Email marketing campaigns are something I’ve been mulling over recently. Why would anyone respond to a promotional Email?

A great deal of craft and thought goes into one, but does an email marketing campaign actually work? Think about it. When was the last time you actually took the time to thoroughly read and respond to a standard “latest offer” or “unmissable deal” email that so often clutters your inbox?

Not too recently I’d imagine.

 

Plant flowers not weeds with your email marketing campaigns

Plant flowers not weeds with your email marketing campaigns

It’s funny isn’t it? As consumers, promotional emails are a nuisance; a swathe of ugly weeds at the bottom of the garden that we can’t be bothered to eradicate. But as marketeers, they are – or at are least meant to be – precious, brightly-coloured flowers that we hope will bloom and attract many a bumble bee, somewhere near the top of the garden. Preferably in the flower bed, with the roses and geraniums. Excuse me for waxing lyrical here for a moment.

So how does the marketeer in us appeal to the consumer in us? How can we sow flowers, not weeds?

email marketing campaign tips: Design and Layout

design your email marketing campaign to impress

design your email marketing campaign to impress

Well, as ever with digital marketing, there are various aspects to consider here. Firstly, does your email catch the eye? You need to consider colour, logo, design and imagery. Also, where are the best places for your title and your call to action? Do your layout and design match with your brand’s identity? What font will you use? All this is of the utmost importance when considering how your email campaign is going to take shape. If information is not clear, concise and eye-catching, then your potential customers aren’t going to respond. Images are incredibly important and should fit with your brand and your style of design too. The whole email should look drop dead gorgeous and if you can make it smell nice then try that too!

email marketing campaign tips: Get the Voice Right

Secondly – and most importantly – are you sending out the right message on the right platform? We’ve alluded to this before on the blog; essentially, every digital platform has its own set of rules when it comes to interaction. Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat are social platforms, where interaction between a consumer and a brand takes place in full public view. Naturally, such contexts demand a relaxed and intimate tone.

Email, by comparison, is private, since nobody else but the consumer and the brand witness the interaction. How does this change the register? Should you be more formal and use longer words? Perhaps. If you are trying to be polite you might. If that particular voice aligns with your brand image and customer profile then by all means. But just because Email is a private digital channel doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the same “social” voice carved for Twitter. It’s simply a matter of re-purposing that voice, and using the context to your advantage. You’ve more room to play with in an email so more freedom with your words. Your copy can be more original and creative. You have the receiver’s full attention; you just have to make sure you keep it.

Consider, for example, the strength of a subject line which uses personal names, poses a relevant and intriguing question or makes an outrageous exclamation. Just browsing the Promotions area of my inbox and noting the emails I’ve opened tells me that these sort of titles are much more likely to reel me in. Any sales-pumped “20% Off All Stocks”, “Make Massive Savings” subject lines are destined for the trash. Why? There’s no personal touch. No attempt at wit, intrigue or originality. I’m just not interested unless of course its a company that I frequent often. Then I’d be very excited. That’s where honest, careful personalisation goes a long way to making a sale.

email marketing campaign tips: Tell a Story

If the title hooks me in, the copy is engaging and appropriate, and the design original, then you have my attention. What I need next is a story; a true one, preferably, which demonstrates the usefulness/enjoyment of your product for someone just like me. Because when all is said and done, nothing beats a great story. I’m going to tell you one now.

 

buy whole foods online know how to market

buy whole foods online know how to market

I received a direct mail, not an email from wholefoodsonline.com. The envelop was in company colours. It looked like an old fashioned first day cover if I’m honest. The letter was well written, thoughtful, addressed my objections and included a really well designed voucher. Everything held my attention and I was so impressed I spent money with them immediately. Job done!

In this instance the  direct mail worked. The marketing strategy worked. The customer service worked. The product worked. And now I’m telling a story about it. Everyone’s happy! Learn some lessons for your own email or direct mail campaign.

Email could be your most important marketing channel!

 

Make no mistake: the benefits of email marketing are plentiful. A carefully crafted email which considers design, tone and personal content can direct an enormous amount of traffic to your business website. Gone will be the days that your customers either scan an email’s contents at the speed of Superman or delete it without a moment’s hesitation.

Social media is undeniably a powerful marketing tool; a great way to tell your brand’s story. But bear in mind its limitations. Social media means social norms and etiquette – people don’t like the hard sell, they like casual chit-chat and a fancy cocktail. Email is different. It’s where deals get done.

How can we measure the effectiveness of our email marketing campaign?

We can measure the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns by monitoring key metrics in Google Analytics. CTRs (click-through rates) from emails and annual or monthly churn rates (the percentage rate at which customers unsubscribe from emails) are excellent indicators. But the best and simplest metric is the number of page views a Landing Page – which you’ve specifically created for a campaign – is receiving. Keep a close eye on this and you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.

Suggested further reading:

Vivienne Neale and Josh Taylor are digital marketers specialising in email campaigns. If you need help please tweet  @supposeiam and see the difference in the effectiveness of your future email campaigns.

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