Effective Email Marketing Techniques
A properly optimized and efficiently run email marketing campaign can do wonders for your business. Email marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing segments. However, email marketing is not a substitute for other advertising channels such as PPC and media campaigns but rather a complementary tool to improve conversion and grow your business. Also, not everyone will benefit from email marketing, but if your business spends a lot of money on marketing efforts and captures email addresses of your visitors, you are a good candidate.
Some of the emails marketing concepts are complex and not very well understood by direct marketing people. Designing and running an effective email marketing campaign requires careful planning.
Tips for Effective Email Marketing
Although there are a large number of factors that can influence the overall outcome of an email marketing campaign, here are some common components of a well-run and highly effective email marketing campaign.
Living in the Moment
Email marketing is all about timing. A research study shows that over 40% of email messages are opened the day they are received. However, that still leaves us with 60% email messages not read right away. Do you have an offer or product that is time sensitive? If yes, you need to put some planning into the execution of your campaign.
Email Marketing Content Format
You have options when it comes to email format. You can send simple text emails or highly customized and professional looking HTML messages. As most people already know, HTML allows you to retain greater control over the format and look and feel of your message. Email campaign created in HTML allows you to include pictures and/or design elements that improve email open rates and the click-through rates since your readers are visually enticed. A recent study suggests that an estimated 95% of all commercial email messages are sent in HTML or a combined HTML and text format. Staying with the most common technology also allows you to take full advantage of available tools and products to create and manage your email marketing campaigns. But there are specific audiences who prefer or require plain text e-mails. If you have a segment of your list such as this, then be sure to send them the text version of your message. You should also be aware that most email servers would not download images and graphics elements without the user first requesting it. This could make your email message look like a web page with a bunch of broken links and missing images.
You’re Not Above the Law
Federal Trade Commission has a relatively strict definition of “commercial” for e-mail messages. As a responsible email marketer, you should completely focus on getting customer permission for email deliveries. This will help increase the effectiveness of your email marketing and reduce the chances of your message getting deleted or flagged as spam. New email technological trends are focusing more on “collective response” to figure out who is spamming. For example, Gmail relies on its users to flag messages and email servers as “Spam.” If a large number of Gmail users flag messages from a certain email server as “spam,” Google will label that server as “spammer,” and future email messages from that server will automatically end up in the spam folder. Also, FTC very clearly specifies that if your message is commercial, whether you send it to once or one million times, it is subjected to government regulations. Creating and maintaining permission-based opt-in list allows you to send your email marketing messages without first labeling them as advertisements.
According to FTC, following forms of email communication is considered non-commercial:
- E-mail soliciting charitable contributions
- E-mail that contains transactional or relationship messages
- E-mail in which the primary purpose is educational
Please keep in mind that if you are sending commercial e-mails in any way, shape, or form, you must include:
- The physical address of the sender (A PO Box address is not acceptable)
- An Opt-out mechanism
Stay on the Message
Okay, someone just clicked on your message, and you got 10 seconds of his or her time. Make sure you get the most of this opportunity. The poorly composed email marketing campaign not only cost you money but it also waster valuable time for your customers. If you continue to do so, your customers may label your email messages as spam and not even bother to read them. It is important to send messages that are relevant and informative.