Nine Tips for an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

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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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