With so much attention being brought to social media lately, it may seem ridiculous to talk about email marketing. This supposedly dying form of marketing has been neglected; however, email continues to prove to be a remarkably powerful form of marketing that consistently generates leads.
By now you may be asking yourself, what is email marketing? Alternatively, maybe how do I build a credible list for my marketing campaign? Or possibly, what metrics should I track?
Here are some thoughts on building email lists and continuing relationships to maintain your customer base.
Email Marketing, What is it?
Email marketing is delivering a commercial message to your customers via email. Email marketing is not limited to merely sending a sales pitch, but can be used to build relationships, encourage customer loyalty, spur repeat business, and enhance the overall experience customers receive from your business.
Businesses obtain emails and add them to an ultimate list that can be segmented and targeted to different demographics; however, remember the number one rule is to never add someone to your list without their permission. Email campaigns are meant to add value and should follow opt-in procedures to stay compliant with the Canned Spam law.
Building the Best Opt-in List
Building the best opt-in list revolves around a few major factors, including:
- Visibility: Is you opt-in invitation easily found? Is it on multiple pages or just the homepage?
- Elasticity: Does you email campaign provide the flexibility that most customers like, such as the options to choose their email frequency or content?
- Transparency: Are you transparent when collecting email addresses and let the customers know exactly what they are signing up for?
- Welcoming: Is your list welcoming? Does it greet new subscribers to thank them for signing up?
Once you have your email campaign optimized to the factors above, start working on building your list. The best practices for building your email list includes:
- Use a captivating subject line: Writing subject lines that draw emotion, create a sense of urgency, and give some expectation of the email are sure ways to increase the amount of emails that are opened. In addition, refrain from using spammy titles, like “You’ve Won” or “Earn $500 extra this year”. Popular subject lines include offering incentives, like many retail outlets, by saying something as simple as “Free Shipping on Orders Greater than $25” that can increase your open rate by as much 45 percent.
- Greet New Customers: A big problem of many emailing lists is the lack of a greeting message. While this sounds like a no-brainer, many companies forget this and leave customers wondering if they were actually signed up or not.
- Segment Your List: Provide options for customers so you can have a better idea of who you are targeting. If you were selling clothing, wouldn’t you like to know if a customer is interested in men’s or women’s clothing?
- Provide a Call-to-Action: Your emails should always have a call-to-action, whether this is in the form of “Visit our website”, or “Take advantage while supplies last”, you should always be asking the customer to do something. When writing your call-to-action, keep it toward the top. According to Dreamforce Marketing, if a customer has to scroll to see a call-to-action, there’s a 70 percent chance they won’t act on it.
Whatever your email campaign is for, you should always aim to provide more value than you ask for. The more value you can provide, the more responses you will receive.
Tracking Your Email Campaign
You should always be tracking your email campaign to determine effectiveness and to make sure you are hitting your target; however, you should know you can’t track everything. Google Analytics also provides a great tip sheet on how to track. Here are my recommendations for the most important things to track:
- Click-to-deliver rate= number of clicks / number of emails sent
- Open Rate= number of emails opened / number of emails delivered
- Bounce rate= number of email campaign visits with only one page view / number of email campaign visits
- Average revenue per email= total revenue / number emails sent
- Profitability= (revenue – campaign cost – cost of goods sold) / number of emails sent
While some of these numbers can be difficult to find, it shouldn’t stop you from tracking your campaigns. The most successful campaigns continue to adapt to a changing market and provide the most value to its customer.