Saturday, December 15, 2012

Email Marketing Basics - 7 Keys to Success


Tip #1: Keep it Simple


Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars on fancy email template design and rack your brain for creative subject lines - but it's probably not money or time well spent. Most email marketing services offer customizable, ready-to-use templates that provide a clean, polished look. And when it comes to subject lines, research proves that clear, direct subject lines consistently outperform cute and creative ones.


Tip #2: Build Your List

It's simple math: subscribers x response rate = results. And while it can be difficult to generate a massive uptick in your response rate, it's fairly simple to grow your email list by offering a good sign up incentive such as a valuable white paper, report or coupon and promoting your list in every way possible including email footers, web pages, conferences, trade shows and social media.

Tip #3: Offer Value

Whether it's important information, a shopping discount code or even a laugh, be sure each email you send offers something of value to your readers. If your subscribers aren't benefiting from your emails, they'll be sure to tune you out.

Tip #4: Make it Personal

Typically, an email from a person performs slightly better than an email from a business. For example, an email from "Santa Claus" would be better than an email from "The Up North Toy Factory".

Tip #5: Stay on the Radar (Within Reason)

If you maintain an email marketing list, be sure to use it at least once a month. If too much time goes by between emails, subscribers may forget who you are or why they signed up for your list. On the flip side, if you're sending more than once or twice a week, your subscribers may opt out as the annoyance factor rises.

Tip #6: Experiment

Email marketers often ask questions like "What subject line is best?" and "What is the best time of day to send?" The answer: it depends. What works well for one list may not work well for yours, so most email programs offer something called an A/B split. This tool divides your list into two groups so you can test various factors, such as the best day of the week to send or the best subject line. Just remember to test one factor at a time and keep an eye on your results. When done consistently, testing will lead to the constant improvement of your email marketing efforts.

Tip #7: Know Your Goals

Once you know your email marketing goals, you'll be better able to tailor the content of your emails. For example, if you want to increase brand engagement you might offer polls or incentives for following your company on Facebook. If you want to generate new leads for a software program, send out an invitation to download a white paper on a related topic. Perhaps most importantly, setting goals will help you determine the results of your email marketing program and pave the way for future success.

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