As we welcome in a new year, technology experts are armed with ideas about what will be the next big thing and 2013 is no exception. Hot tips for the year include augmented reality, mobile advertising, gamification, social television and much, much more.
We’re always keen to embrace new ideas and technologies, but as we often tell our clients, don’t be so hasty to turn your back on the tried and tested methods including email marketing. There are few online marketing methods that offer such value-for-money and transparency as email marketing, whereby every email open, every click and in turn, every sale is completely traceable.
If you are new to email marketing, or simply want to refresh your email marketing offering then kick off 2013 with our top ten email marketing tips to ensure you are maximising this incredible marketing tool.
Set a goal – There’s nothing more frustrating than an email with no clear purpose, so before building your email, ask yourself what the main purpose of the email is. Is it to share a business story? Remind readers of products? Introduce a special offer? Pick one main goal and make sure that every element of your email points towards achieving it.
Personalise – Unlike adverts and posters, email marketing gives you the chance to talk to your customers on a one-to-one basis so use it. Greet them by name, suggest ideas based on previous purchases, and formulate your message in a relaxed, friendly and personal tone.
Be creative – Email marketing offers huge opportunities to be interactive, colourful and engaging. Embrace this by utilising an innovative mix of images, text, links, video and fonts to catch your customer’s eye and make your business memorable.
Call to action – With your marketing goal in mind, make it easy for readers to navigate your email. Draw their attention to particular buttons and links using colour, fonts, or a simple underline so they have a clear visual guide on where to click, should they wish to get more information.
Use your contacts –Our clients often collect customer email addresses as part of their day to day activity, but forget to include them on special offers so remember to use all the data you have at hand. This should also include the names and email addresses of contacts in Outlook, email addresses collected in contact forms and sign ups, and so on – as they can always opt to unsubscribe.
Manage replies – Email marketing isn’t a one way tool so expect replies from customers. Make sure you have a dedicated email address set up that accepts replies and automatically forwards them to customer services to action and follow up.
Test test test – Your customers will use a range of browsers and providers for their emails including Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook. Set up email addresses for each of these (it’s free) and send test emails to check how they read. It’s not unusual for an email to look perfect on one platform but dreadful on another, but by testing, fixing, and double-checking this in advance, you can ensure your contact list will receive a consistently beautiful email.
Subject line – The subject line is your only opportunity to grab the reader’s attention before they decide to open an email so ensure your subject line is distinctive. It should be relevant to the content of the email, but it also needs to stand out so consider a dash of humour or wit. Avoid symbols (£, %, @, #), smileys, or too many capital letters and keep the subject line less than 50 characters.
Timing is crucial – Plan your email marketing campaigns in line with your overall digital marketing strategy and avoid spamming your contact list with too many emails. As you test your emails, it’s likely that a pattern will emerge as to which time of day and day of the week produces the best open rates – adjust your send times accordingly.
Measure results – There’s no steadfast trick to the perfect email campaign but thankfully it easy to fine tune them based on previous sends and experience. Take the time to look at which emails performed well, by analysing open rates, click through rates, and direct sales. There’s likely to be a common factor across the most successful emails so build this into future campaigns and you’re likely to see better results.
With the help of our unique email marketing tool Beebo, you can build innovative and cost-effective email campaigns to get your business under the nose of new or potential customers. The Beebo platform is intuitive and easy to use which is why we recommend it to clients, but also use it ourselves. It’s built in metrics make it easy to analyse which parts of the email campaign work best, helping users to modify future emails and effectively use email marketing as a key business driver.
If you would like assistance with your email campaigns, and a free demonstration of email marketing tool Beebo then Ecce Media’s experts would love to hear from you, so let’s talk.