October 26, 2011

Email Marketing: 6 Crucial Steps for Success

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email-marketing

How often should you contact your clients to remind them of your goods or services? This is debatable but Oscar Wilde summed it up the best when he said...

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Today, email marketing and email newsletters provide one of the best and least expensive means of staying in touch with your current and potential clients.

However, with approximately 294 billion emails sent per day how can you be sure your message gets through? Below we lay out 6 crucial steps for email & newsletter marketing success.

1. Start with a good email list: Make sure your list is current and that everyone on the list has agreed to receive communications from you by “opting in” via your website or other means. No one likes spam. If you repeatedly send emails to inactive email addresses or to people who are not interested in your goods or services you run the risk of having your domain blacklisted and it can be very hard to correct.

2. Send your email at the right time: What is the best day and time to send your emails? That may depend on your type of business but most experts advise sending your email marketing and newsletter emails Tuesday – Thursday in the early to mid-morning. People tend to check their emails in the morning before or right after getting to work and by avoiding Friday – Monday you have a better chance of catching people when they are not on vacation or out of the office.

3. Make it easy to read: Email marketing and newsletter templates should be visually appealing, use an easy to read font, match the look and feel of your website & other marketing materials, and not be too cluttered. Your email should also display well on handheld and portable devices like the iPhone, iPad, & Android. See some recent examples Tree Top Web Design has built for clients below.

4. Keep your message short, sweet, and to the point: Be direct in order to avoid wasting your reader’s time. Give your reader a clean headline and a precisely written piece of text. If you have more information to present provide a link that an interested person can follow to read your entire message.

5. Test before you send: Always, always, always send a test email BEFORE sending to your entire list (I prefer to send to at least one other person as well). Check your email for grammar, spelling, layout, and make sure all of your links work properly. You only get 1 chance when you send an email.

6. Track your success: Use the analytic tracking capabilities of your email provider or third party vendor (like Google Analytics) to measure your email delivery rate, open rate, and how many people responded to your call to action (aka. clicked a link). You can compare your open rate to others in your industry by viewing current published numbers in the article Email Marketing Benchmarks by Industry. Over time you can build a dataset that will allow you to finely tune your email content, call to action, and send time.

Ask for help! Often times it makes sense to consult an expert when establishing an email marketing or newsletter campaign. It doesn’t need to cost too much, and what you do invest can have a significant return in your professional appearance in the eyes of your clients.

 Recent Marketing Emails by Tree Top Web Design

Click on any image to view the full email.

 
 
 
 
Ross McClenahan

Ross McClenahan is co-owner and Lead Developer at Tree Top Web Design, a Santa Cruz Web Design firm.

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