Email marketing can be an extremely cheap but powerful tool. In part one of our guide we show you how to plan an effective email marketing campaign.
[In part two we’ll discuss how to set out and send email marketing messages, and the best way to acquire lists.]
How to plan an email marketing campaign
Firstly, decide what you want to achieve e.g. ‘sharing’, click throughs to your website, upselling etc. and how you will measure this. Always include a clear call-to-action to help you achieve your aims.
Email marketing campaigns are a chance to build a relationship with your customer or prospect. So you should be thinking about a series of mails rather than a single one. For instance, you can plan a campaign around a special offer that sends a mail to:
- announce the offer
- remind prospects when there’s only a week to go
- remind prospects it’s their last chance to respond
- offers a ‘special extension’ on the offer.
Alternatively, you may decide to send regular newsletters containing engaging content and any offers, or new season items. You don’t want to bombard your customer or let them forget about you, so emailing once a month is a good level of frequency to adopt.
What to include in an effective marketing email
Marketing emails look much more like web pages than they did 10 years ago, although technical limitations remain. So your email template should be properly and attractively branded with your company colours, highly compressed logos and necessary images that won’t take too long to download.
However, most people won’t even see your images initially. Some smartphone users will opt just to read the text to improve download time. This means your subject line and copy have to sparkle – and that you content has to prove itself of value by being relevant and useful to your reader.
Effective email marketing copy
Copywriting is key to making the message compelling. Copy should include:
- a friendly personalised tone of voice – use each person’s first name if you have software that will let you do this
- relevant, interesting content with obvious links allowing the receiver to ‘read more’ or view the mail on the web
- opportunities to subscribe if they’ve had the mail forwarded or unsubscribe
- plenty of white space, subheads, alt text, captions and even a menu that will allow the receiver to scan easily.
Effective email marketing subject lines
Subject lines should be punchy i.e. about 50 characters and spell out the benefits of reading the mail. Try including:
- numbered lists e.g. “5 ways to cut your cleaning time in half.”
- your customer’s first name
- a question
- a sense of urgency e.g. “Only 12 hours left to get the ultimate manicure”.
Beware of using words that will get your mail blocked by spam filters, such as ‘free’, ‘60% off’, ‘discount’ etc. Google to find ‘words that trigger email spam blockers’ for an up-to-date list.