A beginner’s guide to effective email marketing

Don’t miss these basics!

“You’ve got mail.” How many of you remember this phrase, the pop-up we used to receive when the World Wide Web was a luxury?

Social media has opened up a Pandora’s Box and tweets, likes, status updates have taken the place of the message mentioned above, but we still do check our emails every day, out of habit, out of work responsibility or maybe pure boredom. The inbox seems to have become our place of solace in the maddening virtual world.

This means there’s immense business opportunity there. Email marketing campaigns have the potential to elevate businesses beyond measure. Facebook with over 1 billion active users and Twitter boasting of 255 million, numbers around the lesser spoken of email usage may come as a surprise. The total number of worldwide email accounts was 3.9 billion in 2013, and projected to reach 4.9 billion by 2017, according to Radicati.

Let’s get back to the basics and see how we can take it from ground up.

  1. Everyone is being overwhelmed by advertisements and pitches everywhere they go and you may feel yours is different, in fact it may be unique, but the fact is time and attention span have shrunk more than ever before. Sending an email to potential customers needs to be a very polite gesture, considering you are literally in their isolated space.
  2. Without appropriate permission to get started, you cannot barge into any inbox, so it’s important to come up with a strategy to create an email list.
  3. Be clear about why you are asking for someone’s email ID. The inbox owner needs to know:
    • What they will get out of it
    • Whether there is any possibility of spam
    • Frequency of emails
    • Whether it makes them eligible for any deals

“Enter your email for updates or more details” is passé!

Get whitelisted to ensure your emails aren’t directly landing up in the spam folders without you being aware. The best way is to provide instructions at the top of the email on how to do so—especially on the thank you and first follow-up email.

Be consistent with your follow-up efforts. Keep a call to action in mind at all times and follow up consistently. It’s critical that you never send out emails daily if someone has signed up for a weekly deal. That’s a deal breaker. Vice versa as well!

We are well aware of analytics and the value they bring to social media. Email marketing is no different. Every service provider provides complimentary analytics, which you may want to connect with them on.

All aspects are very important but most important and easy to understand and gauge are open rate, click through rate and unsubscribes. Open rate will tell you how people are responding to the message, click through rate is directly related to targeting of a message and unsubscription rate will tell you whether you need to take quick actions to improve copy and build value. If people are leaving after a certain autoresponder email, you can rework on it. If they are opting out after receiving marketing messages, then you may need to work on the presentation of deals and offers, and if they are leaving soon after opting for subscription, it may mean you need to fix your original call to action. The key here is paying attention.

As a parallel step, don’t forget to segment your email list, which is dividing your email list into targeted groups for personalized messaging as per their interest.

The following are ways to segment a more unified list:

  • Customer List
  • Product Updates
  • Newsletter
  • Daily Email List
  • HTML

If you don’t give the option to your customers to choose the messaging, you risk losing them before winning their trust. Segmentation will allow you to send a message to those that didn’t even open your last message, to check what went wrong and how you can improve. Keep the text personalized, to the point and short.

As per stats, if you post an update to 10,000 fans on Facebook, only close to 200 will have a chance of seeing it in their News Feed. On the other hand, if you send an email campaign to 10,000 subscribers, a minimum of 9,000 of them would get it in their inbox. Yes, this means your message has 45 times more chances to be seen using email than Facebook.

Get email friendly!

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