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Email Marketing: 11 Steps to Getting it Right


like throwing a party, anybody can send an email but not everyone knows how to do a great job of it.Email marketing is an ideal tool for reaching a large customer base at a low cost. So why are so many individuals and companies getting it wrong? Like throwing a party, anybody can do it but that doesn’t mean they know how to get it right. Here are some simple steps explaining the right formula for your campaign.

1. Prepare

Set the goals for your email marketing campaign. Will you use promotional emails which have immediate goals such as the user making a purchase? Or are your goals long-term which would require building a relationship with the user?

2. Invites

Define your database for the email campaign. Targeting relevant segments of your database will ensure the right message reaches the right audience. Get permission – nobody likes a spammer so don’t ruin your company’s reputation before you’ve even started.

3. Identify Yourself

Recipient: Who’s this from? I don’t recognise the address. This might be spam or a virus. I couldn’t be bothered to find out. Delete.

This is where you’re knocking on the door. No matter what email program you use, there’s an option to customise the “from name” and “from address”. Use them to identify yourself to set your messages apart from other mail and create a personified message.
Best practice: [Becky at TechnoGeek] becky@technogeek.co.za

4. Be Upfront

Recipient: Oh good, let’s see what TechnoGeek has to offer this week to make my life easier.

Your subject line gets your foot in the door. Avoid using overpromising words like Free, Win unless it’s in context. Exclamation marks here are a no-no. Be honest about what your intention is.
Best practice: TechnoGeek Weekly News: Power Savers for an Energy Efficient Life

5. Greet Individuals

Recipient: “Dear Jacky”? That’s me. They’ve taken the trouble to use the info I submitted so what do they have to say to me.

Remember you’re communicating with people, not an inbox. If you’ve made the effort to collect names for your email list, use them. Everyone likes to see their name in lights (or at least at the top of a page) and is likely to read on if they feel valued.

6. Keep It Simple

Recipient: I know your company covers a lot of topics but I don’t have a lot of time. I’m going to skim this email and see if there’s anything that looks interesting.

If an item is worthy of making it to a newsletter, it’d better be engaging for the reader. If you present more than one idea per newsletter, make use of links to the full content on your website.

As a rule of thumb, if you can get the gist of any newsletter by reading the eye-catching subheadings and bold font for keywords, then it’s good.
You don’t have to cram every piece of news into your newsletter. Using an enticing link for readers to follow can generate traffic to your website.

7. Avoid Trapping

There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped and not being able to opt out of an email subscription is like a trap. Even if they won’t use it, have an unsubscribe link to gain trust and integrity. Other useful links in the footer include a forward function so the news can be shared and of course a link to an appropriate landing page on your website.

8. Topical Choice

What you write about in your email must be relevant and valuable to the reader, not to you. It’s important to research what your readership wants and then supply that in order to gain and keep up the interest.

9. Visual Decor

Test your market to find out what the best time of day and week is to send an email. Send it in the format they can read i.e. html or plain text. It’s simple enough to set up so make it readable when it hits their inbox.

10. Mix and Mingle

An email campaign, or any other marketing tactic for that matter, is stronger if integrated with other marketing activities – online or offline. For example, a shoe shopper reads the email and clicks through to the website where they get more exposure to the company and the detailed product information they seek. More browsing locates a nearby store which directs them to the store, in front of a floor salesperson = sale.
Say you’re running a recruitment drive for the month. Communicate this in all your correspondence – even billing mail. This cross-over makes use of existing communication channels and reinforces the message.

11. Happy Guests

In another item, I explain the importance of measuring marketing tactics. What can be measured in an email campaign to assess success?
• The number of emails delivered
• Number of soft and hard bounces
• Number of emails opened
• Number of unsubscribes
• Number of forwards
• Click-through rates and conversion

With so many individuals and companies using email marketing, many readers are feeling overloaded. Use the above guidelines to create interesting, useful, quality emails that will be read.

Happy email-ing!
Claudine at Triquetra Consulting

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