Nine Tips for an Effective Email Marketing Campaign


Nine Tips for an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

If email had died when the self-proclaimed digital pundits said it did, we must be witnessing a zombie apocalypse.

According to statistics portal Statista, global email users worldwide in 2017 numbered  3.7 billion – with projected growth to 4.1 billion in 2021. The Radicati Group reports the total number of consumer and business email received and sent on a daily basis reached 269 billion, which is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.4% in the next four years, reaching 319.6 billion by the end of 2021. Then there are the statistics provided by DMA and Demand Metric, which place email with a median ROI of 122% – more than four times higher than other marketing formats (paid search, social media and direct mail).

However, even though email is very much alive as a marketing tool, it can only be as effective as your marketing strategy.

Here are nine tips for creating one that can help your organization thrive.

1. Have a clear-cut objective – Know what you want your email campaign to accomplish. Do you want qualified leads in your conversion funnel? Additional business from existing customers? Additional information from recipients so you can fine-tune future messages and offers? You’ll need to craft the message accordingly.

2. Create relevant, quality content – That is, relevant, compelling copy and visuals targeted to your demographic to motivate them to answer your call-to-action (CTA). Keep your message simple and direct. People are continuously bombarded with email, and don’t have time to read lengthy pitches or product/service descriptions.

Use the appropriate “tone of voice” in your copy. Sound businesslike but approachable for a professional, B2B audience; personable and conversational for B2C. Use high-resolution images and a clean, attractive layout – which is especially important for an e-commerce business. Please read the closely related Tip Number Six: Be sure to optimize for mobile.

3. Make relevant offers  Offering your target audience something they consider useful is a great way to boost response. Booklets, white papers and webinars should, of course, be part of every strategy that uses a marketing automation solution. Special discounts, giveaways or invitations to a real-world or online event also have great motivating power.

4. Have a strong CTA – This leads back to Tip Number One. If you know what you want the recipient of your email to do, your marketing message can build on features and benefits, culminating in what action needs to be taken to start the customer journey. If you’ve done the job right, the recipient will click on the “yes” button, considering it to be the next logical step. After all, if they miss out on your white paper, they won’t have the edge over their competitors!

5. Have a good subject line  It doesn’t matter how sharp and compelling your content is if the subject line gets your carefully crafted email sent directly into the spam folder. The second worst-case scenario is that the recipient will just decide it isn’t worth opening. Be upfront about the subject of your email (don’t make a sales pitch seem like the recipient has won a prize) and avoid words that are likely to trigger the spam filter (like “prize”).

6. Be sure to optimize for mobile  It’s a mobile-first world now, as you learned by reading our blog post of April 12, 2018, “Is Your Business Website Ready for Mobile-first Indexing?” An email with graphics and text that don’t display well on smartphones will quickly go in the Delete can.

7. Don’t skip testing and tracking  Make sure that whatever you send works properly before distribution. Test it in-house among your team members. Ensure that personalization shortcodes are working properly and that the links are opening accurately. Performing A/B testing with your subject lines, CTAs and the text of your message can help you learn what gets the best results. After your email is sent, keep a tab on analytics and check out your click-through rates, open rates, forwards and unsubscribes. This will help in fine-tuning future campaigns.

8. Keep adding to your subscriber list – Use every opportunity to grow your database. Include sign-up or subscribe fields on your website, as well encourage sign-ups at tradeshows and industry conferences.

9. Make it easy to unsubscribe – Sometimes, your B2B subscribers leave their company or change fields, while B2C customers no longer fit the demographic for your product or service. Give them a positive lasting impression of your organization, and they may recommend it to others who are still in the market.

As you can see, many elements go into implementing a successful email marketing strategy. Virtual Stacks Systems provides comprehensive digital marketing and email hosting solutions for organizations of all sizes. Contact us to learn how a highly targeted, robust email campaign can help meet your goals.

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Why Your Business Needs a Custom Email Address

Still Using for Business?
This is Why You Should Switch to Branded Company Emails

It is practically impossible to do business these days without a custom email address. Whether your business is an online only ecommerce store, a brick-and-mortar, or a combination, a custom email address allows you to convey a professional image of your organization and increases its credibility. The message your email address sends is just as important than the message your email contains. For example:

• Custom email address = This is a real business

• Your personal (or other) address = This is a side-hustle/hobby – or, even worse, a scam

According to a recent survey by Verisign – an internet domain name and security company – two thirds of consumers consider a branded, professional email address to be much more credible than a personal one. 

 While email may have fallen out of favor as the primary tool for everyday social interaction, it remains the most popular platform by far for business communication. According to Forrester, 87% of all corporate communications are carried out via email.

For budget-minded small businesses, a free email address might seem like the ideal solution. But the drawbacks far outnumber this single advantage.

Disadvantages to using a free email address for business

1- Lack of credibility/perception of your business as unprofessional or dubious.

