREE in the subject line as it will probably be mistaken for spam. Instead of a general ‘January newsletter’, give more information about the actual content.
8. Add value to your content: The most important part of your email is of course, the content. Your email should offer something of value to the customer – information on a new product, handy tips or hints, a discount for a previously purchased product, regional bargains – something which make the customer feel special.
9. Make your email readable: Do not offer a long-winded message with no formatting. Use bulleting, numbered lists or columns as necessary and avoid italics or ALL CAP styles. If you are using graphics or videos, always include a text-only option. The length of your email is also crucial – you can choose shorter, more frequent emails or a longer, occasional email. This depends mainly on the nature of your business and the information you want to convey.
10. Include the call to action: Successful email campaigns always include a call to action at the end – sign up for more offers, buy a product, get a discount when you purchase something. The mail should include links to your website which will encourage leads and increase traffic. Make sure your email includes an encouragement to forward to like-minded friends.
11. Add unsubscribe option in every mail: A legal email marketing campaign should have an unsubscribe option at the end of each mail. Unsubscribing can be through a link with a clickable choice, or just a mail sent with ‘Unsubscribe’ as the subject.
12. Keep track and measure the success of your campaign: Different email marketing software are available which help you to measure Click-through rates, get real-time reports, run an A/B subject line test etc. which will help you improve the success of your campaign.
Email is a powerful marketing medium, when used properly. You can use it to communicate with customers, build a trustworthy relationship and get valuable feedback. Make your email marketing campaign a success by following these simple strategies.