Most of us would like to believe that email is now playing second fiddle to social media in terms of advertising and marketing. On the contrary, research proves otherwise. The recently published 2011 version of the Email Marketing Census conducted by United Kingdom online research firms Adesta and Econsultancy reveals some remarkable statistics about the power and reach of email marketing for businesses even in the midst of the social media age. We’ve discussed this point in our previous blogs. There is no denying the power of a good email marketing campaign but there are a few cyberspace rules that should never be forgotten unless you want to be caught in a spam minefield.
And as you may know by now, Octane is proud to be Anti-Spam 🙂
1) Get permission to reach the Inbox
What does it feel like to receive those annoying property messages daily? Well for starters, unless you are not looking out for property, you wouldn’t want to receive any info on any. Similarly, spamming inboxes with your company’s unwanted newsletter will not earn you brownie points. What it will earn you is a lot of click on the Report Spam button. For an email campaign to be successful you need to get that mail of yours to that inbox of theirs and also attract the eyeballs of those readers. These are called first-party opt-in mails, which your customer or recipient has signed up to receive. So the chances are pretty high that your mail would get a read, or at least a glimpse. But if these are emails you are shooting off without prior permission of your targeted reader, they are most likely to get dumped in trash without even a thought. And, of course, there is the small likelihood of you ending up on some anti-spam black list. True, we can largely get away with spamming in India, but the bottom line remains that we definitely want our e-missives to be read. That’s the whole point of this game. So, it turns out that investing in a top-of-the-line email marketing solution is just one side of the story. The other and the more important task at hand would be to ensure that your subject is such that it can hop its way through the spam filters and land in those inboxes. Try writing a pretty direct subject line (no camouflaging language here), state why you’re sending the message in the first place in brief, and use acceptable keywords.
2) Optimum frequency
Only in our last blog did we speak about the importance of frequency. Too much or too little of anything is bad. Research shows that the most effective email marketing campaigns are the ones that are sent not more than once a week. To retain the interest of your reader, do not send out more than one email in a day and send out at least one great email every quarter. Optimizing the frequency of your newsletter will also mean that chances of your recipients unsubscribing are less. If you want the best results, let your targeted clients choose the optimal frequency of the emailers. Also the frequency that you choose depends on your business model, so make sure you choose the correct frequency or all you will hear are not so resonant noises, read-unsubscribes.
3) Content remains king
When you shoot out an email, you expect a subscriber to read it. On average, each email would take about 1-2 minutes of the subscriber’s time. Therefore, if you want the due attention, your newsletter better be worth it. You must offer something of value that makes me want to spend that much time on it. The email should be targeted with a call to action. It is important to clearly segregate your email as a company brief, deal promotion, or a season offer. The more targeted the content, higher the chances of the email retaining attention and converting into business. And if you are still attaching those heavy pictures with your mailers, undo them right now. Heavy images, no matter how greatly designed they might be, eat into the small time span that you have to attract your reader. Some of the best campaigns use the HTML template with text and minimal graphics. This results in higher deliverability rates in the inbox and increase in click-through rates.
4) Personalization and targeting
There are two things that can get your reader interested pronto. Address your target audience by name. That would immediately separate you from the bulk mailers and a bit of coding shall take care of that. A nice greeting at the beginning of the email also does a good job at getting attention.
Companies like, Octane, even offer easy-to-use personalization tags so that you can even personalize the subject line. It’s a great way to start!
Targeted email marketing is also a prerequisite to successful email campaigns today. If you are sending emails about a manufacturing vertical IT solution to a work-from-home mom, no prizes for guessing which way your conversion rate will go. Good statistical tracking helps keep track of the preferences of your reader. This, combined with segmentation techniques, can help you drive more business from your email campaigns.
5) Option to opt out
When you are stuck on a level in a game you can’t complete, you have the option to quit. Similarly add the unsubscribe option onto your mailer. Your content might be great, your service or product might simply fit the bill, and the recipient might have opted to get your email, but nothing should stop you from putting that button at the bottom. That way, you have put your subscriber in command of the communication, and you have also ensured a higher ROI for your campaigns. It might be a good idea to explore why the people, who left, left. One of the best email campaigns last year succeeded in converting 40% of the unsubscribes back into their fold by carefully listening to their feedback and improving on it.