2- Increased chance your email will be sent directly to the recipient’s spam folder.

3- Decreased data security. Yahoo’s massive data breach was reported in 2016, but occurred two years earlier, exposing sensitive personal and business for a long period of time. Major public email providers undoubtedly will continue to present an attractive target to cybercriminals.

4- Increased vulnerability to viruses.

Advantages to using a custom email address for business

In addition to helping establish credibility and strengthen branding, a custom email address can serve your business in the following ways:

1- More efficient collaboration with your team members – custom email addresses are rich in other features that help you collaborate with your team. Such features as contacts, tasks, calendar and outlook collaboration help you streamline your business operations. You can send, receive, and manage meeting requests, check your team members’ availability and view their calendar, which improves the overall functioning of your organization.

2- Greater flexibility and customization – You can create separate email addresses for people in various departments of your business. For example: service@ or admin@, which will allow messages to reach the appropriate departments or individuals, thereby providing a higher level of customer service.

3- You always have your files and data backed up – All of your contact information is vital to the success of your organization, and you cannot afford to lose any of it. When you get a custom email address from a reliable service provider, all your data is constantly backed up, and there is nothing that you stand to lose at any given point in time.

4- Greater security – Free email accounts are vulnerable to viruses that can compromise or destroy your company’s data, as well as infect the email accounts of others and steal their personal information. A custom email address provides greater protection. An email service provider should be able to supply adequate safeguards for your online data.

Virtual Stacks Systems has been providing affordable email hosting solutions for more than 20 years. Our services include anti-virus and spam protection, constant back-up with our global servers and experienced technical support. If your business needs help in reaching the next level of branding, customer service and security, contact us to learn more.

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Write Email Copy Like a Marketing Genius

Write Email Copy Like a Marketing Genius

There's always a new study to fuel marketing strategy talk, but lately, most businesses are looking for email marketing help. The Listrak study revealed that in 2012, 41% of US adults made purchases in response to email, and the numbers continue to grow. That number has jumped even higher with the expansion of the mobile market. While having a powerful email hosting also benefits your campaign, you also want to make sure that your customers aren't being spammed and will trust your email copy. Now 48% of emails on mobile are opened, and 52% of emails are opened on desktop computers.

82% of consumers open emails from companies.

Those numbers make businesses stand up and pay attention because it translates to visitors and eventual customers who want to purchase directly from your site. However, there are many uses for email marketing even if you don't have an online store. You may want sign-ups for a new charity or you want to gain attention for a new event at a physical store location. Email marketing is great for a variety of a different scenarios.

Need more convincing? Just take look at how "emails hook customers" and follow these tips to write amazing email copy that even your worst skeptic would click.

1. Write A Subject Line You Can Be Proud Of


Give Me Five Seconds, and I'll Give You Free Stuff

Want 50% Off On SSD This Saturday? Just Say Yes

How to Travel the World with No Money

The key to any email subject line is be quirky but clear. This means that your subject line must grab attention while also making sure that your audience understands what will be in the email copy. You can also add humorous note to the text of the email copy to intrigue readers further.

The above headlines are for a mixture of niches and target audiences. People like to open emails that have gifts. It can be any kind of gift. For instance, a joke is sometimes just as good of a gift as a 50% sale on women's shoes. The gift should be clear from the subject line. In the first example, the gift is free stuff for little effort. The second example offers an amazing deal for this summer. The last is a guide on how to go around the world, which is something that most people think about daily, but for very little or no money.

When you write the email, make sure that you include the benefit or interest in the subject line. They will want to click on the subject line to find out more. You can use your own judgment of what's a bad subject line. What emails would you never open? Likely, you wouldn't really care about subject lines that are just too vague. For example, a subject line of "Don't Miss Out" doesn't really give the reader enough juicy details to bite into. It's also an overused subject line. Unique subject lines that are personalized or interesting will invite attention from readers.

2. Short and Sweet is Quite Neat
When was the last time you opened your email and expected a novel? Let's keep the novels to Kindle and write simple email copy. Your ideas and message must be short and focused. It should keep the attention of your target audience while also limiting the amount of time that they spend reading through your email copy. In general, you should keep your email copy to 200 words or less whenever possible. You should use bold or larger text for links and make sure that valuable information is prominent. Images and call-to-actions will help you more with your campaign.

If you have written an email, you can give it to a friend to do the three second test. The friend reads your email copy and tells you what it's about in three seconds. If they can't tell you what the email is about in three seconds, then you need to simplify it even more. Summarize the main message that you want to tell your reader and link to the bigger message so that they go to your blog or online store.

Bullet points, headings and bold fonts for key parts of your email copy will break up the text and make it easier to read. Also, make sure that your email copy is viewable on mobile devices since you know, 48% of emails are opened on mobile phones and tablets.

