How to Create Successful Email Marketing Campaigns ?
Email marketing campaigns are essential elements of any marketing strategy. They communicate and build relationships with prospects, gather important data, and help boost marketing ROI. As important as these campaigns are for marketers, many miss the mark and continue to fall short on the campaign’s return. To build, execute, and maintain effective email marketing campaigns, you must pay close attention to your audience, the message, and avoid the common trap of simply blasting out self-promotional messages. This only leads to recipients hitting the delete button more than opening your message.
1. Design your email to fit your brand - Your email campaigns should match your brand’s look and feel. If you’re using a template, you might want to customize it to include your company’s colors and logo in the header. If your emails are consistent with the rest of your company’s content, then readers will feel more familiar from the start.
2. Send people content they want - Email newsletter services offer features like groups and segmentation to help you make your content relevant to the people reading it. If you’re sending different emails for different groups (for example, a nonprofit might send separate emails to volunteers, donors, and the board of directors), then you can ask people to check a box to join a particular group on your signup form.
3. Segmentation – You can segment emails and newsletters by activity, email clients, e-commerce data, and more. Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and engaged readers look forward to your newsletter and share it with friends. Consider combining the standard segmentation criteria with behavioral data to create more complex segmentation strategies. Look at data including: who opened the email, whether they downloaded the offer, the length of time they spent on the web site, and what they downloaded while they were on the site. Once you have a better idea of what your different segments find interesting, you can make sure your offers are more customized to fit their needs.
4. Focus on the message – Remember email campaigns send out more than communication – they send out a message. Use these campaigns to tailor your messages according to the prospect’s profiles, interests and actions. Consider sending different emails/messages to the different segments of your list when appropriate. Additionally, by making sure you are including value added content, your readers are more apt to engage with your emails.
5. Test different email clients and mobile devices which display emails differently – Send test emails to colleagues, or use a testing program to make sure your emails are going to look good on screens big and small. Testing reveals design mistakes before it’s too late, and testing programs can predict whether or not a campaign will get caught in a spam filter. You could even set up accounts with a few different email services for easy testing. Avoid sending one big image as a campaign, and cover your bases with a plain-text option for every email.
6. Automate - By automating your email marketing campaigns, you have more time to spend on developing strategy and being creative. Use your marketing automation solution to automate campaigns based on event and behavioral triggers, and have more time to build relationships with prospects.
7. Make it shareable - Send content that people want to share, and make it easy for them to do it. Sure, subscribers can forward your campaign to friends, but that’s a lot to ask. Include a public link to the web version of your campaign so people can read it outside of their email programs, and consider adding Twitter and Facebook links to your newsletter, so readers can share your content where they’re already active. When their friends start sharing and subscribing, you’ll know it’s working.
8. Keep an eye on your stats - Most email newsletter services offer free reports that contain helpful information. Learn how to read and understand your reports, so you can use the stats to improve your campaigns going forward. Pay attention to your open and click rates, and identify any patterns that make those numbers go up or down. If a campaign receives a high number of unsubscribes, then try something different the next time.
Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Best Practice Guide is a good read to know more about Email Marketing.