Secrets to Developing The Perfect Email Marketing Campaign

Have you been using Email Marketing and getting lackluster results? Or maybe you are thinking about it – you have an email campaign sitting in draft form, notes jotted down on napkins and scraps of paper or just a clever idea or two in your head.

According to a Bain & Company report, repeat customers spend 67 percent more and are more profitable than new customers. That same report showed that increasing customer retention by 5 percent can see profit increases of 25 percent or more.

Email marketing is a low cost and highly effective way to drive customer loyalty and referral business – if you do it right!

So, before you hit the send button, use the following checklist to make sure your campaign is ready for “prime time.”

1. Define your goals.
Are you trying to motivate purchases, reinforce your brand, bring visitors back to visit your site or store, cue the reading of an article, prompt requests for more information, appointments or sign ups for a service?

2. Know your audience.
Are you targeting a segment of your customer base, your entire house list, a rental list of targeted prospects? What are their interests? What is important to them? Make sure your email addresses them and their needs.

3. Define your message.
Engage your audience and use what you know to determine how, and in what order, to describe the value of your offer.

4. Use an email marketing service.
If you want to be able to maximize the results of your email marketing, you need to be able to monitor the results of each email campaign. So you will need an email marketing service, such as Constant Contact, to create and deliver the campaign. The service will also provide tools for getting permission and managing your subscribers.

5. Send to people who opt-in – it’s works better and it’s the law.
Responses to your email marketing campaigns are driven by relationship. So buying a list isn’t going to work. When you send to a list of people who have opted in, you will generate greater response – not only in open rates and click-throughs, but in business opportunities and sales.

Apart from better results, it’s the law in Canada now – no spamming.
The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

6. Develop a systematic list-building process.
Build a permission-based contact list through connections with customers, at special events or conferences, when you connect with prospects, or by building a ‘resource relationship’ where you offer downloads or webinars.

Your email system should provide you with tools to capture permission in all the marketing activities you do – including website signup forms, Facebook apps, QR codes, text-to-join, desktop or tablet opt-in apps, database interfaces and other tools.

7. Be recognizable.
Does your “From:” line include your name or brand? Make sure you indicate clearly who your message is from – and make sure it is how your company or product is recognized. And use a relevant email address; Don’t, for example, send from a hotmail address.

8. Subject Lines Matter.
Is your “Subject” line the right length? Studies show that the optimal length for improving open rates is 5-8 word or 40 characters including spaces. Does the Subject line incorporate a specific benefit or accurately reflect your offer?

9. Content matters!
Effective use of email marketing requires thinking through the content of your email and preparing it according to the response you are trying to drive. Know what you want the recipient to do and incorporate a strong call to action. Focus on the benefits of the offer you are making or the information you are sharing.

10. Be personal.
Is your email personalized with the recipient’s first name last name or both, if appropriate? That can make the tone of your email very different from other marketing messages they receive. And write in a personal tone.

11. Use your Branding – But keep it real!
To keep your brand recognizable, be sure to use your corporate graphics – logos, photos and other images. It might be a good idea to hire a designer to get a template designed. But don’t make your email campaign so graphic-heavy that it doesn’t load quickly or can’t be read if images are not enabled. Be sure to use white space. And don’t hold off on sending your campaign because you cannot afford design help this month; communicate regularly.

12. Check the links!
Have you checked all links to be sure they work properly? Make sure you check and double-check, especially if the response you are trying to drive depends on the recipient clicking one of those links!

13. Proofread – at least once.
Have you proofread the “From:” line, “Subject:” line and email copy thoroughly? One typo can make a significant difference in the message. And it creates an impression on the reader. Take a subject line that says: ‘Coonecting with Jane’ – you’ve already formed an opinion about Jane, and it isn’t good. Remember Romney’s ‘A Better Amercia’? Typos make a difference. So proofread carefully; and consider getting a second set of eyes!

14. Test your campaign.
Have you previewed and sent yourself a test email? Try reading your email on different devices and in several email programs. Sometimes where you place an image can make a difference in the way it is viewed on a smartphone, for example.

A recent study from Litmus showed that over 50% of Canadians consume content on smartphones and tablets, so make sure you check out how your campaign delivers on those devices.

15. Hit Send, Monitor Results and Improve Your Next Campaign.
The biggest mistake email marketers make is not using the data. When you send out a campaign using an email service provider, you can see who opened your email, who clicked, what they clicked on, how many times and when. You can use the collective data to improve your next email campaign by using the indicators to improve timing, campaign wording and subject lines, and response rates. You can use that data on individual recipients to support your sales efforts. The critical piece is taking the time to assess the data.

When you use this checklist and address each point, you’re ready to hit the send button. Congratulations! Now, sit back and enjoy the results!

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