Top 5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing
Email Marketing is a very powerful and cost-effective tool to boost your business. But there are several factors that can prevent an email campaign from being successful. The tips below will guide you on how to perform effective email marketing and achieve the best possible results.
Over the past few years, research has continued to prove the benefits of e-mail marketing for business: low costs, high conversion rates and detailed tracking are all notable features. But e-mail marketing is becoming much more than just a tool for spammers and e-businesses. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy on the differences between spam and permission-based emails, and more and more of them are accepting permission-based e-mail marketing as a positive replacement for direct mail.
The best news is that the majority of people who receive permission-based e-mails open, on average, 78% of them.
Jupiter Research reports effective email marketing campaigns can produce nine times the revenues and 18 times the profits of broadcast mailings. But crafting an effective business email is both an art and a science. Here is a list of factors, potential problems and effective solutions to keep in mind:
1. Spam! Spam! Spam! I don't need any Viagra!
So as a permission-based business email marketer, what can you do? One tip is to remind your subscribers to add you to their "safe senders" list. The second, and most important, tactic is to make sure your email marketing service provider has a good relationship with ISPs. This will ensure that your email marketing campaigns go into your subscribers' inboxes, not their junk mail folders. When choosing an email marketing software, make sure the company has strict anti-spam policies and complies with the guidelines of Can-Spam.
2. Images and formatting: Why do my emails look broken?
This was actually something that came up during Eliteweb.cc's beta-testing phases, as we had a client in the Canadian Government whose recipients were mostly using highly secure email programs. The solution we came up has now become one of our key competitive advantages.
What Eliteweb.cc does is it publishes every single email marketing campaign sent to a secure location on the web (a location only original recipients of the email can access, thanks to encrypted technology that automatically authenticates the user). The technology also ensures you can track your users' behaviors, even if they are reading your email campaign at the secure web location.
3. Personalization and relevant content: In a business e-mail, one size does not fit all.
But you're coupon is no good unless the user opens the email. Users in the study said the most compelling reason for them to open a business email is the name in the "from" field. So it's a good idea to make sure your company name is clearly stated there. Another major factor is the "subject" line. Users cite discount offers and interesting news as the most compelling subject lines, followed by new product announcements and free shipping offers.
4. Click-through and conversion: Show me the money!
In terms of industries, the top performers are travel, hardware/software, electronics, apparel, food, home furnishings, gifts/flowers and sporting goods. All companies sending business emails in those categories said between 71% and 80% of recipients have purchased their products because of an email campaign.
There's no need to fret if your company doesn't fit in to one of those industries. The overall landscape for email marketing conversions is looking brighter every day. The average click-to-purchase rate has increased nearly 30% since 2004 and the average orders-per-email-delivered rate has increased more than 18% since last year.
5. Stats tracking: Who are my real consumers?
But many marketers are still in the dark. According to a recent WebTrends research, only 5% of marketers are very confident in the measurement of their online marketing efforts, while 26% admit they're "flying blind." WebTrends says the low confidence comes from a lack of knowledge when it comes to measurement, which means there's still a lot of work to be done.
In email marketing, a blind shot won't take you very far. But if you aim properly by following these essential rules of play, you should soon be reaping the same major results as so many online and offline businesses.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Burko is the president and founder of Eliteweb.cc, a web portal that provides Fortune 500 solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Eliteweb.cc's Elite Email Marketing program is optimized for all the above tips.