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Successful Email Marketing Campaign Tips for Small Businesses

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iStock_000016870016XLarge.jpgYou've decided to start using email marketing more and take advantage of the cheap visibility it gives your company.  However, you're just not getting the return rate that you hoped for.  

What are you doing wrong? Are your customers even reading your emails?

You know your business better than anyone else.  To build, execute, and maintain effective email marketing campaigns, you must pay close attention to your audience, the message, and avoid the trap of just blasting out self-promotional messages. This only leads to recipients hitting the delete button more than opening your message.

Here are some ways you can ensure a successful marketing campaign:

1. Have an objective.

There needs to be a main objective when sending emails.  

People tend to get hung up on open rates and believe their main focus needs to be on the subject line to entice readers to open it. However, what you will find instead is a disconnect between the subject line and the content of the email.

If someone opens an email to find content that the did not expect because the subject line was misleading, they are not going to read the email.

 

2. Clear subject line

The subject line should tell your reader exactly what is in the content of the email, and the content provides a benefit to the reader and an emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc.), and then a call-to-action to drive them to a landing page where the offer lives.  

In some cases, this may mean sacrificing open rates for a higher click to open rate, but you must think- which is more important?  

Opens where people leave without reading the content inside? Or driving clicks which lead to conversions? Professional email marketers focus on conversions.

 

3. Be Direct.

Write a simple email speaking directly to your target audience, and describe whatever the benefit of the click is.

An example would be “Receive 30% off on your next purchase!" However, “Receive 25% off all books - today only!” is an even more time sensitive call to action.

Your reader should really want to click because there is an immediate, emotional benefit and you can also leverage curiosity. Letting your reader know there’s more valuable content sparks their curiosity and will drive them right where you want them – your site.

 

4. Have A Clean List

Make a list, check it twice.  

You may want to send the above offer about 30% off a book purchase to a list of people who have purchased books in the past, looked at books, or checked that they are interested in books.

Don't assume everyone on your mailing list is interested in every offer you have by spamming them.  

Specifically target segments of your list and taking the time to actually track those segments. Adding those fields in your email marketing tool and additionally keeping track in your e-commerce software will actually make a big difference.

 

5. Send a Test

Before you send out a massive email campaign to a large list of recipients, test it out first.

Take two concepts you think will be successful and dry run it to groups of about 5o.

Look at the metrics to see which one performs better.  That way you'll you know which subject line and call to action are your winners.

 

6. Measure OR (opens to send ratio)

Your "open-to-send" ratio is more likely to be high if you have a good list of segmented people.

Not sure what is considered successful?  Well, it depends on the industry you're in and your campaign. But you can start by looking at where you are today, and create a goal to move it up 5% by your next campaign.

 

7. Measure CTOR (click to open rate) on Your Call to Action

Every email marketing platform has reporting included for all email campaigns. However, not all will have the CTOR metric i am referring to. So, you might need to a little calculating - but it will be worth it.

If you have multiple calls to action or links, then look at the “click to open rate” on all positive links. 

 

8. Measure Success!

Success should be measured when your CTOR is above your OR. This means a high percentage of the people who opened your email converted!

No marketing initiative should be implemented without measuring success, including email marketing. 



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