June 2, 2010 Michael Bickerton
Email marketing is a simple and easy tool to implement from your digital toolbox. It is imperative that you use your best practices and that your objectives are aligned with your conventional direct marketing campaigns. Yes, we are assuming print should be part of your mix.
You need to be trustworthy to your customers and prospects, as such, respect unsubscribes and preference requests when offered, and yes you should offer them. Use the data provided appropriately, build your own permission-based list and protect it. When building an email campaign, build not only content but plan your campaign, there’s nothing worse than just blasting out there without planned or anticipated goals. Your customer and prospects will feel the lack of direction.
Remember, email blasts are very measurable, you can track CPM, you can track CPC, you can track purchases, as such set up your key measurement indicators. Testing is recommended on most campaigns, testing subject lines, yes make a difference. Testing offers, yes even a bigger difference is the offer. So make it real, if you want a real response.
Although you have to respect your email customers and clients, there are times in building awareness that “just getting out there” is a strategy, but, please make sure you have your next steps mapped out. Your digital agency can assist you in determining if you can produce these programs in house or outsource. The choice is yours, yet, if your email programs are really important, I would suggest the use of professional creative in all cases.
Clients ask us when is it best to send emails, and the reply? When your customers expect them, need them and when you have a significant offer. The statistics tell us that the first 9 months of the year are relatively stable periods to send emails with about 8% to 9%, with December being the strongest with just over 14% of emails being sent. Our recommendation: anytime is a good time to get your email programs started, and let’s remember, consistency is key to your long-term success.
One of the biggest “oops” or “we forgot” … is not remembering to assist in collecting additional emails, allowing customers to update email addresses, preferences and never forget the refer a friend component. Email marketing is an easy, fast, flexible, personalized, targeted and cost effective means of communication today!
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, May 2010