How to: email marketing

How to: email marketing

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Author: Amy Micallef Decesare
Junior Marketing Executive at Defined Branding

It’s a well-known fact that email marketing is one of the greatest ways to reach out to your customers, all for a relatively low cost. Building, executing and maintaining an effective email marketing campaign is no easy task, but if done right, the opportunities are endless.

The following might help you in the process of avoiding common traps and practices and improving on your customer relationships.

1. Make it easy to subscribe.

A sign-up form must be easy to locate and the sign up process must be almost effortless. A person’s email address is valuable in this day and age and many might be reluctant to give it up. So make it worth it! We would recommend keeping the required fields to a minimum as a too-long subscription form might scare people off. Also, it may seem counter-intuitive, but readers need to be given an easy way out. Frustrated readers who are searching for a way to unsubscribe may start flagging your mail as spam if they’re unable to remove their email from your list, thus potentially staining your sender reputation. This can turn into a nightmare, as it just makes it more difficult for your emails to be sent to an inbox, rather than straight to junk.

2. Tell subscribers what to expect and then give it to them.

Strive to answer the WIIFM question. Readers may find themselves asking ‘what’s in it for me’, when subscribing to mailing lists. Whether you plan on offering information regarding company updates, daily deals or weekly tips, it’s crucial to let readers know what to expect and when to expect it. It’s a good idea to have this information on the sign up form itself so users would be able to make the decision before signing up. This, in turn, will benefit your company as it avoids the likelihood of readers unsubscribing.

3. Avoid spam filters.

Avoid words and phrases that might be picked up by spam filters as your number one aim is for your emails to go straight into the inbox folder. This, of course, goes hand in hand with the subject line. The top three words and phrases most commonly picked up by spam filters are ‘$$$’, ‘100% free’ and ‘Act Now’ but it would also be a good idea to avoid exclamation marks and caps. Read up on the top 100 words caught by spam filters so as to avoid getting flagged.

4. Social media buttons. 

Put simply, if social media buttons are not available on your email, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for potential new business. If a particular offer has caught the eye of one of your readers and they feel inclined to post about it on their own social media, the button will facilitate the process, which can only help you. If the button is unavailable, the reader might choose to not bother. A reliable CRM lets you add these buttons into your email templates with minimum effort.

5. Mobile-responsiveness. 

Nowadays it would almost be irresponsible to have content that is deemed unresponsive on other platforms. Make absolutely certain that your content can be viewed properly on mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. Some tips for creating a mobile-friendly email include making use of a single column template, using larger text and being as concise and condensed as possible, both in the body as well as the subject line.

6. TEST.

Send test emails to colleagues, or use a testing program to make sure your email looks as good as you think it does. It will reveal design mistakes and predict whether or not it will get caught in a spam filter. Only good things come from testing.

7. Finally, track and analyse your results. 

This may seem obvious, but it has to be mentioned. Pay close attention to metrics like the opening rate in order to get a sense of how well its working. After some time and with a robust CRM, you will be able to deduce which messages are more likely to be opened and more importantly, who is more likely to open them. In doing so, you would be able to identify which contacts are likely to appreciate or respond well to further engagement.

No matter how inexpensive the conventional marketing mediums are, they can never compare to the cost-effectiveness of email marketing. It’s easy to implement, live and most importantly, easily adaptable so jump on the bandwagon as soon as you possibly can!

 

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