What are the characteristics of a great email marketing campaign?
I've read a lot of sources saying that email marketing is obsolete, and others saying that it's still alive & kicking. There are also contradictory articles on what works for subject headers, how long it should be, how frequently you should email, etc. What has been your experience with email marketing campaigns? What works, what doesn't?
Rob the experts are all right. For some markets mailers are not successful, but to your hardcore followers and supports they will gain knowledge and look forward to what you can put in their inbox.
I agree with sending out emails. You want to start off new clients with a once a month option. Offer a second level for the enthusiastic for 2 a month or once a week. This can fall into your double opt in options. You will see what is working for you by how often your content is being shared. If I like an article, advise, or product I will send it to the person who I think can also benefit from it.
Remember short info for more frequent email campaigns and longer for less to give them what they are missing. That is why the experts contradict themselves.
1. Make sure your graphics is making the same point as your marketing.
2. Get to the point.
3. Don't make it long.
A great email marketing campaign uses a double opt-in list. Has a message developed using the marketing equation (Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer) and is developed for and sent to your target market and ideal customer.
In addition to the other great advice you've been given here's my suggestions on the characteristics of a great email marketing campaign:
1) Ensure you implement double opt-in email authentication.
2) Your newsletter has to have a clear value proposition, define your goals and stay focused.
3) Provide special offers like coupons & discounts.
4) Send out invitations to seminars, conferences and other special events.
5) Send out newsletters, postcards.
6) Gather as much data on your subscribers as possible to enable you craft an email that connects with them on an emotional level.
7) Become an authoritative source of information about your industry or profession. Inform you audience and link them to valuable resources online.
8) Use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be about industry trends, analyst reports etc and 20% about you.
9) Write in plain english and do not speak geek.
10) Use your personal address for email communication.
11) Be honest and transparent.
12) Go straight to the point and use a catchy subject line.
13) Your email marketing should be part of a holistic approach that's integrated into your other marketing efforts.
14) Delete contacts that are no longer engaging or bounced email addresses.
15) Make it easy for people to update their preferences or unsubscribe. Let the links be clear/visible.
These are just a few. I could go on and on... but I hope this helps?
The reason it's so varied is because there is no 1 right answer. You need to start emailing smaller pieces of your list to see what works. I'd say go purchase a good email list and email 100 people at a time. Make improvements, try things out, alter your messaging and delivery days, etc. Eventually you'll have built a great campaign based on passive feedback from your audience. Then go buy a bigger list and start again.
If it's not working, it is either not the right tool for that particular company, or they are not doing it correctly.
I have used e-mail marketing for two entirely different audiences - and both have been successful:
1. The first is a non-profit org for rare disease. In our e-mails, we offer the reader opportunities to engage. This was key, in that the patient community for this genre feels the need to be heard as well as participate in change for their specific cause.
2. The second is a newly developed product in the construction industry. The e-mails are specific to the benefits of the product and a link giving the reader an opportunity to compare to the competitor via an on-line (taking it back to the web-site) video.
In both cases, we engage the audience, but for two entirely different purposes.
As far as how long, frequency, etc., it really depends on the message and your target audience.
Hope this offers a bit more insight. Best of luck to you.
I have sent out multiple millions of emails a month - including email our leads and prospects multiple times a week. The number one rule is PROVIDE VALUE. Send your people the right message, at the right time and your sales conversions will skyrocket. Use smart, intelligent automation. Clean your list often. Always instruct them of the next action you want them to take.
Email marketing in just another bullet in your gun. In my opinion there are three key factors:
1) To the point - give them info in a direct, easy to understand fashion
2) Timely - Do the marketing plan 8-10 messages a month, with timely info
3) Consistent format - whether it is a newsletter or general info, keep the presentation format the same - so they get use to your format for your business
With these factors, your customer and media contacts will enjoy your message.
My company has over 20 million emails under management for various client.
We use multiple ESP( EMAIL BROADCASTERS) as each client has their own marketing requirements.
Like previous comment email is alive and kicking and one of the key driver for on lines sales .
The only advice I can offer you over all the other great advice being offered is make sure your data is fully opted in. Having a fully opted in base that is the key.
After that it is a case of engaging with the people based on their interests.
Traceability and results are the only two characteristics that should considered. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Targeted email lists are key.
Example: As a retailer you want to be able to trace a sale back to its source such as an email campaign. A good strategy is to customize an email to match the readers interests or needs.
There is a growing science in email distribution allowing companies to closely target consumers buying patterns. Example. A vaccum website I designed would target existing customers who bought vacuums from my website with vacuum bags for their machine. Each registered user would then get a catered email offer based on their prior purchases (or webpage views).
