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Entries in email marketing tips (8)


What is Email Marketing?

A popular search on Google is for the phrase, ‘what is email marketing’.

What I would like Google to say when you type that in is, ‘what isn’t email marketing’.

In reality, the answer is a lot more complex, and depending on your level of intelligence and expertise in the area, that answer may confuse you a great deal.

The point I want to make in this post is that any email sent by a company to a consumer SHOULD fall under the heading of Email Marketing.

Many people will groan, ask why, and tell me that I’ve overstepped my bounds.

The reason that EVERY SINGLE EMAIL sent by a company to a consumer is email marketing is because they will all help to shape the message. The message is the general impression and totality of information a consumer gets from your company.

Let’s look at some types of emails that fall under this heading (some you may not think of as marketing).

  1. Sales announcements
  2. Emails your sales team send to individual leads/prospects
  3. Emails that your customer service team sends to people who sent inquiries
  4. Emails containing links to surveys
  5. Auto-response emails that go out to people who request information
  6. Auto-response emails that go out when people fill out a form
  7. Purchase confirmation emails
  8. Emails thanking people for being a loyal customer
  9. Emails that give people information they need to access their accounts

As you can see, there are a lot of potential emails that your company sends out. And this is only the start. Think about all the emails that go out each and every day. They’re all part of your email marketing plan (or at least they should be).

Want more info on email marketing, check out "The Fundamentals of Email Marketing" book.


Email Marketing From Start to Finish

I often refer to email marketing as a war, one with many battles. And the only way to win the war is to win each battle.

A little too intense? Maybe. But the point remains, a successful email marketing program has many pieces. And in order to achieve success, there are multiple points in the email marketing process that need to be identified and perfected. Let’s review what those are from a high level:

  1. Get a name - The first battle you have to win is the battle to build your list. No list means no email marketing program. To win this battle I suggest an incentive. Give new subscribers something that they would not otherwise get.
  2. Get a delivery - The second battle is landing in the inbox, giving your email a chance of being read. Get spammed, or worse get lost, and the war is over. Make sure you are CAN-SPAM compliant, using a reputable email service, and make sure those people receiving the emails expect them.
  3. Get an open - The third battle is won by getting someone to click on your email and open it. Open rates vary widely from industry to industry, company to company, and between different types of emails. Your goal should be 100%, however unattainable that may be. How do you do this? Test your subject lines. Never stop testing them. The best subject lines will get the best open rates.
  4. Get a click - The fourth battle is won be getting someone to click through on your email to land on your website or sales page. It’s a battle easily lost with a lack of design, poor writing, or content that does not meet expectations. As soon as I open the email, I want to see the offer and I want to see how to take advantage. Test changing the number of links, the amount of text, and the amount of images you use. Higher click-through rate means better emails.
  5. Get a sale - This is less about the email than it is about the sales or landing page and the offer being made, but it’s still a critical part of a successful email marketing campaign. Without the sale, what’s paying for the emails? If you’re getting names, getting email delivered, getting them opened and clicked, but missing out on the sale, it’s time to turn your attention to the website and checkout process. The war is almost won, time to get serious.

Winning the email marketing war is not simple. Luckily you can afford to continue to test your way into a winning strategy without losing lives and spending billions. Good luck!


Top 5 Email Marketing Time Savers

When it comes to marketing your company efficiently, email marketing is a no-brainer. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should already know that. But I do get some push back every now and again. And last week, I heard from someone I know that email marketing “takes too long to get right”.

Fair enough, I guess. But doesn’t any marketing program take time to get up and running and prove successful? I guess if you are just handing off PPC or social to an outside agency, you don’t have to spend much time on it yourself. But you’d do better to understand what they’re doing at the very least.

With email, a little bit of effort can go a long way. And you don’t have to master it in order to see results. But if you are one of those people looking to save time on their email marketing program, here are 5 ways to do it:

  1. Better list management – use a company like iContact and a plugin like Formstack in order to feed new signups directly into the appropriate list so that you don’t have to do much sorting and uploading each time you want to send out an email. And this doesn’t just apply to sales emails, iContact’s list management can be an effective software for fundraising purposes, email newsletters, and other outreach programs.

  2. Preset email templates – a little more time spent up front can make the time you have to dedicate to email design later that much less. Either hire an HTML designer or put your skills to work and create some basic templates that are quick and easy to update with each campaign.

  3. Let them decide the subject line – instead of agonizing over what the most enticing subject line will be, run an A/B test to a small percentage of your list, then come back later and send the winner to the rest.

  4. Track live results – track what works and what doesn’t with each email by setting up reports for yourself that come right to your inbox. The more you know about each email on the go, the less time you have to spend remembering that info when you go to create a new email.

  5. Automate sending – pick a day or a few hours of a day that you can devote to email marketing, and build your emails in advance. Most senders will allow you to set an email for deployment at some point in the future. Then you can sit back and forget about it until the next email marketing day.

Want a better solution? Hire me to manage it for you. I will be your email marketing consultant, and I will guarantee fast results.

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