Are you looking for a cost-effective way to gain new customers, sell more and build your brand?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and targeted ways to reach existing and potential customers. It is immediate, flexible and creative – allowing you to build your brand and develop focused campaigns without reams of expensive print. It is totally measurable so you can assess how far your marketing budget is going.

Think about email marketing services. Email marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of direct response marketing and can generate twice the response of traditional direct mail, helping you reach some of the 63 per cent of UK adults active online. Do not think spam. Good permission-based email marketing is a world away from unsolicited junk; cost-effective, quick to produce and measurable. But do not use it as a cheap way to bombard thousands of people with the same message. It should integrate with the rest of your marketing plan and have clear objectives.

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Do you want to think a bit more? Then follow these steps:

Step 1: Who are you talking to?

One size does not fit all. Engage with, do not alienate, your target audience. Understand your potential customers – what they like, what they read, how they shop – then build an email they will respond to.

Step 2: Where does email fit?

Your first email might be a teaser, sowing the seeds of an idea; follow it with traditional mail or a phone call to reinforce the message, encouraging the recipient towards your e-commerce website. Finally, you might send another ‘kicker’ email to push the sale. At every stage, measure the response. If it is not working, make changes.

Step 3: Think creatively

How do you get people to respond?  Keep email content short and compelling.  Grab attention with an incentive or promotion but don’t over-sell.

  • Personalise the content; including the recipient’s name and tailor content for them.
  • Include a clear call to action early on; people often only scan emails.
  • Consider; does the email look like it comes from your organisation and help to build your brand.
  • Most important is the subject line; it must make people want to open the email.
  • Remember successful email marketing is about opening dialogue and testing success, not blasting unwanted information at hundreds of nameless targets.

Step 4: Testing – avoid the junk box

Using your usual email system, like Outlook, to send large volume marketing emails is NOT a good idea!  Emails may never reach your audience as they are likely to be blocked by your internet service provider and your account could be suspended.  Specialist email marketing software is designed to maximise deliverability allowing you to fully test your email in advance with industry standard spam checkers. Once you know which words and phrases trigger the filters you can avoid them. If you get your campaign right, you might just find you have more business than you can cope with; what a great problem!

Step 5: Getting it out there

If you have a list of email addresses – great! Your own data is always best so look for ways to gather contact details with incentives and newsletter sign-ups. No data? You can buy or rent a list of names but remember you have to be aware of Direct Marketing Association and Data Protection Act (1998) rules – for example, giving people the opportunity to opt out.

Step 6: Evaluation and measurement

Before hitting your primary targets test, test and test again. Have fun and continuously improve your emails by experimenting with different subject lines, images, copy and incentives to see which messages hit the spot. Understand your audience better by investing in a simple but powerful email marketing solution to see who read your email, when they did so, and what pages they then visited on your website.

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