To run a successful business these days, you simply have to be engaging with people using technology. With so many digital options, it can be easy to forget about emails – but, used correctly, an email campaign can be a crucial way of marketing your company and bringing in new clients.
There will be business leaders out there who tell you email marketing doesn’t work. The truth is, it absolutely does – but you have to be doing it correctly to see the result that you want. It’s not just a case of firing off an email to your whole contact book and then hoping for the best – by contrast, the way companies see success through this method is by planning and delivering a schedule full of interesting content, which will engage, enthuse and educate.
Assuming you already have an extensive database of target clients (and if you don’t, then you really need to work on this first), the worst thing you can do is continually bombard every single one of them with messages which are too sales-focused, too generic, or simply boring.
Because doing that is essentially the online version of standing in your local high street shouting ‘buy from me’: the majority of people will walk straight past you, and those who do stop to see what the noise is about are unlikely to be overly impressed.
The X Factor
Emails can have the X factor for a number of reasons (and by X we’re talking about that little red cross in the corner which the recipient is going to press without even opening your email):
The headline doesn’t grab their attention – it doesn’t pose a question, intrigue them, or leave them wanting to know what the content of the message inside will be.
You’ve sent the same email to every single one of your contacts, regardless of whether the subject matter is relevant and interesting to them.
It’s only Tuesday and you’ve already sent them 14 emails that week. Even your already-loyal customers wouldn’t want to hear from you that often, so do think about the frequency as well as the content of your messaging.
Your email dropping into the recipient’s spam folder is just as bad, if not worse, as being relegated to the ‘deleted items’ folder without being read. But how and why does that happen?
Perhaps your email contains words which triggers email servers into thinking it’s spam (lists of these words are available online so it’s wise to check before you start your marketing campaign).
Your open rate is so low that your deliverability score plummets and emails are automatically placed in the spam folder.
Multiple links are included in each email. Not only is this frowned upon by the servers, it’s also not ideal for the readers either. One link through to a funnel, blog, events page or offer is best – and definitely don’t waste that one link by sending them to your homepage.
Getting It Right
Focusing on three key things you want your audience to do can and will prove fruitful when it comes to email marketing campaigns. These three things are: opening your email, clicking the link, and building up trust and confidence in you.
Firstly, you’ll want to look through your database and start by devising a list of topics which will appeal to a proportion of your contacts.
Downloading a deliverability score using a plug-in gives you an idea of your current open rate for emails, and you can then set targets to improve this month-on-month.
Consider how often you’ll send out emails, plotting out a schedule which will work for the recipient and for you (taking into account the time needed to create the content – you can automate almost every part of the system, but you need a person to write the words contained within the email).
Bear in mind the must-avoid spam words, include one link per email, and then you’re ready to hit send. It might seem like a lot to consider, but when your emails are being opened and read, and you’ve got a steady influx of new potential clients off the back of your campaign, then it’ll feel well worth it.