We are all inundated with emails. That’s a fact. And yes – your customers are flooded with emails as well. How can you ensure your message gets seen? Implement the time-tested strategies associated with direct marketing.
I’m suggesting that you apply those same strategies to your firm’s email marketing campaigns. However there is one fact that you need to keep in mind going into this, the average person receives dozens of emails every day. Some lucky people even receive hundreds of emails per day. It should hardly come as a surprise that large numbers of marketing messages are deleted without even being read. Yes, it’s true.
In a perfect world, every recipient would open your email, click on the link and buy your product – or service. Of course if that were the case, we would all be millionaires. However, your email might be detected by spam filters and never make it to the targeted customers inbox.
If your email is lucky enough and does land in a recipients’ inbox, your email will most likely land in a very cluttered environment. Once there your email must compete for attention against more critical emails such as from:
- Friends and families
- Colleagues and clients
It’s extremely easy for customers to judge your email as spam and hit delete. The real skill for an email marketer is to entice customers to read the email.
The key factors for an effective email campaign are:
- Precise timing
- Accurate creative execution
- Targeting the appropriate potential customers
Timing is also related to relevancy. Therefore, let’s not forget about relevancy when considering the timing of a message. For instance, don’t give free delivery and/or special offers right off the bat. It would behoove your company to use the free delivery and special offer tactics to win back lost customers. Be timely with these offers. If your firm waits too long, that customer’s business may go to your competitor. Let’s say that your company lost a customer due to a communication error. A letter of apology from your company should be sent to this customer explaining your regret for the situation. Explain to the customer how sorry you are that the relationship has been damaged. Follow this with the special offer. The main point here is not purely that a well-written correspondence is sent to the customer, the customer must receive the email promptly. The promptness of the email will demonstrate to the customer how important their business is.
Effective creative execution is critical to the success of an email campaign. Emails need to reflect a professional image with clear company branding. Anything that appears ill-conceived or rushed tends to be dismissed as spam.
Once the basics are completed, the matter of finessing the copy-writing and design is of maximum importance. The beauty of email is that you may test different subject lines or offers within your database to determine the most successful tactic.
Short case study of creative execution
Agency Proximity London designed a campaign for Eurostar to promote Brussels as a travel destination to the organization’s target audience of 25 to 45-year-old Eurostar travelers in London and southeastern England.
The creative execution focused on the concept “Indulge Yourself in Brussels”. The email campaign presented the city as a sophisticated destination for food, drink and sightseeing. To drive the message home, the campaign utilized humorous lines such as, “There’s more to Brussels than sprouts”. The email campaign delivered a return on investment (ROI) of more than 24:1, with open rates and click-through rates of 30%.
This campaign proved that good execution built around a well-developed concept delivers a higher rate of return. Effective creative is what makes the difference between incremental predictable results and a campaign that surpasses expectations. The experience of a strong planning team is what fuels a superior creative campaign. This is why integrated agencies are industry leaders when it comes to using email within online marketing campaigns.
Designing high-quality creative campaigns require that consumers as well as spam filters are considered. Corporate spam filters recognize certain key words. For example, corporate spam filters know words like “Viagra”, “free offer”, and “over 18”. Therefore spam filters are able to reject emails with those words as well as reject emails that have too many pictures and not enough text. Text is able to be placed in the code of pictures.
Customized and targeted emails have a better success rate than generic messages. This is another area where most experts agree and have experienced positive results. One key factor is the creation of a relevant and targeted message. For example, if a visitor to your website views products A, B, and C – don’t send that visitor a generic email blast. Send these specific visitors emails showcasing offers for products A, B and/or C. To add a personal touch, write to “Dear Betty”, not to dear valued customer. Also sometimes companies get too hooked up on getting granular with the data. Here’s an example, simply because a customer stated a desire to visit Australia, doesn’t necessarily indicate that this same customer isn’t willing to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend.
As stated t the beginning, many experts agree that traditional direct marketing principles apply in the digital landscape. There are usually two or three reasons why an email campaign is unsuccessful. These three reasons won’t come as any surprise. Campaigns are usually ineffective because the campaign was poorly targeted, the campaign was introduced at the wrong time, and/or the creative/offer was poorly conceived.
You’ll most likely agree that most email campaigns must start with a reliable and accurate database. That database holds not only names and email addresses, this same database also houses customer’s demographic information, purchase history, and interests and preferences. It goes without saying that this information has the capacity to be enormously powerful for marketers wanting to create a campaign that is targeted and personalized to the best potential customers. That being said, please don’t over-analyze your data. Don’t get drawn into the minutia. Use your database to assist you in identifying customer and demographic trends in your data.
One last important tactic you may choose is ask your subscribers to add you to the safe list or save your company’s email address in order to minimize the number of rejections.
When it gets down to it, I strongly suggest you follow old-fashioned direct marketing principles and work proactively with internet service providers to get your email message to customers. Currently, this seems to be the best strategy to receive maximum response rates and ensure your firm’s success.Tweet