Source: Litmus — Email Client Market Share: Where People Opened in 2013
By Kate Critchlow
Just like everything else on the internet email marketing has rules, if followed they can help to make your email marketing campaigns more successful and increase your revenue, if ignored you can find yourself marked as spam by your recipients, blacklisted by ISPs and revenue dropping considerably. Email is just one of the technologies that is incredibly useful when used correctly, making it easy for those who know what they’re doing and why to benefit from the use of marketing campaigns such as the commonly used monthly subscriptions for newsletters and offers.
There are five basic rules to follow, of course looking deeper into the subject would reveal a much greater number of rules and limitations that should or could be followed to increase the success rate, but in many cases these are more specific to your own audience or market, there are just five basics that should be clearly understood in order to ensure the positive impacts of your campaign.
Rule 1 – Stop talking about email marketing. Discussing things has never gotten them done, thinking about them and planning them only works as a first step, it’s not a plan of action its procrastination. Regardless of whether you’re a big or small company email marketing is something you could be implementing, there are plenty of little companies sitting there looking lost, perhaps planning to concentrate on social media and paid search campaigns, because those are the future, because those are new and fresh and useful. Wrong, they might help but they aren’t going to get you very far, no matter how old email might be (more than forty years old by the way) it remains one of the most effective, successful and efficient marketing method available to businesses. So yes, those among you who have figured it out probably think this is a bit mad, but the first rule of email marketing is to use email marketing. I told you they were basic.
Rule 2 – Get permission from your mailing list. It doesn’t really matter how many people you have on your mailing list, what matters is how they got there. If they ticked a box when they registered with your company that said ‘yes, I would like to receive emails from you with __’ then go for it, email them whatever it is you promised them as frequently as you promised it. However, don’t buy email addresses and start bombarding people who never agreed to receive your information with your emails – that is called spam and it is something you should be avoiding like a virtual plague. If you do have email addresses you have gathered, try a double opt in style welcome email; this is an email you send at the very beginning of their subscription and it gives you a chance to introduce yourself, inform your recipient as to what they are likely to be receiving from you and how frequently and most importantly gives them the chance to opt out. It might make your list a little smaller, but those left are going to open your emails and make purchases much more frequently.
Rule 3 – Be personal. Everyone knows you’re a company, everyone knows your emailing to sell something, but you don’t have to make your recipients feel that way. A friendly atmosphere, a little bit of personality to your emails; not only does it make them more fun to read it makes your customer relate to you more. Treating the recipients like names on a list is not going to help you establish a relationship with your targets, address them by name (I’m sure you gathered at least that much when you collected their email address, if not you’re doing it wrong), make a personal connection, send your emails from a person and not a company, if there is a name in the sender’s address instead of firstname.lastname@example.org or something like that the chances are it will be opened by 20% more people.
Rule 4 – Don’t underestimate your content. Your email subject and email address might have been the reason your email was opened, but it certainly isn’t going to be the reason your recipient sits and reads it. That is down to your content to accomplish. Consistency is important, try to express the same sort of personality within all of your emails, this will help to ensure that your recipients continue to relate to you. Don’t write an essay or produce a website, just give them the information they want and give them just enough marketing to seduce their interests, your goal is to make them click a link and visit your website to make a purchase, not feel impressed with your writing skills at the end of a long essay that has successfully bored them into wandering off to look at cat videos. On average you have seven seconds to get their attention, it doesn’t sound like much but that’s hours in internet time so make use of it, separate your content into paragraphs and bullet points and use text styling to draw attention to key areas. Make the most of what you have.
Rule 5 – The subject is important. The email subject is a very important factor to getting people to open the email. Effective ways of doing this might vary depending on the content of your email, a brief summary of what the email concerns is a popular enough option, a little heading to evoke curiosity without giving away the content of the email is a particularly effective method, just remember that virtual plague; don’t make it look like spam. Words in upper came, over punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes – these are often associated with spam emails and scam emails so avoid them. Think about the sort of emails you are likely to open and do your research into the matter, it is impossible to spend too much time finding the right subject for your emails.
About the Author
Kate Critchlow is a technology enthusiast with a quickly developing knowledge of topics from web development to email marketing. For more information on email marketing see http://www.rapidshot.co.uk/