The Importance of an Effective E-Mail Campaign
In late 2012, the Harvard Business Review’s blog contributor Bill Lee claimed ‘Marketing Is Dead’. Lee went on to suggest advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications, as we know it are ineffective. Instead, as a result of more brand advocates interacting online, social media is the be all and end all. Lee may of grasped that mobile and web-based content is on the rise, but he failed to recognize the ‘traditional’ methods are still essential elements to creating adequate campaigns, brands, and plans.
Email marketing has changed significantly as online users treat their mailboxes like real estate, often redirected unrecognized senders to the trash. It’s heartbreaking to think that people are making snap judgments about whether or not to read your emails based on a quick glance, but they are. Your organization may have a solid mailing list of devotees who believe in the good work you output, but without an effectively designed email, you’ll appear as stagnant as junk mail. In order to reinvent a traditional marketing medium with the same power as social media, companies need to ensure every email sent looks pleasant, reader-friendly, and has a seamless layout.
If you have a great product, customers will probably want to buy from you again. But that doesn’t mean they’ll always remember to. According to Practical eCommerce, only 5% of new customers that make a purchase with a company return to the site, and only 3% make a second purchase. More importantly, Practical eCommerce also found that customers who have recently made a purchase on your site are more than twice as likely to return to your site and complete a purchase when they receive remarketing emails.
Below, we’ve provided a list of creative and practical ideas for you to consider in rebranding your email marketing campaign. Leading brands like Pottery Barn, Coca Cola, and Olympus to name a few have already adapted and are excelling with their own programs. Take a look, and get some inspiration so you can generate more revenue out of a contact database that already loves you!
1) Use a Clean ‘From’ Field
Upon logging into our Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook Express, or other email server, we’re greeted by unread marked messages. In the blink of an eye, we can usually decipher what appears to be spam and what’s important. This is because a great email experience begins before you recipient even opens the message- it all starts with the “From:” field.
2) Choose the Right E-Mail Marketing Software
CRM systems can range from simple database models to more complex systems that include sales force management, shopping carts, affiliate programs and e-mail behavior campaigns. Infusionsoft offers complete CRM capabilities, which include not only database and campaign management but also offer information on interest, preference and purchase behaviors so that you can tailor your message and campaigns. Other systems, such as Mail Chimp , Constant Contact and AWeber offer more basic e-mail database and campaign management services. Decide what capabilities you want and use a checklist to compare systems. Most e-mail programs have training and free support to guide you through the learning process.
3) Build a List
Even if you only have 10 e-mail addresses, you need to start somewhere. Add those to your database. Once you have your list started, make sure that you launch a campaign to keep in touch and in front of your contacts without overwhelming their inbox. I suggest two e-mails per month maximum. It’s not about e-mail quantity; it’s about quality.
4) Offer Something of Value First, Not a Sales Pitch
Just because someone converts on your page doesn’t mean you should jump straight into sending them an email about requesting a quote or a demo. You need to nurture them through the sales funnel first to make them readier to buy. Instead of pitching your product as the greatest thing ever, you should first offer value. Examples of valuable offers include webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers. You don’t have to create new content for your lead nurturing emails—if you have a backlog of content, utilize those assets. If they’ve been successful converting leads in the past, there’s a high chance the leads you’re nurturing will find value in them, too.
5) Monitor Results
Once per month, look at reporting (metrics) to see which e-mails are more effective and have a higher rate of opening as well as click-through. Use the lessons learned to build your next campaign. It’s important to know how your list is responding to the e-mails that you send. If you aren’t getting a good click-through response, the problem is either the quality of your message or the topic. Test a few e-mails with your top customers to see what they respond to and what they don’t respond to (one common test is to send the same message with several different subject lines to see what your list favors). Offer recipients a discount on services for their time.