Posted Sunday, November 21, 2004
Developing and executing a successful e-mail marketing campaign is becoming more challenging. The SPAM problem isn't improving and laws are tightening their grip on e-mail marketing.
So, you need to carefully develop your e-mail marketing campaign with great care.
Here are 10 steps you can use to develop a successful e-mail marketing campaign:
Step #1 - Define the purpose of your e-mail campaign
Whilst this step may seem pretty obvious, you will be surprised at how many e-mail marketing campaigns are carried out without a clear purpose or goal.
This is especially prevalent with online newsletters or e-zines - many don't provide the reader any valuable or useful information.
So, start your e-mail campaign right - by first defining a clear purpose or goal.
Step #2 - Develop a clear call to action
A call to action is a specific set of instruction(s) contained within the e-mail with the sole purpose of leading the reader to take a specific action.
Here's an example of a call to action: "Click here to download your f~ree Special Report"
With the introduction of the CAN-SPAM act and advancement in SPAM filter technology, it is difficult enough these days to get your e-mail pass SPAM filters, yet alone opened and finally read.
It would be a sheer waste of time for both your reader and yourself if you didn't create a clear call to action in your e-mail.
Step #3 - Personalize your e-mail message
Use your full name in the From: field rather than your company's name.
And use your recipient's name in the subject line.
This will increase the "open rate" of your e-mail (The "open rate" is the percentage of e-mails opened against e-mails successfully delivered), because recipients will more likely open and read e-mails from people they recognize.
Personalization will also reduce the probability of the e-mail being mistaken as SPAM.
Step #4 - Develop an interesting subject line
First impressions DO count in e-mail marketing!
If you have an important e-mail you want your reader to open and read, you need to develop an interesting subject line to woo your readers attention.
The reason's really simple.
If your subject line does not appeal to the reader, your e-mail will not get opened and your e-mail campaign will fail miserably.
And remember not exceed 40 characters when developing your subject line.
Step #5 - Remind your subscribers where and when they opted-in
If you do not e-mail your subscribers very often, say once every fortnight, it would be good to remind them where and when they opted-in, right at the top of your e-mail.
In e-mail marketing, the popular axiom, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" bears much truth.
Don't expect your subscribers to remember where and when they opted-in to receive information from you if you're not in frequent contact with them.
If they can't recall when they opted-in to your list and you fail remind them - don't be surprised if they scream "SPAM"!
Step #6 - Provide an unsubscribe link
In e-mail marketing, you should never ever hold anyone hostage.
You'd rather settle for happy unsubscribers than angry subscribers, right?
So, provide your readers with an easy and convenient method to unsubscribe.
They'll sleep more soundly at night and so will you.
Step # 7 - Check and test your e-mail
You've spent a great deal of time crafting your e-mail.
So it is a good practice to check through your e-mail to make sure you do not overlook the following: 1) Spell check your e-mail 2) SPAM check your e-mail 3) Test all e-mail links 4) Double-check mail merge codes (if any) e.g. $firstname$ vs. (especially if you're sending out the same e-mail using different autoresponder software)
Step #8 - Use fixed-pitch font and proper formatting
Use a fixed-pitch font like Courier and perform a hard carriage return at the end of each line at 60 characters to avoid formatting problems.
Step #9 - Track all e-mail links
This is an often over-looked step. Tracking your e-mail links will allow you to gain valuable insights and discover what works and what doesn't.
Use the tracking information to refine your future e-mail marketing campaigns.
Step #10 - KISS (Keep It Simple and Short)
Lastly, keep your e-mails simple and short.
The more e-mail content you create, the higher the chance of triggering the SPAM filters.
If possible, use e-mail marketing to Pre-Sell, not Sell.
Follow these 10 steps in your next e-mail marketing campaign and watch your campaign results skyrocket!
About the Author
Fabian Lim is a Management & Internet Marketing Consultant. He helps organizations and individuals succeed online. He is also editor and publisher of "BizSuccess Tips", a No Hype, No B.S. internet marketing newsletter. Visit his website at (http://www.BizSuccessOnline.com)