How Does your Email Marketing Stack Up?

Have you been thinking about email marketing?  Will email marketing work for your business?  How effective is email marketing?

First off, your website is the foundation of your digital marketing. But there’s more to digital marketing than just having the latest in responsive web design. An effective, well thought out email marketing program can help maximize your company’s visibility and brand awareness, and mine the gold that’s in those sales leads your sales department has accumulated over the last 12 months that haven’t committed or otherwise make a purchasing decision.

A Few Email Marketing Statistics: recently produced a list of 25 email marketing statistics that should make any business owner, large or small, sit up and take notice.  Here are just a few:

  • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
  • 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.
  • 70% of people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.
  • 82% of consumers open emails from companies64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.
  • So the questions, how to get started and what things to consider when launching an email marketing campaign.

There are a number of very good email marketing systems out there, two of the most popular being Constant Contact and MailChimp.  For companies just starting out, MailChimp is a full featured service, and it’s also completely free if your mailing list is under 2,000 names. Both of these providers are used by Fortune 1000 companies and for the most part, if you follow the rules, your message won’t run afoul of spam filters.

Email Marketing: Getting Permission First

One of the biggest rules of email marketing (there’s even a Federal law on this subject) is that you must have permission from your email recipients to send them marketing emails.  This can generally be construed such that if your recipient has made an inquiry of you about your business and has given you their contact information and email address in that context, you’re in the clear.  Check out the rules at Constant Contact or MailChimp.  It will save you a lot of headaches and possibly being banned.

Once you’ve identified your email marketing objectives and gotten permission from your prospects or customers, the next thing you need to do is create the actual message you are going to send them. There are some best practices to consider when you put your first campaign together (and all subsequent campaigns) that will help your open and response rates, and help you achieve your overall marketing goals:

  • The subject line is the most important part of the message.  Make sure it always makes sense, is clear and compelling.
  • Make sure your email content itself is clear, uncluttered and easily readable.  Forget the fancy dingbats and graphics.  Do what my high school speech teacher said: “Be clear, be brief and be seated.”
  • Write your message the same way a newspaper reporter writes an article for publication: start with the most important information first.  Get the message across in the first sentence or paragraph.  People’s attention span is short. Supporting information comes next, then a clear, bold call to action at the end.
  • Mobile email readers are in a hurry and want to get the message quickly.  Don’t weight the message down with heavy, slow loading images, and keep your message “short and sweet” and highly relevant.
  • Like the subject line, the “from” name is crucial.  Make sure the reader can clearly see who the message is from when it pops into their inbox.  Don’t use a spammy catch phrase in the From field.  If the “from” field says “Acme Refrigeration,” for example, and not “Cool deals from Acme,” you stand a much better chance of your email being opened.

Email Marketing: Quality and Consistency Count

A high quality, consistent, on-going email marketing program exposes your company and your message to your audience reinforces your brand message and name recognition. Properly executed and strategically planned for the long haul, email marketing can be an extraordinarily powerful marketing tool for your business.

Do you have questions about email marketing and how it can work for you?  Give us a call and talk to one of our Syracuse digital marketing specialists.  We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. No heavy sales pitch, and no pressure.  Isn’t that refreshing?