Friday, 7 October 2011

5 basic rules in Email Marketing

Email marketing has become one of the essential marketing practices in today's world and as simple it might seem, creating an email marketing campaign takes time and dedication. Below you have 5 basic rules that I consider mandatory if you want to get results.

1. Send out content that is valuable for your receivers. Do not just send out promotional content, of course that is part of it, but it is definitely not all about it. But to actually know what is valuable to your customers, you first have to listen, which is the essential first step in any inbound and internet marketing strategy.

2. Plan, plan, plan. Don't just jump in head forward, you could for example send out newsletters periodically, but you can also plan what kind of content you send and in which order for the newcomers to your database.

3. This one is important, and I certainly hope you were doing this without reading this post. Triple check your content for grammar mistakes or misspells and use pictures and graphics that are linked to the text. Nobody reads emails from companies and suppliers if they are plain text, use pictures to make the receiver want to read it and to make in memorable. Additionally, it is highly important for the text to be correct from a grammatical and spelling point of view. Because if the customer or potential customer honors you with his or her time to read your content and finds mistakes of any sorts it will give the impression that you did not take the time to proofread it, which means that the email you sent is not valuable enough for you to invest your time in it, so the why should your customer waste time reading it?

4. Analyse. Now there are many email marketing products that gather the data for you (e.g. Constant Contact) - opening rate, click through rate etc., but the data alone does not worth anything if you don't understand what it means and you don't make good use of it next time you send out content to your list. The part of listening comes in at this point as well. The CTR gives you a hint which content was valuable enough for your reader to actually click on it to read the whole of it. Of course, you cannot get the data if the whole content is in the email. The whole content should be hosted on your website/blog, the email should contain only a part of it, which has the role to "sell" your content - so be careful what and how you say it.

5. Constantly update and grow your database. You have to find multiple ways to get new contacts every week - your website (which is probably the most used one), the social media tools you use, networking at different events, sweepstakes etc. And the updating part is essential as well. Maybe some contacts do not want to receive your emails anymore, so be sure to put an unsubscribe link at the end of each and every email you send. Maybe they changed their email address since they signed up, so telemarketing can help you with this part, and any updating need you might have.

Be sure to abide by these 5 rules, because they might make or brake your email marketing initiatives. If you are interested in other aspects of this marketing tool, there is an email marketing event coming soon in Bucharest organised by the Email Marketing Academy, you might want to check it out :)

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