No matter what the size or aims of your business, direct email marketing remains one of the most effective means of reaching out to consumers.
Fast, low-cost and consistently effective; the versatility and simple to track response rates of email marketing make it a hugely attractive option to businesses of all varieties.
Yet in a world in which consumers are growing increasingly unreceptive to poor advertising and marketing campaigns, the pressure to get your campaigns right has never been greater. In the same way marketing messages instantly arrive in customers’ inboxes, they can just as easily be deleted.
But the real key to successful email marketing is in the unique, unprecedented variation (based on relevance to the target audience) that it allows you to bring to your campaigns. By embracing that versatility, you can help increase your response rates and in turn, ultimately boost your ROI.
Try not to look to email campaigns as a device to squeeze as much product information into one space as you possibly can. Consumers view noisy marketing no less tediously in the digital domain than they would do elsewhere.
Look to build an affinity with the consumer and strive to make them feel engaged. Whether it’s in the form of a monthly newsletter or a personalised product announcement, adding an element of subtle customisation to your marketing campaigns can help the consumer feel valued and more likely to directly engage with your business.
Good, quality mailing lists are the lifeblood of any successful email marketing campaign. You can be in possession of the most visually stunning email in the business, but if the right people aren’t receiving your message, it all counts for very little.
Well-sourced, high-quality mailing lists can help you add a level of real precision to your campaigns and ensure that your message is being sent to the people you want to read it most.
For those with slightly deeper resources, powerful data insight tools can also mine your existing database and use previous interactions with your customer base to add even more accuracy to your campaigns.
Subject lines may be one of the last things you think about when devising your emails, but they can make or break the success of your marketing campaign.
A strong and relevant subject line will go a long way to ensuring your audience takes the time to engage with the email when it lands in their inbox. A weak or irrelevant one is likely to go straight into the spam box.
Make sure that your subject lines are contextually relevant and if possible, try testing two or three out on a small audience — say around 10% of your total — before you send your campaign to your main list. Use metrics such as open rate to determine the most successful subject lines.
Offering promotional discounts might seem gimmicky, but if done in the right way, the lure can often prove a great way of expanding your customer base.
Whether you’re offering discounts to new customers or existing subscribers, promotions remain a great method of building and maintaining relationships across your client base.
Whether you’re choosing to include a promotion within your email campaigns or informing your customer base about a brand new product, less is always more.
Don’t try to flood the audience with too much information or fire them over a barrage of information. Consumers want to be told about products quickly and do not want to read reams of content.
Keep your copy short, sharp and to the point and try to stick to one main theme. You’ll be linking your audience back to your website or to a landing page with more information, so don’t worry too much about supplying them with everything at this early stage of engagement.
Email marketing might seem like a tough nut to crack, but the truth is that successful marketing campaigns tend to be a lot less complex than you might think. Ensure that your focus is always on quality instead of quantity and the chances are that you’ll already be half way towards a successful campaign.
Tim Holt is managing director of Data HQ Ltd.