As a retailer you want to be able to trace a sale back to its source such as an email campaign and follow up with a potential sale.
Also if you want to learn more checkout "retargeting" on google. It's amazing what you can do with a little loyalty marketing, creativity, and technology.
I am not sure where you are in terms of list building etc. But if you are just starting out I would really recommend doing some research into solo ads. With some research you can find someone in a complementary niche that has a list of active buyers.
And terms for getting that list owner to send out your ad are wide open for negotiation. Including getting him or her to actually recommend your product. Until the list owner gets to know, like and trust you it will most likely be for cash up front, but if you build some rapport in advance you can do a percentage of back end revenue/cash up front hybrid.
Just make sure you have a mechanism in place to get respondents from the solo ad run to opt-in to your own list. Including having some type of downsell or very attractive free bonus in your sales funnel if they decide not to buy your product.
If you take into account the value of the time and effort and sometimes straight cash expense of other traffic generation methods I think solo ads can be the most cost effective way for someone just starting out selling through email. Hope that helps. - Jack
email marketing campain success depends upon a number of factors. The single most compelling is to understand that there is a significantly different approach to b2b vs consumer. As well, the marketeer MUST know the product AND the audience.
My experience has been with b2b magazine publishing. Again, what works, and what doesn't depends upon a number of factors including industry, products, targeted audience demographics, etc. Really to much to put in a short message. If you are interested in an in-depth discussion, please contact me.
Email marketing is far from obsolete, neither is direct mail marketing. With advanced spam filters, you need to be careful what you put in the headers. Frequency for most people is once a week. if you hit them more than that, they'll either unsubscribe or mark you as spam.
I would say first rule... DO NOT ANNOY! Ask permission to add prospects to your distribution list. DON't sell...no one likes being sold to, rather share important information that will please/help/ecnourage your target audience or demographic. That alone will provide branding and opportunities to gauge interaction. I would send one target email blast out no more than once a month. Heading should be something simple like (example)your first and last name...Thats it.
It really depends on your target audience. I had one email newsletter that came out once a week. The newsletter expanded every quarter with writers and audience. However the newsletter was motivational and I every now and again I put products in front of the audience.
The other type is strictly promotional. Keep in mind I'm using Newsletters, but they are really just promotional emails using a newsletter program because those companies has already spent millions of dollars to come up with the best templates, widgets, analytical data, etc. The promotional Newsletter had to be specific, but it had to have a blog like quality, meaning there had to be a story or two in the email that didn't' say buy us right now. Something like a how to article or such.
I just gave you a description of me being successful using email marketing. Is email marketing hot? Can you imagine a phone book full of emails instead of phone numbers, especially since house phones are becoming obsolete and you can reach people by email via their cell phones?
In short, your email campaign is your moving blog or advertising platform. You have to keep it fresh, keep a theme and keep it consistent. If you have a blog that's working model you email campaign off your blog.
I say its still alive and kicking! All the comments above are true and have worked for my company as well. Overall, I think e-mail marketing can do wonders for businesses if relevant content is written and if continues testing is done to determine audience response.
I think email campaigns are effective if you define your strategy before you start the campaign. What are you trying to do and what keywords would your audience hone in on for the message you are trying to deliver? It's best to use words that resonate emotionally with your audience. I like Tim's idea of split testing and agree with Doug's comment about "give to get", so your email strategy should include the question, "what problem can I solve for my potential clients and how can I give free advice to help them solve it? ie, download a free ebook, hold a webinar, give a 30 minute skype session, download an instructional video. etc.
Email is definitely not dead. I think Bill's comments are definitely accurate. Beyond that advice, another point to keep in mind is to be sure you take a "give to get" attitude. That is, give your email recipients something of value, meaning information they would enjoy or appreciate getting. It could be a blog article you wrote or pointing them at something else on the web. I helped one client make changes along those lines and their email click rate tripled. Keeping prospects engaged means they will think of you when a need for your product or services arise. Just as in the old days of snail mail campaigns, the response rate is still low, but it is still one of the most efficient ways to engage potential clients.
The important thing here is to split test. Have a method in place that allows you to write your content in different ways, test the response, and then continue to build on that outcome. You'll learn what your audience likes, what they don't, and be able to use that knowledge for future campaigns.
I use email all the time! I send out about 1000 emails per month, (I have a total of 3000 contacts) to a select group of "potential" clients, I rotate my list so I only e-mail them every 90 days, but that way I don't become a pain in the E-MAIL. My emails are very customized and very direct and limit it to a few sentences. Keep it simple. No one wants to read a lot of stuff. I get about 5 to 6 COLD leads to Warm leads. I hope that helps. Just be consistent and keep going.