Email marketing tips

Tuesday 15 February 2011

article

Email marketing is a great way to reach your existing customer base, bringing you closer to your audience with the latest news and special offers from within your company. Email marketing can have a bad reputation for being spam or junk mail, but it is a very efficient and worthwhile exercise and can make a big difference to how you are perceived by your existing customers.

The most effective email marketing campaigns are carefully planned, have a strong message and are creative, if your email marketing lacks any of these elements then your email newsletters are probably not performing as effectively as you would like.

Before sending out your next monthly newsletter, try considering the following tips to get more from your email marketing.

Avoid being marked as spam

The biggest obstacle to avoid when sending out an email marketing newsletters is getting past the spam filter so your mail shot reaches its intended recipient. It is estimated that during peak times there are around 200 billion spam messages sent every day, which means that most customers will have received spam email at some time, so there is a chance that they will dismiss your mail shot as just another junk email.

There are several things to consider when trying to avoid the spam filter. The most obvious one is to think about the subject line of your mail shot. Try and avoid words like ‘Free’ and ‘Special Offer’ as often they will trigger the spam filter and your mail won’t get past the first hurdle. Also consider the ‘from’ address, as if it comes from a domain that the user is unfamiliar with, it might be filtered out or even if it gets through, it may be deleted by the user because they won’t recognise the sender.

Get creative!

Before the days of HTML mail formatting, emails were just blocks of text. Many of the spam emails that are sent are still in the same format so make sure you get creative with your email marketing so that it stands out from the other mail in your customers’ inboxes. The use of photography is very important as it can sell the product or service for you – remember that a picture is worth a thousand words! If your business has a web designer or someone who can use basic HTML, try getting them to design a template for your newsletters so not only will they look great, but there will be some consistency between your mail shots from one month to the next.

It’s all in the planning

Before you send any form of email marketing to your customers, the first thing to do is to plan the purpose of your newsletter. What is the main message you want to get across? Is your mail shot relevant to all your customers? Does your mail shot include enough valuable content to encourage users to open your newsletter next month? These are three key things to think about before sending each mail shot.

We all want to have a list with thousands of subscribers, but it is not always about the numbers. Breaking your list into smaller groups that have things in common will allow you to market to individual customer groups. By having all your customers on one list, you may be sending out information that is relevant to some users but not others.

Try and plan what additional content you will include in your mail shot. The main message of your newsletter might not be of interest to all your users, but if you include helpful tips or information about your industry then there will be a little something for everyone.

Hopefully you will find these email marketing tips useful. If you consider them all before sending your next mail shot, you should find that it will help you to engage with your customers and also boost your open rate.

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