E-mail Marketing: How to Start a Killer E-mail Marketing Campaign

E-mail marketing is one of the most powerful tools to launch and grow your company. Growing an E-mail list is difficult, and optimizing the campaign can be even harder. It’s important to keep your eye on the prize; a good E-mail campaign will have a 25% open rate and 40% click through rate. This means that if you are sending an E-mail to 10,000 people, you could expect over 1000 visits to your website. If your website has a decent conversion rate, that could easily result in an additional 50 sales that you wouldn’t normally have gotten.

The Overview:

  • Step 1: Collect E-mail Addresses (Opt-In newsletters and past customers are great place to start)
  • Step 2: Sign up with an E-mail Marketing provider. (Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, MailChimp)
  • Step 3: Create a good promotion.
  • Step 4: Design an HTML E-mail that clearly displays the promotion.
  • Step 5: Install Google Analytics URL tracking on all the links to see which links are most effective.
  • Step 6: Add social sharing buttons to your E-mail.
  • Step 7: Write 3 great headlines.
  • Step 8: Split test to determine which headline has the best open-rate.
  • Step 9: Once you find the best headline, send to the rest of your list.
  • Step 10: Repeat the campaign a few times per month.

Remember The Legal Boundaries

One of the most recognized Laws for E-mail marketing is the CANSpam Laws. CANSpam regulates email marketing in a fundamental way by requiring things such as recipient consent being a must before sending any commercial emails. This also helps the company by making the consumer feel as if they are actually listened to instead of simply steamrolled by marketing. The CANSpam law goes on to require advertisers to provide an opt out option for recipients of commercial email. Advertisers that send commercial email will not be allowed to mislead those they target regarding the nature or source of the email. Finally it requires those seeking to send commercial email go through proper channels when it comes to obtaining recipients email addresses. Remember it’s pertinent to brush up on any legal knowledge needed before pursuing any goal when it comes to business.

What you need to know:

  • Don’t use rented, harvested, or paid lists.
  • Make sure to honor every opt-out request.
  • Only send E-mails to people who opted to receive them.
  • Display your physical address at the bottom of every E-mail.
  • Don’t send spam.

You Have 5 Seconds To Grab Their Attention

Email marketing is essentially dead on arrival when sent as a simple blob of text. Images and clickable links are elementary staples of good design. It’s important to remember that images do not always show up unless the consumer allows them too. Structure your design to function when images are showing as well as when they are not. For instance, if you solely use an image/link to promote a sale or special offer then those consumers that do not allow images to show will immediately miss out. On the other hand if you format your design as such that both text and image are equally a part of the promotion you lose none of the visibility you desire. Don’t overcrowd your design and keep the layout mostly simple. It’s important not to lose consumers with a myriad of images and graphics.

Make sure that your sale or offer is clearly visible within seconds of opening the E-mail.

Split Test and Track Some Data-Driven Metrics

Sending out hundreds if not thousands of emails a day is great for informing your consumers but can also be great at informing you of who those consumers are and where they spend their money. Combining that with a website using a service such as Google Analytics is a key step in understanding what’s going on with your campaign. Don’t forget to create a custom link using the Google Analytics URL builder, which is how you will tell just how effective your E-mail marketing campaign was.

Split test your E-mail headline to a small piece of your E-mail list. Wait a few hours to see which version has the highest open rate. When you have a winner, send that E-mail to the rest of your list.

Collect Better Data

Every single aspect of your email will affect the possible open rate percentage for your campaign. This might sound like a harsh view to take but the reality is that one single word in your subject line might have the possible impact of a ten percent open rate versus twenty percent. Advertisers who run E-mail marketing campaigns understand that tests such as the Split Test are required to keep you informed about what consumers respond well too. The split test works simply by testing samples of your whole collective E-mail database. For example let’s say you had 50,000 subscribers to your E-mail marketing newsletter. All you need to do is create various versions of marketing material and send them off to 500 recipients each. Whichever version had the highest open rate is the version you use on the rest of your consumers. This is a true fundamental for any good E-mail marketing campaign.

Be Social & Let them Share!

By now social media in advertising seems like a no-brainer. This equally applies to E-mail marketing campaigns. Give your recipients the chance to share any promotion you may be offering. Discounts could be given to those recipients that share your promotion with a set amount of other people. Get creative with how you use Social media and never forget to integrate it into your E-mails.

Refresh Rate

An important piece of the puzzle to nail down before sending out multiple emails is figuring out how often you should be sending new emails out. Consumers want constant promotions but they also don’t want to get five to six emails a day clogging their inbox. If your business finds that multiple emails per day is required for optimal effectiveness then try to keep it down to no more than three emails per day. For other companies you may find that that something as simple as once a day emails or even once a week will work for you.

Pulling them in

The Subject Line is the first step in capturing your consumer’s attention. Remember that most E-mail inboxes cut off anything after a mere sixty characters. Make sure that whatever you have in your title is attention grabbing and fewer than fifty characters. It’s important to avoid any words that could trigger the spam filters.

Today business is no longer simply a single brick and mortar entity located in your friendly neighborhood shopping plaza or mall. Every manor of advertisement has been examined and worked exhaustively into a fine tuned genuine marketing strategy. One area with the largest growth for marketing has been online. The surge in growth can be directly contributed to the costs savings. While savings are important for any business it’s arguable that understanding the needs of your customers is more important. Online marketing gives a channel in which you can both survey customers as well as introducing them to new deals, goods, or services. One crucial area of the online marketing dynamic is operating your own email marketing campaign. Email campaigns, when in concert with a function website, can drive sales and brand awareness up. Keep in mind that a general understanding of the inner workings of these campaigns will greatly benefit anyone with the motivation to undertake the task.

Special thanks to Eduardo Dieguez for drafting an initial version of this post.