Creating a Professional Email Marketing Campaign

Date posted: Fri, Jul 07, 17 | Author: Mason Mordue | Category: best practices, email marketing, tips

In the modern era of email marketing, inboxes are spammed with countless and meaningless ads that nobody wants. You do not want to fall into the trap of being another unconnected and ambiguous corporation sending endless emails to consumers, but rather the shining star in a sea of meaningless ads. Your company image is everything and can make or break you, so ensuring that proper marketing techniques are being used should be a priority. This blog attempts to summarize a series of different ways to start your business on the right track in email marketing and to ensure it has a bright future ahead. 

Building Your Consumer List

All right, so you have yourself a company, product, or even just an idea, what now? Now you must get your name out there! No matter where your business is in ways of growth or sales, there is never a bad time to start marketing and what better way to do this than through emails. Some may say emails are outdated, but statistically, in modern times, they are revving back up as millennials became the primary users of emails and the main target of email marketing. Now, this is typically when you say to yourself, “I have no one to send emails to, let's buy a random list from a sketchy website and start the endless cycle of spam emails,” this must be avoided. Your business image is everything and quality will always stand out (in a good way) to quantity. There are three very useful ways to get your name out there on top of many more. These methods are:

  1. Use Social Media Marketing It is simple, free, and gets your name out there. Post articles and updates on your company and encourage people to visit your website and sign up for your email list.

  2. Get Out There in Your Community There is always some form of fair or local business convention where you can get your name out there. This way can bring a wide range of audience and will provide a strong foundation for building up your consumer base, especially in the local area.

  3. Ask For Their Email After a Purchase This way is the best in terms of keeping customers who are interested in your products informed on your company. Following up with customers is key for a quality business image. 

Staying Connected

Stay as personal with your customers as possible. Make sure your marketing is geared toward quality over quantity to both avoid being SPAM and to solidify a strong consumer base. There are multiple ways to prevent an email from just being another ad, but rather make it something personal that a consumer could enjoy.

  1. Permission Marketing “Permission Marketing” is a term coined by the author Seth Godin and it discusses that the customer should blatantly consent to receive your emails. Make sure they know exactly what they are getting into and that they will learn about your exciting company and what it has to offer if they subscribe to your email list. 

    • To do this, make sure you ask and don’t force people to subscribe.  This prevents them from feeling forced into your email list.  Pop up Models like BounceX that block the screen are a bad idea.
    • Provide an introductory (Welcome) email with an option to unsubscribe as well as an overview of the emails you will receive and your contact information. This lets them know exactly what to expect plus it is a nice way to welcome someone into your company.
  2. 24 Hour Rule This rule is important when it comes to customers. It states that a response should be sent out within 24 hours after receiving an email. Customers are not patient people, any longer than 24 hours and you may test their patience.

    • Auto-responders may seem useful to quickly reply to a customer, but you are just fixing the short-term problem. To build long-term relationships with people, there is no shortcut; you must personalize a response and make them feel connected. This helps your image as well as make the experience unique for your customer. Once your list grows to a size you cannot sustain, get an Email Service Provider(ESP). ESP’s are useful in standardizing your customer data and making it easier to manage.
    • In cases of a lot of emails pouring in, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is very useful and can help you stay organized.
  3. Encourage Customer Feedback In order for the customer to feel a part of the team, give them a seat at the table. Take their input into serious consideration and tailor your product to provide something that everyone could enjoy and use. 

    • Whether the feedback is positive or negative, take it to heart and provide more of what people like and fix what they don’t. 
    • Make sure you reply to feedback. This will let the customer know that their suggestions are read and being put to good use. 
    • Forums or social media are useful in providing a dedicated location for customers to talk about your products. 

These three methods will already give you a significant step above your competition. Most companies treat marketing as a way to feed constant ads to people, which does not treat their customers with the respect they deserve. Cater to your consumers and respect them and it will pay off through both an improved company image and a greater appreciation from customers. 

Creating an Email Campaign

You must cater your emails in a way that will appeal to who you are trying to sell to. Make the emails personal and to the point. No one wants a boring long email with long drawn out sentences, as well as no one wants an unclear email filled with pointless pictures. Test some emails out with people and learn exactly what works for your image and your customers. Make sure you mix up what emails you are sending, sending the same old emails will drag on and discourage customers, but make sure you have a method to your madness. 

  1. Welcome and Thanks Emails There is no better way to be personal than welcoming a new email address to the list and sending them an email that tells them about the company! Make sure you provide adequate contact information. Thank You, emails are important to acknowledge the customer and to introduce them to your company. A good ESP will be able to accomplish this task seamlessly and easily. 

  2. Promotions These emails are core to any email marketing campaign. These should not, however, be treated as an ad the customer won’t see any point to, but rather they should represent the company. Each email that is sent should be an extension of the company and the image you are trying to give off.

    • Cater the email to the audience. An email sent from a law firm will look significantly different from a company trying to sell kids colored goo.
    • Make promotions a way to get people excited about a product and not just a way to give out a coupon.
  3. Newsletters These are important to provide your consumers a personal way to see into your company, what's new and where things are headed. 

    • These should also be catered to the audience and should include plenty of information and pictures in a very straightforward way. 
    • Encourage participation from customers for questions and concerns and strive to keep them engaged.
    • If you haven’t heard from a customer, or they haven’t purchased anything in a while, cater a special newsletter to them and show them what’s new and what they are missing. 
    • Encourage use of your company's social media.

Make sure you always include your company name and information as well as a way to unsubscribe. To not be considered SPAM make sure you follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act and prevent using caps and click bait words in your subject!

Next Steps

What to do now that your email list is up and running, people are interacting with your company, and you have sent out multiple successful email campaigns. Now is where the concept of selective marketing comes into play as well as further opt-in lists

  1. Selective Marketing Marketing to certain groups of people is one of the best ways to make your emails much more relatable and personalized. You would treat a 55-year-old man differently than a 19-year-old college student. Different groups of people respond better to different things, and this should be incorporated to your email lists. 

  2. Nested Opt-in List Want to find out who reads your emails constantly and wants even more information and deals? Create an opt-in list inside your normal email group. People who take the time to sign in for the second list shows you a group of people who are genuinely interested in what you got, and you can cater to this fan base using more email lists they can choose to be in. 

  3. Experiment Not sure what picture will be preferred? Is Tuesday night really the best time to send an email? Split your list up and send out two different emails. See if different setups provide different results. It can never hurt to see what gets the best response! It can only help you later down the road!

  4. Constantly Update Your Contact Lists Having an outdated list can cause a lot of pointless emails to be sent. Make sure you occasionally send out emails that give users the chance to update their contact information. As well as update your list, clean it up as well. Your emails keep bouncing or wrong email address? Clean it up! You will quickly see better results. If you are running your email campaigns through an ESP, it will automatically keep your list cleaned and organized. 

Conclusion

To conclude there are a great many ways to start your successful introduction to the busy world of marketing. In this world, quality, and personalization both need to be priorities in order to stand out. There are millions and millions of emails being sent out, make sure yours stand out. Treat each email as an extension of your business, be professional and to the point while catering to your audience.  

Some extra readings and sources:

Forbes: 8 Ways to Engage Better With Your Customers

Seth Godin: Permission Marketing