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Email Marketing - Quick Tips

Nov 15, 2007
Email marketing is a flexible and powerful method of marketing products and services. This electronic form of direct marketing has already started replacing paper based direct mail. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), about 4.3bn marketing emails were sent in the UK, compared to 5bn direct mail in the year 2005. For the first time in 2007, email marketing has overtaken direct mail in terms of volume, according to the latest National Email Benchmarking report produced by the Direct Marketing Association's Email Marketing Council. No wonder, email is creative, timely, measurable and cost effective.

What you should consider when planning you email marketing campaign

Personalisation - This is the best way to increase the response of your email marketing efforts. Greet and address recipients individually with their name, this will help you speak directly to your targeted customers/audience. Use first names for your existing customers to make the email message personal and use surnames in formal email messages. Personalising email marketing messages brings one-to-one marketing communications a step closer.

Email Versions - You must design your email message to read and display properly in preview pans, blocked images and the text base readers. As best practise, email shouldn't be more than 600 pixels in width and must be compelling form the first line. Don't rely on images; always include text and an online version of each email. Give users choice to receive text or HTML version. In HTML emails avoid using external CSS, if you have to use CSS style then always use inline styles and don't forget to use short and descriptive ALT attributes for images.

Email Goals - Add a clear call to action point(s) in your email messages. Call to actions should be very clear and your message should tell the user what to do in response to the message in easy steps. Too many links and offers could distract users. Call to actions should be simple as "Click here - special offers for cardholders only". If required, create specific landing pages according the requirements of the email marketing campaign. Using the brand name in the subject line will increase the user comfort, trust and will maximise the open rate.

Clean List - It is very important to keep your email list clean. A clean list will help to built good relationships with ISPs (internet service providers) and will also improve the qualified response of your campaigns. CAN-SPAM dictates a clear and working unsubscribe link therefore clearly describe the un-subscription method in the email and explain the un-subscription process. Check the inbox regularly for bounce back email addresses. Remove un-subscribers and bounced emails periodically for an improved and clean list.

Avoiding Spam - You have to be very careful while sending your marketing messages through emails. Spam filters are getting smarter every day. Your email could be trapped in spam filters if you use keywords like cheap, $, guaranteed etc. Full image base emails also could raise flags for spam filters. Adding text within the HTML body will help to pass the spam filters; more text means more chances to pass the spam filters. Test your email before you broadcast it. You can get accounts with different email service providers such as Hotmail, Yahoo, and Google Mail and send test email messages. You have the technically correct emails if your message lands directly in the inbox. One way to ensure that your subscriber will receive your future emails is by sending them a plain text email and asking them to add your email address in personal white list/safe contact list.

Metrics - Track individual email messages technically; such as open rate, bounce rate, un-subscribers, click through rate and delivery rate. Once you track emails, then you need to track the marketing output metrics to measure the success of email broadcast campaigns such as revenue generation, revenue per email, ROI (return on investment) per email, total orders/registrations and total leads.

Mailing Frequency - It is not easy to find out the right frequency that keeps your subscribers engaged without annoying them with too many emails. One way to find out is by review your broadcast data and to look at trends in you open, unsubscribe and complaint rates, if you see a decrease in open and an increase in unsubscribe and complaint rates then you should review your mailing frequency and improve the email content.
About the Author
Headland Multimedia is a full service digital marketing agency providing a wide range of solutions from strategic thinking to the deployment of advanced ecommerce solutions. We are specialists in email marketing and providing email marketing solutions throughout the UK.
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