Email Marketing for Fun and Profit

by Cassandra Moffitt on

It’s a familiar routine for everyone with an email address. You load up your inbox for the first time of the day and find two or three email campaigns sent by companies you’ve interacted with before. These could be company news updates, a sale of a particular product or service, event announcements or blog updates, but it’s content that you receive on a regular basis that helps keep you informed about the happenings of your favorite brands. On the other side, businesses are using email campaigns to keep their brand “top of mind” with you, so you think of them next time you have a need for their type of product or service. It’s more cost effective to keep a customer than it is to find a new one, and email campaigns are a powerful way to do just that.

Benefits

Types of Email Campaigns

There are many different types of email campaigns, and each type gives you another opportunity to build your brand with your current or potential customers.

The Steps of an Effective Email Campaign

Building Your List

You can’t send an email campaign if you don’t have any email addresses on your list. You can collect email addresses through a variety of means including a form on your website, through social media, visitors to your trade show booth, or people you have received business cards from at a networking event. You should also make sure to add any of your current customers, or anyone who has expressed an interest in becoming a client over the past several years.

It’s important to remember that most email campaign software providers prohibit you from using email addresses for anyone who has not agreed to join your campaign. This would include any email addresses that you have purchased, found on other websites, or for people who have specifically requested not to receive information from you.

Design Your Campaign

There are a lot of deciding factors that will play into the design of your email campaign. It should have the same look and feel of your brand, but shouldn’t look like a carbon copy of your website. The design should creatively make the most of the available space and the types of content you plan to feature, whether that’s information about an event, or a link to a video.

In this day and age, it’s also important that your email campaign be mobile friendly. Most email interaction now-a-days occurs on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, so you should make sure your design caters to those types of views.

You should have clear calls to action so that a viewer can easily find not only the information they are looking for, but quickly understands what type of action you are asking them to perform (whether that’s to register for an event, call your office, or read an article on your website).

Last, but certainly not least, is that you should strike a very careful balance between the amount of text and the amount of graphics in your campaign. For spam filtration reasons, most email providers will block emails that are made up of mostly images – so make sure you keep as much content as possible written in actual text!

The Content

When writing the content for your campaign, always keep in mind who you are addressing and how they will consume the content. First, your content should talk “with” the reader, not “at” them – remember, your reaching out to this person through their email address, not taking out a billboard along the highway.

Take your time to write a compelling subject line – hint at the contents of the email, but don’t be 100% literal. You’re more likely to get opens with a subject line like “New Products Selected Just For You” versus “August New Products”.

Keep your content consise and to the point. For longer articles, give an overview of the topic and link them off to the full article available on (preferably) your own website. Use bullet points, creative use of type or font, or graphics to help break up anything that has to have longer chunks of text.

Watch your words! Words like “free”, “naked”, “prescription” or “pharmacy” may have a legitimate place in your content, but they are a red flag for every spam filter. Try to push the use of these terms off into the article on your website, or use an alternative term altogether.

For the more advanced, we would suggest that the content of your email campaigns follow the same content calendar that you’ve created (you HAVE created one, right?) for your social media or other marketing efforts. This helps keep your messaging consistent across multiple channels.

Analytics

Your work isn’t over once you send your campaign! Over the next two weeks, you should be reviewing the data you’ve collected through your campaign, and deciding what information may need to be acted on. For example, if you find one of your included articles is receiving a significant amount of traffic, that may signal to you that your current and potential customers are very interested in that specific topic. You could follow up with additional information, work more of that topic into your social media, or highlight that topic in your next marketing campaign.

CAN-SPAM

With all of the above in mind, you may be tempted to head off to start your own email campaign! However, before you do, it’s important that you be aware of the regulations that surround sending email campaigns. CAN-SPAM is a set of regulations issued by the FTC that covers all commercial messages sent by a business, which includes your email campaigns. Some of the main CAN-SPAM requirements are:

If you’ve been sending email campaigns and are seeing little return on your investment, are not sure how to review your analytics, or have yet to begin your campaigns, we can help! Our team can help evaluate the roll that email campaigns can play in your business, whether from a pre- or post-sales role.