Digital marketing solutions like email marketing make a lot of sense in today’s connected world. While email marketing can be effective, it can be challenging to make it successful.
If you have been struggling with your email marketing campaigns, here are five helpful tips.
1. Sort out your contact database
If you have used an email newsletter or marketing campaign for more than a couple of years, you likely have a fair-sized contact database. A problem many businesses run into is that their contact databases are out of date. Emails are being sent to accounts that have been closed, or to recipients who have changed jobs. An out-of-date database can really hurt the effectiveness of email marketing.
Therefore it is a good idea to conduct a periodical audit of your database. Take the time to update information like names, positions, email addresses, etc. You should also look at how your database is organized.
Because of the varying nature of email campaigns, it is highly likely that you will eventually develop campaigns targeting specific segments of your audience. If your database isn’t likewise segmented, it could be a nightmare to create effective campaigns. At the very least you should include information for each contact like:
- Email address
- Referral source
2. Ensure people opt-in
Because of such widespread use, email has become the medium of choice for spammers and hackers trying to gain illicit access to various systems. To counter this, most email systems use scanning programs with strict filters that block any messages that could be spam. Additionally, a growing number of states and countries have no-spam laws which require that email senders must get recipients to opt-in and indicate that they wish to receive email marketing.
There are a number of ways you can get people to opt-in, including:
- Placing opt-in links in a clear spot on your website
- Including an opt-in link in an email footer
- Having an opt-in link as a part of sign-up or inquiry forms.
3. Determine the purpose
A common reason that things fail in business is because there was not a clearly defined process. The same can be said for email campaigns; if they lack a clearly defined purpose such as increasing sales, promoting a product, or moving traffic to a website, then the chances of success will be low.
When developing a campaign, take the time to define a purpose. What action do you want the recipient to take? From there, develop the content and layout around that purpose. Be sure to also define the type of people you want the email to reach, because this will make it easier to define a recipient list from your database.
4. KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid
Many email marketing initiatives fail because the company tries to include too much information, or has an overly complex layout and sign up procedure. Try writing content that gets to the point and tells the audience what they need to know in a clear, concise and correct manner.
When developing the layout, aim for something that looks clean, with ample white space and only the essential information. Careful use of images and design should also drive attention to the most important content.
Content should also be optimized for mobile devices. Because many recipients will deem your email marketing as non-essential, they may not look at it while at work. This may mean that they will look at it later on a mobile device. If your content doesn’t scale to fit smaller screens, the email will probably end up deleted.
5. Don’t be afraid to get some help
Email marketing can get complex. Try working with different email marketing providers to see what works for you and your content, and determine what provides the best results.
By working with an email service like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you could drastically improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.