Create an Effective Email Campaign
If you haven’t sent an email marketing campaign before or you are having a tough time getting good response from your efforts then following tips should help you carry out a campaign and ensure a successful return on your investment:
Plan your email campaign
It is very important to plan your email campaign in advance of your send date so as to give yourself time to make sure your email campaign is as good as it can be. When planning your email campaign, consider the following:
When is the best time and date to send your email?
Who is your target audience?
What are your objectives?
What is your budget?
How are you going to implement and track your campaign?
Segmentize, Filter, Personalise and be relevant
Segmentizing your customer list would enable you to better target your audience. The better your targeting, the more likely your campaign will be a success.
Setup an email account that you can use for your newsletters, and make sure it works
Setup an email account such as “email@example.com” and use that as the “Reply-To” address for all your email marketing. It is not advisable to use a specific individual's email address like “Rachel@domain.com” because when Rachel leaves the organisation, so will your email address. It is also best not to use a fake email address for your newsletters as anti-spam systems will detect and perhaps place a block on your domain for future mailings.
Write a great subject line
In order to maximise your email open rate you need to write a good subject line as that's the first thing that people see before deciding to open your email or to send to it to SPAM. Keep your subject line simple, to the point and tell the reader what to expect inside. Don’t use words like “free” which might trigger spam filters. Personalising the subject line to the recipient and including your company name works well to encourage high open rates.
Design a strong campaign creative
It is very important when designing your email campaign creative that you design a strong wire-frame template and consider these tips;
Give readers the choice of both HTML and text versions of your email.
Logo in the upper left corner is always a strong placement.
Make good use of the top 2 to 4 inches of your email design which is prime reading space.
Keep your message short – keep scrolling to a minimum.
Don’t use lots of different fonts and colours.
Make your call to action prominent and clear so that your audience knows what to do.
Make both images and text clickable.
Don’t use one big giant image as this may be mistaken for spam - always include some text.
Make sure copy is easily scannable – web readers won’t read every word.
Don’t try to make your emails too fancy with Flash as it can be removed by anti-virus programs trying to protect email programs getting infected.
Include an unsubscribe link in the footer of every email campaign you design.
Direct customers through to a relevant landing page
You’re doing well if you’ve managed to persuade your customers to open and read your email – don’t lose their interest when they click through by sending them to your home page or a basic product listing page. You should be sending customers through to a purpose built landing page designed to convert click throughs into leads and sales. Landing Pages should have:
Only use content on the landing page which is relevant to your email campaign.
Make sure the most important information is displayed where it is likely to be read (at the top and/or to the left).
Make your call to action prominent and clear so that your audience knows what to do next and are directed to the end goal.
Make your call to action clickable.
Perform test sends of your Newsletters prior to the real Broadcast
Don’t forget to test your email campaign before you send it out to potential customers. First impressions count and you don’t want anything to go wrong which might put them off doing business with you. You should send at least 5 test emails to yourself, and to all your test email accounts, before you send your email campaign out to your customer list. You should always test:
What the email will look like in the most popular email readers (Outlook, Hotmail, Google Mail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, & etc) - set up as many test accounts with free email providers as possible and leave them in their default settings.
That your images aren’t broken.
That your email won’t be considered spam. Do not modify the spam filter settings or add your domain to the whitelist, or do anything that might bias it in your favor. Send test emails to those accounts to see if your email renders correctly, and if they pass through their spam filters. By doing this you can be assured that your newsletters are passing through to the people you are sending unless they have specifically blocked you off from their SPAM Filters.
That your unsubscribe link works
A way to ensure that your email doesn’t have any of the obvious words or phrases that mean it is likely to get automatically sent to the junk mail folder is to use a free spam checker – there are lots available to choose from.
Give your Marketing Team or System Admin advance notice on the broadcast schedule
It is advisable to give your team a heads up on your broadcast schedule so that there will be staff ready to take up and respond to any inquiries which might come about from your special announcement. Additionally Many users will start by sending test newsletters to themselves, or to a group of co-workers. Make sure that your domain's SPF is properly configured so that your company’s spam filter or email gateway will be prepared for the newsletter and not treat it as SPAM. Ensuring that SPF is properly set will definately improve on the penetration & success send rate as that basically informs receiving servers that your mail server is properly authorised to send outbound mails for your domain.
Clean & Update Your Subscriber List
If you already have a list of email subscribers that have opted-in over the last few years, but you just haven’t had time to contact them until now, be sure to clean your list first. Get rid of very old emails; any email address older than six months is likely to be dead. If you send to too many “dead” email accounts, you’ll look like a spammer to most ISPs, and you risk being blacklisted.
However targeted your message and attractive your creative, your email can only be successful if you have an up to date, accurate opt-in data list to send your campaign to. A high bounceback rate indicates your data list is out of date and a high unsubscribe rate means you aren’t sending relevant emails to customers who want to hear from you.
Measure campaign success
It is very important to make sure that you are monitoring key email marketing metrics such as;
The number of emails delivered (delivery rate).
The number of emails opened (open rate).
The number of click-throughs generated (click-through rate).
Ideally, each time you send an email, you want to increase the number of people who open and act on it. Analysing your campaign results will help you do this.
Remember, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express won't help you track email results, manage unsubscribes, or process and remove bouncebacks from your list so you should not send your newsletters out using these program. For a simple solution, WebEMAIL2u can send out and track all your email campaigns for you.