3. How to Personalize Emails
Unless it's clear that you're offering a major sale, no one likes to hear about a "special offer that's just for you" has been sent to thousands of people. You can insert the name of the email recipient and also include a sentence about the person you're reaching out to. For example, "We Know You Like Email Hosting, So Get Next Month On Us, Dave." When you personalize an email, you might be using a template that automatically fills in the information for your contact, so it's important that this information is pertinent and filled in for all fields. The most important aspect of this is that you spell the name correctly for the recipient.

4. Can You Read Your Own Email
Email copy should be kept simple, and it's up to you whether you want to include images and formatting. While images allow you to break up text, many email clients block pictures for recipients as default, which means you need a mixture of images and text to promote whatever you are selling. You also want your recipient to be able to read and download the email quickly whether they are browsing on a desktop computer or mobile device. Emails that don't load quickly or seem spammy will go to the trash folder. If you keep your email minimal with a simple header, logo and creative signature, you are likely going to attract more readers and click-throughs.

5. One Minute Proofread
Most customers are very picky about spelling and grammar. Email copy with mistakes in spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar stand out as a red flag that you might not be an English speaker or that the email might be spam. Overall, it just confuses the message that you want to send to your readers. If writing is not a big part of what you do, you still need to be able to create quality copy for a successful email promotion. One way to get amazing email copy is through a freelance contract writer.

6. Do This Now...Please
You should create a sense of urgency with every email copy, but you don't want to drown out the message with spam and call-to-actions. Even though you are tempted to throw all of your pitches into a single email, you should focus on a clear call-to-action. One amazing deal is better than a hundred pennies, so to speak. You also don't want to ask too much of the reader as they won't want to participate. You can create a new call-to-action and sense of urgency with the next email campaign. One way to create urgency would be through a limited time offer or a final notice email.

7. State Benefits of Products You Are Selling
While you probably want to focus on the highlights of the product, you should make it clear what all the benefits are for the reader. Most customers want to do know what they are going to get out of the deal. You can share how much time they'll save with your product, how much better they will be or how much money they can save with a single call-to-action, but after that, you should include a bullet list with solid benefits in your email copy. Most readers skim emails for the juicy bits, so you should place emphasis on the top three concrete benefits of the product or service.

Writing email copy takes some skill to develop, but it's easier when you know where to start. If you are using a dedicated email hosting service, then you can set up dynamic email campaigns and ensure that your message gets across to customers without looking like spam.

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Is Your Business Email Secure?

How do you pick an email provider? In some cases, it's whatever is most accessible and quick to setup, but if you could provide your own email, you wouldn't ever have to rely on another email provider. Business Email often has some of the most sensitive information pertaining to business transactions, identities, personal information and customer security. You probably have all kinds of information stored in your email accounts like passwords, business plans, financial data and human resource information for your employees. If this information doesn't remain private, how much will your business suffer? If you can't risk even a second of your private business email information getting out, then becoming your own email provide is imperative. You can also prevent spam, email viruses and advertisements by privatizing your email into a solution that works for your business.

You can reduce your security holes with business email hosting from Virtual Stacks. We provide a secure email hosting service that allows you to review your data stream and make sure that your business email is secure. Our email provides protection against malicious malware, spam, advertisements and other security holes that you may be vulnerable to with free email providers like Gmail or Yahoo. Take a look at some of the features of a secure email hosting solution.

Powerful Datacenter

Our email hosting is backed by fully redundant servers in secure locations that will never go down in the event of a natural disaster. We will always be able to support your email so that your flow is never interrupted. All of our datacenter locations are secure, clean and climate controlled. Our business depends on the strength of our serves, and we can guarantee their availability 100 percent of the time for your business, too.

Critical Email Retention

Email archiving is the easiest way to save and retain highly sensitive and important business emails. When you need to save essential information and conversations, you can do so within our easy-to-use archiving system. You can store as many emails as you need with our email hosting solutions. It's easy to access all of your emails in one place and find that email that you need for an important meeting or report.

No Advertising Ever

Aren't you tired of being spammed with advertisements everywhere in your inbox? Most of the free email providers are guilty of providing free "email" as long as you're okay with overt and obnoxious advertisements that are even placed in your inbox to look like real emails. If you want to avoid advertising anywhere in your inbox and make your business email totally secure, you can do so with Virtual Stacks' email hosting plans.

File Storage

You can easily store all of your files and create documents within your own email as well. You can save sensitive information and never have to worry about where that information is being stored or who is able to access it. As your own email provider, only you have access.

Lots of Features

There are tons of extras in addition to traditional email. You can set up a calendar, organize contacts, create task lists, read RSS feeds and reports. You can also chat with everyone you work with and open hangouts to keep up your communication on projects. It's incredibly easy to integrate and will make you wonder why you ever went with a free email provider.

If you need business email, you should never settle for an email solution that doesn't give you everything you need. Virtual Stacks offers several email hosting plans so you can always stay under budget while getting everything you need in an email hosting solution.

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