Email marketing is one of the best online channels to increase visitor and customer engagement and retention and it’s cost effective too. However, it has many challenges and not many businesses do it very well. For example, some businesses send out emails that aren’t targeted to the specific needs of the recipients – and they don’t take into consideration the initial reason why people signed up in the first place.
With an email marketing strategy in place that considers the needs of the target market, online sales success is guaranteed and greater customer loyalty is possible.
Use the mnemonic CRITICAL to help improve the response rate of your email campaigns:
It’s important to get the design of the email including its layout, colour and image right to increase engagement and clicks to your website. The design should be simple and easy to understand and it should match the brand image of your website and other online contact points of your business. One effective design structure is to mirror the website and this increases trust with recipients and reinforces your brand image.
For your email campaigns to be successful, your offers and promotions should meet the needs and wants of your target markets. If they have opted-in at your website, then you have a higher list quality than a rented or cold list and you will have a better understanding of what they require. So, it’s important that your lists are highly segmented and that you promote offers that closely match their needs and wants.
3. Incentive (Offer)
Always think about the benefits that your subscribers will get from your email. So, you should include a big benefit or incentive to encourage click through to your website and make a purchase or download or other action that you require. Examples of effective email incentives include coupons, vouchers, discount, free offer, free whitepaper, free ebook, prize draw and other similar ones. You could also have multiple calls to action because this is likely to increase clicks to your site or a call from them too.
4. Targeting and Timing
Emails should be targeted at the right people and at a time when they are most likely to open and respond. Timing includes specific hours of the day when your recipients are available and also days of the weeks which have a higher response rate in your industry. It also includes the time in the month and the time in the year, especially around particular events or holidays like Christmas, for retailers.
You should also consider their time zone especially if you are mailing to people in a different country or region.
Email campaigns should be integrated with other communication channels and branding should be consistent across all platforms and touch points including advertising. It should also be integrated with offline marketing campaigns and should fit in with these communications.
This is part of the creative and mostly includes text that should be written to a high standard and appeal to the target audience. It should include a well written subject line that passes spam filters, a heading that creates awareness and interest, text in bullet points that increase desire and a call to action that links to your website or other resource. Copywriting is a specialised skill and you should hire or engage a professional writer to produce your copy.
Assess your email including the ‘from’, subject line, address, date/time, format (HTML or text) to ensure that it is targeted and effective. You should send out Multipart/MIME messages which can display text or HTML according to the email readers capability.
8. Landing Page or microsite
Ensure that the landing page or microsite that recipients click-through to is well designed and includes the offers and promises that you made in your email. This helps to increase engagement, build trust, boost sales and reduce bounce rates. The opposite is that you could see a high unsubscribe rate and some recipients marking your email as spam.
Need help creating and managing your email campaigns? I have experience with a wide range of email programs such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact and I will help you build your email list and manage it effectively through an effective integrated marketing strategy.