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Seven golden rules for email marketing

Seven golden rules for email marketing

October 13, 2011 by DMA EMC

By James Bunting

As email has evolved as a channel, so has the role of the email marketer. You now need to integrate your email campaign with your social strategy, check how your email is going to perform when viewed on a mobile device, remove recipients who haven’t opened in the past six months — the list goes on and on.

With so much to think about it is often easy to forget the basic principles that lead to successful emails campaigns:

Rule one: promote sign up

Adding new people to your mailing list is one of the email marketing “quick wins” so make sure you have time to check and review the sign up process and that you promote subscription wherever possible.

Rule two: set and meet recipient expectations

When recipients sign up for your email communications, make sure you accurately set their expectations about what they can expect to receive. Then all you need to do is ensure your emails meet their expectations.

Rule three: maintain and refresh data

Ensuring that the data you hold on each recipient is up to date is a vital part of sending them relevant communications. Use Preference Managers within your email campaigns so that recipients can update their personal information and tell you about changes in their preferences.

Rule four: build a relationship

Due to the cost effective nature of email, it is possible to talk very frequently to your prospects and customers. Use these frequent communications as a tool to build a relationship and encourage the recipient to purchase rather than simply trying to sell to them at each stage.

Rule five: deliver valuable emails

Developing messages that recipients value is an important element of building a successful email program. Reminding recipients they have left a product in their shopping basket, highlighting complimentary products in an order confirmation email and welcoming a new subscriber are all important elements of a successful email program. These valuable emails not only improve the customer experience (and drive additional revenue) but they enhance your email brand value.

Rule six: use results and data

One of the really great things about email is that you learn something about your audience and campaigns every time you press send. Make sure you utilise the valuable information you are gaining to improve future campaign performance.

Rule seven: add email to the customer journey

Email can be used to save costs within your business, so make sure you take the time to add it to your customer journey. Automated emails to remind the recipient about a booked appointment or confirm when a service is about to run out can save the cost of more traditional marketing messages.

So next time you are focusing on the finer details of a campaign, make sure you take the time to think about the basic principles of email marketing. Often the biggest returns will come from getting the basics right.

This post originally appeared on the DMA UK Email Marketing Council blog. James Bunting, author of this piece, is director of strategy and research at the Communicator Corp.

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For more information about how your small business can benefit from using email, go to our dedicated section on email marketing.

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