Before you embark on any email marketing campaign, you must first know and clearly identify your goal i.e. who you want to reach? What action you want them to take? And so on. The more clearly you are able to define who you want to reach, the more focused and effective your email campaign will be.
The next step will be crafting your email campaign. Show respect for the privacy of your email recipients, by ensuring that you have specifically sought and received the permission of each person on your mailing list to send them emails.
Build your own mailing list one at a time, at a steady pace through your website’s newsletter subscription form and other online and offline efforts focusing on the quality of subscriber information on the list and not quantity. Though a slow and tedious process, it is better than renting or buying an email marketing list because your campaign will be well received by your audience and avoid the risk of being labelled as SPAM i.e. unsolicited email which will only get you into trouble and can land you on an ISP (Internet Service Provider) blacklist!
When crafting your email newsletter, make your audience feel special by including as much personal information as possible being careful not to make them think you’re a stalker. For instance, including the first name, company name etc, of your recipients will not only make your message more personalized, it will also make them feel special.
Your email campaign should provide value to your recipients. Keep your message simple and straightforward, give your audience what they want to hear and make sure you message is enticing, engaging and influences them to take action.
Remember to run a few tests before launching your email campaign to make sure that you cover all bases. Just because your email looks great in Yahoo! mail does not mean it looks great in AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail Services, etc. So it’s a good idea to create free email accounts on as many email clients as possible and send ‘test’ emails to yourself and close friends and colleagues first to see how it looks before you launch your actual campaign proper.
Pay attention to tracking results with the aid of a good analytics tool installed on your website or through whatever tool provided by your preferred ESP (Email Service Provider). It’s only through tracking and testing your results that you will be able to determine what’s working and what’s not. Use the knowledge derived to craft your subsequent email campaigns. Keep your campaigns fresh by trying new innovations from time to time to make each new campaign better than the last one. This will help keep your audience eager and excited to receive your next email.
It is only by tracking and testing your results that you will be able to know when (i.e. what day/time you should send out your email campaigns) to send your email campaigns, how often you should email your target audience, etc. This is why tracking the results of your email campaigns is very important. Use such indices as your open, click and conversion rates – as seen in the dashboard provided by your ESP – to find what works best for you.
To help you automate your email marketing, there are several email service providers available like VerticalResponse, Constant Contact, etc, that you can sign up with. Do you research first to find out the one that has all the features you need and that’s most convenient for you before you sign up for their service.
Email marketing plays a vital role in your online marketing mix and if done properly will help you grow your brand to make you more successful. If you find email marketing too complex and time consuming, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help!
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