Writing about email marketing certainly isn’t a novel idea – after all, Hotmail launched 20 years ago (yes, really – 20.) So what’s left to say about this channel?
Despite its proven track record of nurturing leads and converting them into sales, surprisingly, many companies are still not using it to its full potential. Whether that’s because they’re unsure of how to do it, or have no time to do it seems beside the point – it is a necessary channel to engage with, in order to fully develop an effective customer contact strategy.
From a practical point of view, here are some do’s and don’ts of email marketing to help you get started, or refine your current activity.
Do – segment your lists. Target your communications effectively to the appropriate audience to get the right message across to the right people. As the saying goes, you can’t be all things to all men, so your generic communications are unlikely to have as much impact as tailored ones.
Don’t – forget to test. Test everything – subject line, email content, design, layout, day of send, time of send, frequency of sends. There is literally no end to testing.
Do – provide an incentive to open. What will your mail recipient get by opening and reading your email? Is it a discount voucher? A sale preview? A downloadable brochure with value added information inside. There’s a lot of clutter to cut through in the average person’s inbox – make sure your email stands out and doesn’t get lost in the masses.
Don’t – fail to update your lists. Remember to include the email address from every channel you gather from, in order to target as many people as possible. Sounds obvious, but there are lots of companies who gather email addresses for a newsletter lists that they never get around to sending.
Do – think about every element of the customer journey touchpoint, and what email communications you are sending out. What should the message be? Have you provided contact details? How can your customer update their preferences accordingly?
Don’t – misinterpret your email marketing stats. Sure you might have had a great open rate, but did any one buy anything? Track the results that matter, and these could be different with every campaign.
Do – check everything before you send. This email checklist should be really helpful in making sure you’ve covered everything essential before you press send!