A Winning Email Marketing Strategy
I've not done many email marketing campaigns and I've been remiss, because there are
times when an email marketing campaign fits the bill. Content marketing, now known as the new
advertising, is an excellent way to maintain contact with clients and cultivate prospects and
that strategy forms the basis of email marketing campaigns.
What I needed to do was learn how to craft an effective email message that delivers information
that readers will value; create a catchy subject line; avoid sending emails that appear to
be spam; and reach out to those with money and motive to do business with my organization.
In other words, I had to learn how to do a proper email marketing campaign. To that end, I
invite you to copy my homework.
1. A good list
Everyone on your email list should want to receive your emails. Include a safe unsubscribe
feature to allow those who would rather not receive your communications to opt out. When collecting
names, ask the person if s/he would like to receive email updates from you.
To track emails sent, consider investing in Did They Read It, which will report to you
the open (read) rate of your campaigns. The popular email marketing platform Constant Contact
will for a reasonable fee both send your campaign emails and report their open rate as well.
According to the Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark study done by the marketing firm Silverpop
in 2012, the average email campaign open rate is 20%. The click-through rate, that is, the
measure of how many readers clicked on a link that was embedded in your email and the conversion
rate, meaning the percentage of recipients who signed up for a special offer, made an inquiry,
or made a purchase, reveals the value of your email list. Still, the basic open rate is a very
telling measure because nothing happens until the email is read.
2. Information, not sales
A few paragraphs that give newsworthy updates about the industries of your principle
client groups, or info that can be used to help list members solve a common problem, will greatly
improve your email open rate.
Be mindful that an email marketing campaign is not the forum in which you swing for the
fences and attempt to score a big sale or assignment. Rather, your campaign is the place to
let your expertise shine as you offer no-cost value to current and prospective clients.
3. Subject line that pops
Be edgy and provocative. Be witty and amusing. Do not be boring. When your recipients
are faced with a huge stack of emails to work through, entice them to open yours.
4. Eye candy
A picture is worth 1,000 words, so add a good photo or two to your email, one that communicates
some aspect of your message. A short video of you speaking on a relevant topic, or a testimonial
by one of your clients, are also compelling.
5. Easy call to action
Ask the recipient to take some action on the information that you've provided: take a
survey, sign up to receive a free 30 minute consultation, sign up for your newsletter. Resist
the temptation to go for the jugular and force a sale in your email marketing campaign. The
more successful strategy is to persuade the recipient to make some small contact with you that
appears to bring more benefit to them than it does to you. Build trust and familiarity first
and you will become the obvious choice when your services are needed.
6. Optimize for mobile
It has been reported that nearly half of all emails are now opened up via smart phones
or tablets. Figure out how to size and space your email text and links to make it easy to read
on mobile devices.
Despite numerous pronouncements to the contrary, email marketing is alive and well, according
to a January 2013 survey conducted by the marketing services provider Experian. Their survey
indicated that correctly conceived email marketing campaigns remain the best way to draw traffic
to your website and increase sales revenue. So copy my homework and get busy creating one for
Kim L. Clark is a strategy and marketing consultant who works with for-profit and not-for-profit
organization leaders who must achieve business goals. Kim is the founder and principal of the
consulting firm Polished Professionals Boston and she teaches business plan writing to aspiring
entrepreneurs. Learn how your organization can benefit when you work with Kim
Polished Professionals of Boston.