Think email marketing is dead? Not only is it alive and kicking, experts claim it is the most effective and profitable way to turn prospects into customers. In fact, by 2016, U.S. businesses are projected to spend $2.468 billion on email marketing each year.
So, whether you’re ready to ditch email marketing altogether, or if you’re just deciding to jump on the bandwagon, it’s important to consider that successful programs involve a lot of strategy. Take the time to make your campaign not only stand out from the crowd, but devise it so that it also generates the results you want. The guidelines below represent industry best practices to keep in mind when developing your next email campaign:
1) Customize Data
It’s essential to create niche campaigns that speak directly to a specific target audience and a group that shares common variables relevant to your offer – whether it’s an entire industry, a specific business pain, a need for a product upgrade or service renewal, etc. This is key to achieving a high open rate with email marketing. When developing campaign-specific databases, be sure that you identify both the appropriate target customers and every applicable contact, as customers may have more than one. Also be sure to use quality data as the basis for your campaigns. Without the most up-to-date information on your prospects – which fuels your ability to reach out to the right people at the right time with the right offers — everything else that goes into your campaign, no matter how creative, is simply futile.
2) Timing is Everything
When determining the best day and the best time of day to initiate your email campaign, it’s important to consider both your offer and the work habits of your audience. It’s best to avoid Mondays and Fridays, and to be sure your offer won’t get buried or be overlooked, try not to be the day’s first or last message in your recipient’s inbox.
3) Clear Call to Action
By including a very specific and easy to fulfill offer up-front, recipients will understand the purpose of the email and they will be able to follow through almost immediately. To create a call to action that takes minimal effort from the recipient, try hyperlinked service renewal contracts, embedded email reply capabilities, etc.
4) Analyze Campaign Results
Measuring and analyzing email receipt, opens and click-through rates will not only help you quantify the return on investment (ROI) of campaign initiatives, it will also help you to improve future campaigns by determining the target customers and unique offers that have the highest closure probabilities.
In a world where it’s easier to fill an inbox than a tank of gas, sending out a general email to everyone in your contact list isn’t going to cut it. Accurate and up-to-date data are the foundation of successful email marketing campaigns. When you take the time to not only cleanse and enrich your data, but also build a campaign strategy around actionable business insights and best practices, you can be sure to achieve the most optimal results.