Email marketing is a great way to contact your target audience directly. It is cost-effective, and can be managed using marketing automation software making lead nurturing happen automatically. In turn, this will not only help you to build new customers, but maintain positive connections with existing customers, clients and partners.

To spread the word about your latest events, products or news, email marketing is a great resource to use. But let’s be honest, we’ve all received plenty of emails from unknown senders and deleted them before giving them a second glance. So how do you create a campaign that won’t just get bounced right back? In this blog, I’ll share some best practice advice.

Define the purpose of your email

Narrow down your options by asking yourself ‘why I am doing this?’ What is the purpose of your campaign? Whether it is to source new customers and business, or communicating with your existing audience, once you’ve established what you’re aiming for, it’s much easier to get there.

There are other things you need to be thinking about too, for example the frequency of email communications. There is a danger of overwhelming your audience with tons of frequent emails (which they will increasingly decide not to open), yet you don’t want to disappear for months on end and be forgotten. Did you know that last year I received 476 emails from Amazon – that’s more than one a day! I didn’t open them all but the frequency hasn’t affected my purchasing behaviour. There’s a fine balance between communicative and annoying emails with research showing that on average one email per week has proven to be the most successful in terms of reader engagement.

Segmentation, targeting, positioning

STP still applies to email marketing. When choosing your list of lucky recipients, it is vital that you purchase and compile your lists with consent from individuals. Be aware of where you are getting lists from to ensure that they’re not going to harm your reputation – the last thing you want is for your email marketing to have a negative effect on your business. Segment your audience and try creating a series of emails that can run automatically. We use a 6-week model to refine the data.

Choosing the right email automation platform

Taking the easiest option is not always the best idea, especially when it comes to your email marketing. You don’t want to get your email blacklisted by using your own domain, even though it’s familiar for you to use. Using an automation software package instead will also give you other benefits such as easier management of unsubscribes, access to statistics generated by your campaign such as opens, and more sophisticated reporting.

Setting your campaigns up to run behind the scenes will significantly improve your time management. Forget the “monthly newsletter” approach and move towards targeted regular communications.

Be careful to choose software which helps you out. Subscribing to a specialist email marketing software package is your safest option, taking into account that it will take care of all the hard work for you, and leaving you less room for error.

Getting your message spot on

Keen to make a good first impression? When beginning an email campaign, particularly if you have not connected with these contacts before , you must consider a few things. Does your subject line encourage people to open the email? Will your content be interesting for readers? (You could share some articles, products or offers here) Does it leave you space to build on in later emails?

To get people engaging with your website, why not provide only snippets of articles, to entice them to click through to your website to read more? There’s even a chance that they might stick around and browse your site once they’re there. Using UTM values in hyperlinks significantly aids reporting in Google Analytics. Make sure your email software allows you to lead score based on ranking the value of the link. This will help you to target the most engaged prospects.

Don’t make my eyes bleed! Beautify your emails…

Using HTML emails is a sure-fire way to give yourself an advantage using graphics. But even if you’re not using them, layout is an effective way to draw your readers in. Something as simple as making It easy to read and concise can make a huge difference, as can providing links for your visitors to follow. Don’t get bogged down with the HTML. Clear and simple is best.

Ensure that the layout doesn’t appear cluttered, spacing things out and not opting for a complicated design. Some browsers still block images. Everything included must be purposeful, as images will increase the download time of the email – although compressing the image will help.

Measure your results

To find out whether your campaign has been a success or failure, you must put some measuring tools in place. Frankly, a campaign without any monitoring is useless to you. You won’t have a clue whether you have in fact reached your target audience. Using an email marketing package should provide you with statistics within the service, such as the open rate, click-throughs and unsubscribes.

Email remarketing

Hot off the press is the ability to take remarketing to your emails. In the same way that remarketing works with Pay Per Click to drive traffic back to your site post click, email remarketing can also be highly effective. Essentially, users who click on a campaign link may find themselves browsing your site. Setting up automated campaigns can then be triggered to send if a prospect reaches your target page. This can be a highly effective tool for ecommerce or for following up on abandoned shopping carts.

To find out more about getting started with your email marketing, get in touch with me today. Leave comments below…