Email remains a crucial tool for promoting a business online, and a successful email campaign can deliver tangible benefits to a company’s bottom line. Open rates for B2C messages stand at around 15%, meaning one in seven recipients on a distribution list will learn about your latest sales offer or marketing campaign. That’s a significant proportion, considering that emails are free to send and easy to distribute in bulk.
Nonetheless, a fruitful e-marketing program requires far more than a recipient list. It needs careful staging to achieve optimal results. Below, we consider the various building blocks underpinning any effective email campaign…
Identify your audience
Don’t fire out emails indiscriminately, as this is a surefire way to end up on sender blacklists and have your domain authority undermined. Also, avoid those $20 contacts lists promoted by spammers which are populated by dead accounts and people who didn’t consent to share their data. Instead, assemble a custom contact list from previous customers. Providing nobody has been signed up without their consent, most recipients should be fairly receptive. Even so, ensure it only takes a single (and clearly identified) mouse click to unsubscribe.
Set a goal
There’s no benefit from telling people what day of the week it is, or how awesome a firm is. Email campaigns are typically used to promote key events, unveil new products or provide additional information. Even if you’re simply trying to encourage lapsed customers to return, a clear purpose is critical. Messages may be transactional, relational or promotional in nature, but they should always inform or encourage an action – or ideally both.
Use existing templates
A plain text email won’t look very enticing, even if its text is absolutely compelling. Instead, use customizable templates from marketing companies who can also handle personalization and audience segmentation. People won’t give you extra business based on email aesthetics alone, but an attractively designed (and readable) template will build positive brand connotations. And a drag-and-drop template is far easier than trying to code in HTML, especially given today’s variety of screen resolutions.
Create compelling text
Even if a message looks sharp and contains a powerful CTA, many people decide whether to read it based on the subject line. This is a balancing act, since words like “cheap” and “free” are associated with spam and may push the message into junk folders. Try to convey the campaign’s primary objective in a minimal number of words. “Double discount sale until Sunday” is nicely self-explanatory when coupled with your firm’s name in the From field. As for body copy, keep it short and punchy with two or three-sentence paragraphs. Gentle humor works well, but avoid jargon or slang that could alienate certain audience demographics.
Distribute emails at opportune times
In terms of responses, Tuesday and Saturday have been identified as the best days for B2B and B2C campaigns respectively. Lower open rates on Fridays and higher traffic volumes on Mondays mean that these days should be avoided. Sending messages through the night ensures they’re in recipient inboxes for the peak opening and click-through period, between 10 am and 1 pm.
Analyze the feedback
Don’t assume your work is done when a mass circular has been distributed. It’s only just beginning. Use each email campaign to refine the next one by studying open and response rates alongside forwards and unsubscribe requests. Your sender reputation will change significantly after a mass mailing, which might pose new challenges or present additional opportunities. No campaign is perfect, and there are always new ways to present a message more effectively.
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