Crafting an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing may seem a bit old school when you consider all the avenues available to promote your brand online, but the truth is large corporations and small businesses are utilizing cost-effective email marketing to keep their brands top of mind among their customers.

Why use email marketing?

The reason is simple: good email marketing can be very effective and have a great return on investment. The cost of email marketing is extremely low?pennies on the dollar per view?when considering the number of lead conversions, reach and the number of opens a particular email receives. The impact can be far greater than that of a print ad buried in a newspaper or magazine, and is generally longer lasting than a social media post.

Crafting a great subject line

There are several things to keep in mind when crafting an email marketing campaign that will ensure you get the best ROI for your efforts. Crafting a subject line that will prompt the recipient to open your email is the first major hurdle. If your subject line fails to encourage your customer to open the email, your marketing message will be lost completely.

Including incentives like ?sale,? ?special offer,? or ?discount? in subject lines has proven to be successful. Keep it short, but offer an incentive to open, whether it is a special offer or an alluding subject line. It is easy to test various subject lines before sending the email out to your entire list. Craft two or three subject lines, then send an email to a portion of your list with those subject lines. ?Check your open rates and send your email to the rest of your list with the one that gets the most opens.

When should I send my emails?

There has also been a lot of debate and discussion regarding the best time to send email marketing, and in reality there is no definite answer. You can use the same test above, using the same subject line but sending at different times. Find what works best for your customers and stick to it.

Optimize your email content

Ensure your email content is relevant, easy to understand and includes a call to action. Oftentimes with email content less is more. Limit the amount of words and rely instead on photos, graphics, and links to your website or blog. Include buttons and links to your social media sites, website and other relevant information to drive traffic back to your sites.

Feel free to experiment with your email content. Because email marketing is very inexpensive, it is a good place to test new marketing campaigns and advertising messages. Consider all those on your email list as a warm lead?the have either provided their email to you because they are a customer or because they want to receive your emails. You will be able to gather valuable data on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and messages if tested first on email, and those on your list feel like they are receiving an exclusive offer before it is available to the general public.

How often should I send emails to my customers?

How many emails to send each week will vary based on the size of your company, your industry standards and your internal resources. Do a little research first on what others are doing in your industry, and even sign up for their emails to keep a close eye on the competition and to monitor trends. It?s usually not a good idea to send more than one email per week when building your list. You may decide to send more often, but consider your open rates, response and industry trends.

One of the most important things that may get overlooked by many is to ensure the people you are sending emails to actually want to receive them. Make sure your list is an opt-in list, and make it easy for your recipients to opt-out if they desire. Include a place on your website to sign up for your emails and encourage the collection of emails from customers.

Maintaining your email marketing list

After you have sent a few emails, you should have enough data to segment your list and optimize your open rates. Remove invalid addresses, and consider making a separate list of those who regularly open your emails. After a year, remove anyone who hasn?t opened your emails. Maintaining and growing your list is a lot of work, but if done regularly will enhance your email marketing effectiveness and will drive new and returning business.

Don?t be afraid to try new messages and take a few risks with email marketing. The small investment and tracking ability of email marketing makes it the perfect outlet for testing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and it is easy to make adjustments as you go. Try new things, and use the data collected to drive future marketing efforts.