Grow Your Business with Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business. It can be simple and quick to use, and it can help you reach an unprecedented number of potential customers while staying in touch with current ones.
Email marketing also enables you to cost-effectively communicate with your customers in a way that’s immediate and relevant. Many businesses are interested in using email marketing, but feel that running an effective email campaign is too technical, too expensive, or obsolete as a result of SPAM abuse.
Here are some of my best practices for using email marketing effectively:
1. Get Permission
Responsible email marketing is based on the idea of permission. You need an email address owner’s permission before you can send him or her a commercial email. If you don’t have permission, then the recipients of your mail may well regard your message as spam or unsolicited commercial (bulk) email. Glue Digital recommends against sending email to purchased lists. This can lead to SPAM complaints and even getting you blacklisted by major Internet providers. This means that all of your email may get blocked from reaching your customers. If you have permission of email address owners, then you have a better chance of building a long-term successful relationship with them.
2. Deliver Quality Content
Make sure you send emails filled with information that is relevant to your customers. As much as you are trying to sell something, you don’t have to make it so obvious. Readers may unsubscribe from your list if they discover that you have no relevant content that can benefit them and you’re just trying to sell.
3. Test, Refine and Improve
Keep testing and improving your subject lines, headlines and copy, design, offer, landing pages, even the delivery timing. Avoid the SPAM filter by excluding words such as “free” in the subject line and text. Set up both HTML and text versions of your templates. Many email marketing tools provide your email subscribers the option of changing their preference for HTML email to text. Supporting both will improve your open rates. Before you send out to your list, send a test email to yourself. Test and retest until your campaign is perfect. This will help improve your email campaigns.
4. Select the Right Tools
When launching an email campaign, you will need an email service provider. A good email service provider (ESP) can help you automate the execution of your campaigns. Selecting the right tool will help you maintain best practices for list building and help you avoid having your message end up in the SPAM folder. A good ESP will raise your delivery rate, manage your opt-in and opt-out process, keep your email list clean and provide reports that can help you improve your results.
5. Track Your Results
Keep track of your how many people opt out of your mailing list and your open and click-through rates as a percentage of the total mails you send. Your ESP should be able to automate those services for you. Consider tracking email results on your website too.
Many website analytics packages track email referrals so you can see how many page views you get from a particular email, the time spent on site and lead conversions. Improve your open and click-through rate by including your customer’s first name in the greeting in each of your emails.