|Hi all, another guest post today. This one from Charles Mburugu who often blogs about internet marketing and blogging tips. Email marketing is something we have been doing since day 1 and we have been encouraging our clients to do the same either using our own service Marketing Emails or their preferred newsletter system. It’s hard at times but these tips should make it a bit easier.|
Email marketing is one of those techniques that a lot of small business owners are now using. These days it’s probably not the most modern online technique but it is still extremely useful if done well.
When developing an email campaign, keep in mind the following guidelines.
1. Build a Targeted list
The success of any email marketing campaign is directly correlated to your list.
- How recent are your names?
- Have they consented to be on your list? (I hope so)
- When they consented did you give them a realistic idea of what they would be getting?
- Have they shown interest in services or products similar to your own?
Building a list takes time, don’t try to short-cut the process. Having a smaller more targeted list will yield better results than having a blast list full of thousands of people who aren’t potential customers or potential referrers. This will also give you more meaningful statistics.
2. Have a catchy subject line – not ‘March news’
Getting someone to open your message is the first step so engage them with something catchy. Give them a reason to open it.
3. Send it from you
What information is visible on your email’s sender line?Is it from “no reply” or from your business name. If you are running a small business I’m a fan of sending newsletters from your own personal name and own personal email address. You are the relationship, people will respond better to you.
4. Write about things that your customers find valuable
The fact that it is called a newsletter doesn’t mean it has to be full of news. The news from your industry might not interest your customers all that much. The news from your business might not interest them a lot either.
Write about things that do interest your customers. Be useful and add value. If you aren’t doing this then you won’t get much of a result from your campaigns.
If you have a blog (which you should) this can be a great source of content for your newsletter.
5. Track your results and compare over time
Tracking allows you to discover what works and in doing so you will know what to do on your next email.
Some easy measures to track are:
- Open rates – depending on how your email is structured this could be measuring opens or image downloads. This is not so important, what is important is looking at which campaigns had better open rates than others.
- Click through rates – how many people clicked on links. Again it’s important to make some changes and see the results. Dan will be writing another post soon about one of his recent newsletters that had a significantly higher click rate than previous campaigns.
In most good emarketing systems you can track each mailout as a campaign in Google Analytics so they will show up in your web stats.
Regardless of your involvement in email marketing, testing is absolutely vital. After each email campaign, evaluate your opens and clicks. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers themselves but look at how the results compare to other campaigns. Try new things and see how it changes the stats (give it a few weeks before comparing).
6. Have an easy unsubscribe and don’t take it personally
Provide an unsubscribe mechanism which allows the recipients of your email to automatically unsubscribe.
Keep these points in mind:
- Don’t make them email you to unsubscribe, people don’t want the hassle of this.
- Don’t require them to input the email address when unsubscribing. What if they have a few email addresses and they don’t know which one it was sent to.
- Ask them for a reason as an option after they unsubscribe if you want the information.
Don’t stress too much about people unsubscribing. You want your list to be targeted so if you are providing good value and people opt-out then this is just making your list more targeted. If you have a similar message available in other places (like Twitter or your blog) people might be unsubscribing because they want to get your content in their own time and don’t want the email overload.
Email marketing does not have to be a difficult form of marketing. In fact when it becomes a chore it tends to become less and less effective.
By following the tips offered in this article, you are making a good start.
What works for you?
What have you found that works for you? leave a comment below and let us know.