1. Building a productive database
Given the potential benefits of sending relevant and personalised content, it’s essential to create and maintain a customer database that works well for email marketing. This means ensuring your processes capture email addresses and provide opportunities for customers to quickly update their details. You can also build a database of prospective customers by running a competition or inviting people to sign up for a useful resource via your website. You can also collaborate with a related business. Remember to ensure you have permission to use each email address for marketing and always include an unsubscribe option.
2. Creating compelling content
These days, cloud-based email tools include easy-to-use templates for all kinds of businesses and campaign objectives. Best practice means including images in your emails, keeping your copy short and linking to something relevant and useful on your website. Depending on the nature of your business, you can keep the hard sales messages to a minimum and build relationships by providing useful content, community-building stories and opportunities for two-way communication.
You can feature:
- Exclusive member-only offers or sneak previews
- Refer a friend to save or win
- What’s new at your business that will benefit customers
- Trends and tips in your product or service area
- Customer, supplier or employee stories and case studies
- Initiatives based on customer suggestions
- Updates on your community/charity/environmental activities
3. Always make it personal
Today’s email marketing tools are making sophisticated features available, affordable and easy to use. You can personalise email subjects and messages with the recipient’s name. You can also track the topics they prefer and tailor future emails to the interests of specific customer groups.
4. Testing and learning to build effectiveness
A good email marketing tool lets you test different layouts, send times, subject lines and/or content across a section of your database, then automatically send the most effective one to everybody else. These tools provide reports that help you easily measure their effectiveness, such as open rates and response rates, how long people read an email and even whether recipients prefer to click on pictures or text links. Importantly, these tools help with managing your database by identifying non-deliveries and ensuring someone who unsubscribes doesn’t receive further emails, even if you accidently add them again.
An easy template to plan all your digital marketing campaigns
Do you want an easy-to-use template to plan out all your marketing activity, including email marketing campaigns? We’ve created one that you can use straight away: 5 Templates to Drive Marketing Success.