Forgotten Characteristics of an Effective E-mail Marketing Campaign.

E-mail marketing. With the right touches of finesse, it can be incredibly effective. You can’t just send out a group of words to a list of people and expect societal interest in your company to shoot through the roof. As with all digital marketing pieces, you have to carefully select your message, tailor it to an audience you’ve hand picked, and then time the delivery perfectly to get the best open and click-through rates. There are lots of little details to e-mail marketing right, but none of them mean anything if you haven’t done the four things below first.

E-mail Marketing Travels Well.

People get their e-mail virtually everywhere: on their smartphones, tablets, laptops… the list goes on. Responsive design is picking up speed, so you’ve probably already noticed marketing efforts are beginning to tailor themselves to different sized screens. Similarly, you should check to make sure your e-mail is going to render well in all the major e-mail clients out there. Each client will display the e-mail a little differently, and you don’t want to lose potential business because your e-mail looks broken. Your clients will think “G’z, how hard is to send an e-mail? If they can’t even do that right, what does that say about the rest of their business?”

Most e-mail software programs have a test you can run to see how your message will look under the different circumstances. Here are the office we use Campaign Monitor, but some of the other reputable programs include Constant Contact, MailChimp and Active Campaign.

Figure Out Your Message Before You Send the First E-mail.

The beauty of sending out e-mails is that you get to choose exactly who receives them, as opposed to a newspaper or magazine ad, where anyone who picks up the publication sees it. For those people, your ad might not be relevant. But with e-mail marketing, these are people who have to opt in, or give some kind of consent for you to send them information, which means you’re not talking to people who aren’t listening.

That said, make sure your message is incredibly clear, and if you’re sending a multi-part campaign, have the theme for each message laid out to ensure you don’t repeat yourself. After all, that’s why they want to hear from you – you have fresh, interesting information from them they haven’t heard before.

Real Life Example

Let’s set this to a practical application. For example, are you sending a series of e-mails to everyone signed up for an upcoming seminar? Say you decide on a three-part campaign. The first e-mail could be sent out two weeks before the seminar and give people important information such as the address of the seminar, and general schedule details. Then the following e-mails can serve as reminders, and include information such as what topics will be covered during the seminar, who will be speaking etc. Then the third and final reminder can include details such as what will be served for lunch, surrounding attractions, and upcoming events.

You could always include a roundup e-mail (post-event), which thanks them for attending the seminar, provides brief recaps of what went on, and some highlights. Then give them a way to follow up.

Include a Clear Call to Action.

Yes, you want them to read the content in your e-mail, but you also want them to do something else. If you want them to sign up for your upcoming event, include a link to the sign up form on your website. If you want them to place an order for the book you’re promoting, send them a link to the checkout page. You get the idea. Don’t just refer to the place you want them to go – take them there and make their decision to convert easy.

Treat the Subject Line like a Headline.

The first step to getting people to open your e-mail is to grab their attention with the subject line. You might have a killer header in the content of your message, but what good will that do you if nobody opens the e-mail in the first place?

If you keep these things in mind as you’re crafting your campaign, it will make the details like delivery time and report analysis seem just so – like details.

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