Lorna Wills - Head of Client Services

Lorna Wills

11th May 2012

Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Successful email marketing campaigns can deliver high sales numbers, and fantastic conversion rates and also serve as great brand reminders. With all of this in mind it’s important you make the most of your database and deliver good quality, effective emails that provide the results you need.

We’ve got some easy to follow tips on creating effective email newsletter campaigns.

Use Your Data

Before creating one massive list of subscribers you should consider breaking it down where you can. You could create groups of subscribers depending on the purchase date, purchased item, age or gender. You could then create certain lists based on this data. For example, if you sell clothes perhaps you’d group your database into males and females allowing you to send personalised content to the two groups. Maybe you have people on file who have all bought a tent within the last two weeks; perhaps they could do with some new sleeping bags or a gas stove.

Make it Personal

Personalise your newsletter subject line and your newsletter content where possible. A newsletter with a subject line that contains a person’s name tends to have a better open rate than one with no name. Also, personalise the content within a newsletter and welcome someone back to your newsletter with their name, where possible.

Create Compelling Subject Lines

The idea of the subject line is to create enough interest to get your subscriber to open the mailer. Mentioning a particular special offer that’s available for a limited time only could be the ‘opening factor’. Don’t give your game away in the subject line though as this might put people off. For example, if you mention “This week, half-price holiday wear” people who are not going on holiday this year are not going to bother opening your mailer. Be careful of looking spammy too. Repeated words like “FREE FREE FREE” will look bad and could see your email heading into the spam folder. Make sure the subject line is typo-free too – these not only look unprofessional but they can also make you look like spam.

Give People a Reason to Come Back

If you want to maintain good open rates and subscriber numbers make sure your content is good enough to keep people coming back. Offering newsletter-only deals or useful content is a good way to do this. Where relevant you can add regular information/news that is going to be useful to your subscribers. If you sell make-up for example, then offer a monthly/weekly tip/advice that’s useful.

Clear Call to Actions

As with any online marketing effort, you always need a good, strong call to action! Position these clearly and ensure they take people to the right page on your website. Prioritise your call to action too - where you have better offers with stronger calls to action place these higher up in your email.

Remind People Why They Choose You

If you are the only provider of a certain service or people frequently comment on your wonderful customer care – include this in your newsletter. People may not have bought from you for some time, so remind them why they did!

Persuasive & Descriptive Product Text

Use this to ensure that people click through to your website. Email newsletters allow for less text typically, so pick out the best bits of the products you’re featuring and include this information in your newsletter.

Keep Text & Images Balanced

It is tempting to use a jazzy, huge graphic in a newsletter but in reality, this can be one of the worst things to do. Many email browsers won’t display images so your subscribers could potentially end up looking at a blank space. Having a similar amount of text and images is considered an email best practice as it looks less spammy. Where you do use images remember to include alt text. For example, if you have a great looking banner promoting a “75% off” deal make sure you mention this in your image alt text too. Not only does this look non-spammy it means people are more likely to not miss the offer even if their email browser doesn’t display images.

Test How it Looks

Use email software preview tools to see how your email will look in different browsers. If you don’t have this capability then at least test how your email looks in a number of the most popular email browsers. If you use a newsletter template you should regularly remember to test this too to ensure it continues to look right in email browsers.

Track Performance

It is essential that you track how your newsletter performs. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you create better, more successful newsletters in the future. Many analytics tools allow you to append URLs with certain parameters that allow you to then measure the performance/sales from certain online campaigns.

Test Before You Send

Many newsletter software providers allow you to test different versions of your newsletter on small sections of your database. This is a fantastic way to see which subject line works best or which offers to generate the most click-throughs. Test these two things before sending your email to your whole database for great results. Testing like this does need some forward planning though and any external factors should be considered. For example, if you are talking about a payday offer sending the mailer just after payday because you were doing too much ‘testing’ is a fail. Plan tests in advance and gives them time to work too!

If You Can’t See This Email Properly

A link to ‘view a full version of this newsletter is handy. Many email browsers are fussy about images so having a link placed near the top of the newsletter will allow people to see a full version of your email.

Unsubscribe Button

This is legal, so don’t forget! You should also add a link to your privacy policy and include your address and contact details within any emails sent. This makes you look reputable.

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