Saturday, September 1, 2018

How To Get The Best Out Of Email Marketing

Marketing is a key element to attract and sustain customers. There are many methods businesses use to market their products and services to clients from post mail outs, Television advertisements, radio spots and more recently the Internet.

One very cost-effective method which many businesses use is email marketing.

A recent survey revealed that approximately 85% of people have emails and, a staggering 2.5 hours each day is spent on checking emails. I know in my case that as soon as I switch on my computer I open my email accounts. In fact, it is the first activity of the day. Email has become one of the fastest and most effective ways of communicating. The benefits of email are that you can check the emails when you want and respond at a time that is at your own inconvenience.

Email marketing is a great way for businesses to stay in contact with their clients.

Once you have a potential customers or existing customers email details, it’s possible to begin your email campaign with them.

Email marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to reach target markets.

There are many software programmes designed to sift through target groups information, based on factors including: the length of time addresses have been on the list, customers’ likes and dislikes, spending habits, and other important criteria.

A target groups email address is taken in accordance with a customers/clients interest in a business’ products and services, through either subscription or after a point of sales purchase of the goods or services.

Most often the procedure is that a business will send out a mass email to the target group in accordance with their level of interaction with them

Thus, the first email is often either a welcome letter or a letter thanking the client/customer for their services.

The following emails then go on to market the businesses services through deals and offers that are specific to the customer’s needs.

It’s not just direct marketing of products and services that email marketing is used for. Another key element to email marketing is keeping the lines of communication open. It’s about maintaining a relationship and staying in the forefront of the customer/clients mind.

Think of it like a friend. Those you have more contact with are likely to be more on your mind. You are more likely to know what is going on in their lives and be more invested in them. It’s the same with businesses. Thus, email marketing is an efficient way of retaining current clients.

One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is that it is incredibly cost-effective. The cost of advertisement on TV, radio, and print are huge in comparison. Email costs next to nothing except the time it takes to write the message and the software bought to target the groups the message is intended for.

It is also environmentally friendly as no paper is used! Think of all the junk mail and leaflets used in marketing. Often, these are thrown in the trash. If a client or customer isn’t interested in the product or service you are emailing them, they can simply hit delete. No paper wasted!

Another benefit is that it is then also easy for your customer/client to: a) pass on the information to a friend or colleague who may be interested in your product or services and b) to respond to you.

Email marketing is a two way communication that is interpersonal, whilst still remaining professional.

Building a long term email strategy is key to a successful email marketing campaign. There are many software packages out there that come with assistant support.

The three main functions of these software are to:

Create engaging emails with ease – often there are standard templates that a business can use to add their message, whether it be an introductory  letter or a letter thanking the client for their business. There are also templates for newsletters and offers/deals etc.

Automated triggers and actions : This function allows a business to (amongst other things) set up subscriber actions to update subscriber information, perform subscription tasks and send campaigns. What this means is that based on how the subscriber responds the strategy is developed. It’s a bit like a domino effect that swings like a pendulum. Well lets call it a chess game J

Reports and Analysis – There’s no point in going ahead with your email marketing strategy campaign if it is not proving to be successful. Naturally there needs to be a way to measure the success of your email marketing. Email marketing software also has the means to assess the success rate of your campaign and provide reports and analysis. This often includes looking at campaign activities and social interactions in real time, e.g through Twitter, Facebook updates etc. And how many of your email marketing recipients are actually opening and reading the emails can also be tracked. These simple reports can make a big difference and are key to managing a successful email campaign. If there are any problems with your email marketing strategy these reports are the fundamental ones to flag that up.

So as you can see email marketing is an essential marketing tool that is easy to administer and cost-effective. There is absolutely no reason why every business shouldn’t be utilising this powerful and effective marketing tool.

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and time effective forms of marketing.

The time taken to send out an email campaign is very little compared to other marketing strategies. Once you have your database of email contacts, writing the email and pressing send is as quick and easy as a tea break.

Email marketing is also cited as having the best Return on Investments (ROI). Due to the fact that is cost-effective and time effective. Man power costs money, and it is a one man job that takes little time to do.

Approximately 85% of people have at least one email account and spend a staggering 2.5 hours. each day checking emails. So the chances of your email being seen are incredibly high.

Emails are undoubtedly the fastest and most effective way of communicating. And email marketing, being both interpersonal and professional, remains to be the most effective form of marketing,

There are a number of surveys which have been carried out to measure how customers respond to email marketing. A recent survey highlighted how 77% of customers and clients preferred to receive permission-based promotions via email.

So knowing this it would be silly to not include email marketing into your businesses marketing strategy.

But, how can you get the best out of your email marketing?

There are some key guidlines to follow:

People generally, and especially in the businesses world, like to have choices. So it is imperative that your email has an opt in or double opt in. This means that the person or company receiving your email has subscribed to receiving these business emails from you, whether that be an ezine, newsletter, report or e-course.

Likewise, an opt-out is also essential so that the customer can unsubscribe at any given time.

With so many emails to check each day it is important that the layout is simple. Nobody wants to try to work out what the purpose behind the email is. Flashy colours and intricate fonts can be off putting.

Again, with time being a factor for any person reading emails in a business world it’s key to keep the emails short, with each paragraph 5-10 lines at most. People are in a hurry so the first sentence is also important to catch and then keep their interest.

There is no point in sending out an email if there is no option to get back to you. A bit like sending a letter with no return address. It’s just information and not a two way means of communicating. Also, an address and contact number somewhere in the email newsletter gives legitimacy to your email.

Keep the subject line interesting. You want to catch the attention of the recipients

In the advent that people don’t have much time or are in two minds about how relevant this email is, another way to increase your chances of having your email acknowledged, read and responded to is to use a P.S. People tend to scan and read the P.S. if nothing else

Make sure your emails are not going straight to span by monitoring blacklists to make sure your IP addresses are not listed.

From Gangnam Style to the Harlem shake, and other emails and shorts that have gone viral, acknowledge the power of the viral world on the Internet. So add to this by suggesting to the recipient of your email that if they like what they are reading to pass it on to a friend. This method of viral marketing is a great way to build your email database.

Finally for those who receive your email, it works wonders to give them a sense of community or a club vibe by including special offers exclusive to them.

As well as key things to do to enhance the success of your email marketing campaign, there are also some key rules to follow as to not what to do, in order to get the best results.

One important factor is TO NOT WRITE TO SOMEONE WITH ALL CAPS. It is still interpreted as yelling. There is a friend of mine who always sends texts in Caps, and it literally increases my heart rate. I do feel like I am being told off!

It’s kind of obvious but don’t send mass unsolicited emails – spam. If caught, you will be cut off.

Don’t go overboard and resort to overselling. As with any sales strategy keep it subtle and effective. If people feel as if they are being bombarded or told what to do they will often resist. So write in a way that people will respond to by styling the information so that it reflects the sharing of interesting and useful information

Just as opt in and opt out are important to include in your email, to get the best out of your email marketing campaign it is also important to respect customers by not emailing customers who never opted-in or confirmed of doing so.

And in the same vein do not email customers after they opt-out from your promotional service.

When writing your opt out clause do so in a way that is polite and friendly. People are less likely to opt out. Also, some people set their emails to recognize conventional opt put clauses like ‘removal’ and ‘unsolicited’, which automatically delete any incoming mail that includes them. So instead, rephrase your message with something like: “If you would rather not receive these mailings from us, please send me a blank email titled No thanks.”

If you follow these simple guidelines you’ll have a higher rate of success with your email marketing strategy. Proven already to be the most successful in terms of ROI of all marketing strategies.

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