Best Practice

Email Marketing

An Effective Way To Disseminate Information 

In the age of video streaming, grocery delivery services and talk of drones dropping packages off at our front doors, it is safe to say most of us are more than happy to let what we want come straight to us. The time and effort saved through these services simply make too good of a case for instant gratification; and with a million things to juggle, it is nice to have exactly what we want to buy, read or watch delivered straight to us with minimal effort required.

Marketing and advertising professionals are no strangers to this power of accessibility, and what could be more accessible than the information dropped straight into our mailboxes? Direct mail campaigns have been around for as long as zip codes have, and with the advent of email, consumers’ digital inboxes naturally became the most obvious option for delivering messages. Email marketing is still relied upon as an effective way of disseminating information, now generating an average of $44 for every $1 spent when done effectively. In order to ensure your emails are delivering these kinds of results, you have to make sure what you are delivering is worthwhile. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure maximum results with minimum effort.

Pick Your Tools

When re-evaluating an existing email marketing strategy or starting out with a new campaign, you must determine which of the many email marketing programs are best for you. There are countless software options available, so this may take some research into aspects such as capabilities, cost and user support options before you make your decision. Capabilities will vary, and cost typically depends on the size of your mailing lists and the capacity in which you plan on implementing these tools. Constant Contact, for instance, offers tools for event management, social media assistance and contact management. MailChimp offers slightly more affordability, landing page options and can be connected to Google Analytics for easy tracking. ActiveCampaign, Drip, GetResponse and others offer their own sets of pros and cons, so take the time to weigh these against your strategy.

Curating Contacts

While in the past email blasts made up the majority of campaigns, targeted and segmented contacts who have chosen to opt in to receive your emails now offer a notably more effective way of reaching out. In this way, you can ensure your contacts are already willing to listen to you and want to read your content or receive your news. This is vital for engagement, which is vital for the success of your campaign.

Your existing lists can be segmented by examining what industry sectors they are in, events they may have attended and previous purchases they have made. As you build out your campaign, create a sign-up form for your recipients to fill out when they opt in, with fields including age, gender, location and email preferences, to help you further segment your database.

Creating Content

There are countless types of emails that may be appropriate to add to your email calendar, but you should always begin with a simple hello. A welcome email gets you off on the right foot with the consumer, and they have proven to be worth the effort: on average, 320 percent more revenue is attributed to them on a per-email basis than other promotional emails. After this, you might consider creating emails for event promotion, thank you emails, sales focused messages, industry news updates or newsletters.

When putting your messages together, consider:

  • Your content will depend heavily on your audience.
  • Keep it concise.
  • Include a call to action.
After the Email

Nearly all of these services come equipped with tools that make measuring the effects of your emails easier than ever. You can review engagement with open rates, click-thrus and unsubscribed lists. Some services even offer A/B testing, where you can send a specific email with just one segment altered, such as subject line, and examine which was most effective. You can also see how many emails bounced for any reason, making it easier to keep those lists you so carefully curated up-to-date. With this information, you can figure out what kind of content is most popular, making it easier to create more of it.

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About the author

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Cherise Czaban

Cherise Czaban is the publisher of i4 Business magazine and the CEO of i4 Business LLC. She formerly served as vice president of business development for SCB Marketing, the previous publishers of i4 Business.

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