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Five Steps That Will Improve Your Email Marketing

April 18, 2011

Email marketing is one of the easiest and cheapest forms of ecommerce today.  Whether your company is a small one-man-band or a large multi-million dollar organization, it can benefit from email marketing to generate leads, sell products and services, and increase awareness.  B2B and B2C companies should all have some form of email marketing campaign in place. Here are five easy-to-follow steps that will improve your email marketing: 1.      Ask Permission – I’ve said it before and I will say it again, ask people to opt-in to your list.  There is no point sending out emails to people who don’t want to get them.  You not only waste your time but you also risk alienating the unsuspecting recipient.  It is much better to have a small list of opted-in contacts than a huge list of random people. 2.      Send Relevant Content – The number one reason why people opt-out of a permission based email list is lack of relevant copy.  Before you put an email marketing campaign together, think back to what you told people they would receive when you asked permission to put them on the list.  If you told them they would receive special offers not available anywhere else, do not promote the same discount on your website.  If you told them you would give them free tricks-of-the trade, don’t suddenly switch the approach and ask them to buy something from you.  If you aren’t sure what your readers want to see, ask them.  Send them a survey and ask them what they would like to read about in the email and respond accordingly. 3.      Segment Your List – By segmenting your list you can send emails to recipients based on their preferences, location, gender, buying history, etc.  The more you know about the people on your list, the more relevant you can make the emails and thereby increase your ROI. 4.      Be Personal – It’s not always about the bells and whistles.  Yes, html emails look good and allow you to include color and images, but sometimes less is more.  Wouldn’t you be more likely to respond to an email from a friend than a mass market monthly newsletter?  Most email programs will allow you to dynamically personalize emails based on the recipients’ interests.  Make the reader feel like you took the time to send the email out specifically to them. 5.      Test, Test, and Test Again – So you know your recipients are expecting an email from you; you know what they are expecting to read about; you’ve personalized it to make them feel special; don’t stop there.  Test different styles of email – send a fancy html version to 50% of the list and a simple text version to the other 50%.  Test the subject line, offer, images, design, landing page, etc.  Based on these results, you should be able to constantly tweak and improve your campaign. By implementing these five steps into your email marketing campaigns you should see a steady improvement in your open rates, click rates and conversions.  

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