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Keeping in Touch – email marketing

You need to identify what your target customer wants to hear to ensure that your messages have pulling power not pushing power. Your brand needs to come across not only in terms of its logo and colour but chemistry too.  You might want to weave in emotion, for example some companies will mention their corporate social responsibility, making it safe, healthy and environmentally friendly.  If you get it right email is significantly more effective than all other social media activities put together

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Revisit your e-marketing strategy

UK businesses spend over 2 billion pounds on traditional direct mailings, yet a direct mail campaign is only likely to get 1% response rate.  Imagine the energy and materials being wasted on each mailing for a relatively small return on investment.  Whilst email marketing is much more direct. It is delivery flexible, much cheaper to send and measurable in terms of tracking readability.  So if you don’t already, it is worth considering how you keep in touch with your current data base.

Targets – Remember to update your database every month!

The great thing about building your own database of contacts is that you can segment target the messages you send out.  You should keep your contact list up to date, leaving the business cards in a gold-fish bowl isn’t going to help you with any marketing campaign.

Legal requirements

Email marketing is governed by laws on data protection, privacy and e-commerce, so you should plan your campaign carefully:  The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates how you build and manage your customer database. You need to comply with the law when sending emails to people who aren’t already customers. E-commerce regulations require you to make all commercial emails clearly identifiable as such, either in the header or the text of the email.

Market research

The fact that you can measure so much of what your readership is (or is not) reading will allow you to use e-newsletters as part of your market research campaign.  For example you can create product/service subjects and measure click through’s and establish what people look at, what the bounce rate is, where they click onto from there.

Content – 150 words per article is great

Use well thought out punchy words; make your email newsletter engaging, use it to tell people about things they’ll be interested in, do consider sending different newsletters to different kinds of customer to make them more relevant to each type of reader.

  • Many people will choose whether to read an email by looking at the subject line in their inbox.  Get straight to the point!
  • Don’t waste people’s time with long stories – use succinct language, get them interested and encourage them to click on a link to your website to find out more. 
  • Filter out SPAM words; mortgage is almost as big a SPAM as Viagra.  Since you don’t want to end up in people’s SPAM filters try using a Thesaurus. 

Remember, to make sure your eshot is readable on many platforms, especially formatted so that it can be read on mobile media. 

Timing – Gran always said being regular was good for you!

Choosing the best time to send out your eshot is quite important. I still maintain that Tuesday 11 am is the optimum time.  The great thing about eshots is that they are totally measurable.  You should monitor the effectiveness of your email marketing to make sure you’re getting value from the time and effort you’re spending on it. This will help you to improve future campaigns.  At the very least, it’s valuable to keep a record of the number of responses you have received and from what type of customer. You can then assess which groups are more likely to respond to this marketing approach.  You could also keep track of the recipients who open your emails. Most email software can send you notification when the recipient opens a message.

What next?  – The follow up is so important as it is what seals the deals

It’s important to consider how you’re going to handle the response from an email marketing campaign. Have you got enough capacity to answer the phones and respond to emails if you get a 5 per cent response rate? Will you be able to offer your product or service to recipients within the promised time?  If your eshot is more B2B than consumer led then have a follow up campaign in place. Highly recommended is Cold Calling for Chickens. Otherwise outsource to a telesales company if you are not going to pick up the phone yourself!

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