How To Have A Successful E-Mail Marketing Campaign

We all get far too much email every day and know that our clients do too. This is one of the reasons why many of us stay away from email marketing campaigns. I am the first to agree that there is too much junk email sent... however, targeted email messages are a great way to get the word out about your product or service. Here are a few tips to help make your campaign a success. 

WEBSITE IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL
Your email message should be directing the reader to your website that offers them much more information than your message can, plus you can track the number of visitors it generates. The link in your message should take them directly to the page where they can learn more about the offer. This page should be fast loading and informative with no Flash or other plug-ins. You already have their interest. Now sell your product!

IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET MARKET
The first step is to decide who your target market is. Will it be businesses? Women? Seniors? Your target market will determine what message you send, what the offer will be and who should receive your message. 

CREATE YOUR OWN EMAIL LIST
If you are serious about adding email marketing to your marketing program I recommend you build your own email list. It can get very expensive renting a list every time you want to run a special. An added benefit is that the list you generate will consist of a more targeted audience.  
A good way to do this is to have a place visitors can sign up for a FREE newsletter on your home page. Make the sign-up quick and easy. Add their email address to your database. Then, every month your company’s name will appear in their mail box.  

KNOW WHO’S ON THE EMAIL LIST
Email marketing is great, however, "spammers" have given it a bad name. I am sure you have received an email saying that you could buy 300,000 names for $19.99. Sounds like a great deal. Right? Wrong. That list of 300,000 names was most likely generated by a computer surfing the Web and capturing email addresses from websites. Another thing to watch out for is that if you purchase a list of 300,000 email addresses and then send those emails from your own computer your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and/or your hosting company will know you did. Many of them have rules about sending out that many emails. They can and will turn off your internet access and your hosting company may just deactivate your website.  

RENT FROM A REPUTABLE COMPANY
Don’t buy or rent your email list off the Web. You should talk to a human being and ask them where they got the email addresses and how targeted your list can get. A client of ours wants to target several zip codes in Northeast Wisconsin. I called five email marketing companies. Only one could target specific zip codes.

MAKE IT A GOOD OFFER
Don’t announce that your company has just launched a website or has added a new employee. Use email marketing to announce a great special, a reason to buy from you, that is only offered through the email message.  

WELL WRITTEN MESSAGE
In email marketing, the words you use are what is going to drive people to your website. The copy, design, and offer must be "catchy" enough to stop them from hitting the delete button. This is no time for your daughter to practice her writing skills. If you don’t feel anyone in your firm can do the job, hire a professional.  

DO A TEST MAILING! 
If your goal is to send your email message out to 100,000 email addresses start with a smaller number. Send only 12,000 emails with three different offers. For example: 4,000 will have a "50% off" offer, another 4,000 will offer a "cash back" offer, and another other 4,000 will offer "buy two, get one free". Send the other 88,000 emails with the offer that worked the best.  

MEASURE THE RESULTS
One of the greatest marketing benefits of the Internet is that it allows you to track what happens. Set up some kind of tracking so that you know how many people click on the link (click-through rate), how many of those people bought (conversion rate), and what was your cost verses your profit?  

Email marketing can work wonders if you take the time to prepare. Virtualtech can assist in setting up an email marketing campaign.

October 1, 2001

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