Kick-starting an email marketing campaign

Before social media became the trendiest digital marketing channel, email dominated the landscape. Now, businesses have gradually left inboxes behind and begun tweeting advertisements to their followers. However, email marketing is still a valuable and reliable resource that companies should use to bolster their brands.

You should use every channel for marketing your business. Following popular trends can be beneficial, but you shouldn’t forget about strong tools like email advertising. There are some basic steps that you should take if you want to jump back on the email bandwagon. Consider these tips before rolling out your new marketing campaign.

Offer a solution
Consumers are used to reading lengthy sales pitches every day and, as a result, frequently ignore many emails from businesses. Messages that include nothing beside graphics, links to product pages and other marketing materials will probably be deleted without a second thought. In some cases, readers might erase the emails before reading.

To combat this problem, Entrepreneur Magazine recommends solving customers’ problems with your emails. On your website, write about how your newsletters address hot topics that affect readers’ everyday lives and provide solutions for those situations. The news source notes that some companies have had success with this strategy. In your emails, write about how your products or services can help customers instead of using standard sales pitches. This helps demonstrate the value of your business’ merchandise and shows readers that you can help resolve certain issues so they’ll be more likely to make purchases.

The right design
As with all advertisements, the effectiveness of emails is determined by their visual layout. However, before you can think about readers, you have to be concerned with spam filters blocking your messages. Jack Burke, author of “Creating Customer Connections,” told Destination CRM that it’s best just to use regular text to avoid the spam folder.

“It’s text so it’ll go through. You can put all of the graphics in the world on your web site, and once they click through to your web site, you’re better able to capture their identity and their information for future follow up,” Burke said.

Once your email is through the filter, it has to appeal to customers. Create a visually pleasing layout so that readers can easily find information and they won’t become bored or frustrated. Placement can play a big part in receiving responses. For instance, people usually scan the header for key data before deciding to read the rest of an email. According to Destination CRM, Jeanniey Mullen, partner and director of email marketing at OgilvyOne Worldwide, saw response rates increase by 75 percent by placing a button next to an image.

Schedule emails
How often you email customers can determine how effective your campaign is. If you send too many messages, your advertisements will likely be labeled spam and never see the inbox. Alternatively, if you don’t send a sufficient amount of emails, readers may forget about your brand and stop reading future messages. Forbes recommends that you should keep a hard email schedule, especially if you’re using newsletters to market your business. Test various frequencies to see what’s most popular with your subscribers. Try sending emails once a week and then two per week to determine if a higher volume is more effective for your needs. Alternatively, you could wait and only email customers when there is important information to share. Be careful with this strategy because an inconsistent schedule could cause you to lose readers.

Email marketing is extremely beneficial when done correctly. Does your business still use the tactic? If so, what tips do you have for other small business owners?

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