Friday, August 07, 2009

10 Tips for Effective Email Campaigns

Email is a great cost-effective method to get information out to your customers and prospects. In planning your email campaign, here are some things to think about:

Strategy - Why are you sending your email? Is the information useful to your audience? Whatever your message, make sure it is the right one for your objective whether it is sales, awareness or informational.

Distribution List - Who are you sending to? Is your list valid? Make sure your list is current for an optimal response and read rate. Don’t spend time putting an email campaign together if you are sending to an outdated list.

Opt-in Only - Hopefully your strategy is on track for the targeted list, but most of the time you’ll have some email recipients who want out. Allow them to opt-out of future emails quickly and easily.

Email content - Do you like reading long paragraphs within an email? Probably not … neither do your customers! Use quick, concise content in the form of bullets or short sentences with a clear call to action. Use the email to draw them back to your site.

Content placement & images - Will your readers see what you want them to see? Be aware of the “above the fold” limit when writing your emails. Make sure users don’t need to scroll to understand the primary objective of your email. Check on your images too, and make sure they are compressed for email use.

Links back to your website - Make sure the links back to your website are functioning. The call to action needs to take the reader to an up to date page with clear instructions on what to do next.

Email frequency - Let your readers know when they can expect to hear from you and be conscious of their time. You don’t like receiving a ton of email and neither do they, so give them a heads up.

Personalization - Personalize the email and let them know it is coming from you when appropriate. Read rates go up when recipients either recognize the “from” name or see that it isn’t from “sales@” or “info@”.

Best day/time to send- Monday morning emails can get lost easily, and end of day emails fall into the same boat. Try sending early afternoon, right after lunch so your email is the top of the inbox when they return.

Tracking - Not all email programs have tracking (read rates, unsubscribes, bouncebacks, etc.). Make sure you find a program that does and keep an up to date email list allowing you to take full advantage of mass emailing.

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