7 Steps to Getting More Out of Your Email Marketing
By Gayle Buske, President and CEO, Team Double-Click®
If you’ve been in business for very long you know the value of email marketing. A quality, targeted list and an effective and well written message goes a long way towards increasing your bottom line and ensuring a successful campaign. The success of your email marketing campaign is often based on a set of complex factors. Understanding those factors and managing any issues up front will ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts and are able to monetize your opt-in lists.
When developing your next email campaign, consider the following guidelines.
- Your list. Certainly one of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign, your list is directly correlated to your success. Are your names recent? Have they agreed to be marketed to? Have they shown an interest in products or services similar to your own? Make sure that you are using a house list (names you collected on your own) or that have been purchased from a reputable broker. Never add names to your lists that you collected from your online networking sites or that you obtained from business cards you collected at a conference or trade show. In order to stay out of trouble with your mailing software provider you’ll want to make sure that every name is from someone who specifically opted in to receive marketing communication from you.
- Your subject line. Getting a user to open your message is the biggest hurdle to any email marketing campaign. The best way to determine the subject line that works best is to break your emails into three random yet equal groups. Measure the response to each email and use the highest producing one as your control. Try and determine what made your control email the most effective one. In follow up emails, try to repeat your success and even beat the response rate of your control email.
- Track your results. Tracking allows you to determine who opened your message and clicked on a link or multiple links within your email. By determining what worked and what didn’t, you can replicate success on your next email. As described above, tracking is particularly important when testing subject lines, imbedded links, and other direct response vehicles.
- Make sure your unsubscribe method is in place and working. The CAN-SPAM act of 2003 requires that all email messages contain clear directions on how to opt-out from subsequent mailings. Provide an unsubscribe mechanism that allows those receiving your email to send you an email and indicate their desire to opt-out from receiving further emails from you or your business. If recipients no longer want to hear from you, it’s in your best interest to remove them from your list.
- Your images are correctly referenced and you’ve used alt tags in each image. Improperly referencing your images can cause them to appear broken when you send your message – the dreaded red x. To insure the image is referenced correctly it must appear as, img src=”http://www.yourdomain.com….” rather than, img src=”/images/picture.jpg”. Alt tags are another important part of your images. The new security features on almost every email client these days disables images automatically. Having alt tags in place allow your reader to identify the image and determine if it is safe to enable.
- Test, Test, Test! No matter what your involvement with email marketing happens to be, it is essential that you follow the guidelines above for successful results. In addition, the key is to test, test, test! After each email campaign, measure your opens, click-throughs, and purchases. Document the specific date, time, list, subject line, and content used to produce your results. Refer back to your documentation prior to your next campaign.
- Email marketing checklist. The most successful businesses have their cloud-based virtual administrative assistant create an email marketing checklist. They have her check off each of the items above whenever an email goes out to their lists. She tracks the email, makes suggestions for the next one and even offers a variety of possible subject lines for upcoming emails in order to ensure the highest open rate possible.
A well thought out email campaign can mean the difference in great sales and no sales. Are you taking the necessary time to ensure all of the above items are being handled properly? Do you know how effective your campaigns are? Are you testing subject lines, tracking results and ensuring you have the best open rate possible?
There are many best practices you can follow and some simple rules that ensure effective delivery, open and conversion. By following the simple rules presented in this article, you’ll not only deliver and effective email campaign, you’ll discover a consistent method for generating revenue for your business.
About the author:
Gayle Buske is the co-founder, president and CEO of Team Double-Click®. As the head of a virtual staffing agency, Ms. Buske is uniquely qualified to aid small business owners in their growth and development through virtual administrative assistant outsourcing. Clients across the country look to Ms. Buske and her organization to supply quality cloud-based virtual administrative assistants.
Team Double-Click®, the country’s foremost staffing agency for trained cloud-based virtual administrative assistants – Matching Top Virtual Workers with Top Companies! Visit www.teamdoubleclick.com or phone 888.827.9129 for a variety of full-service virtual staffing options.
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