Email marketing – what you need to know

With virtually all businesses and organizations using email for their communications these days, it’s a must-have tool in the office. But, if you’re thinking about launching an email marketing campaign, how can you be sure of success? How do you get those receiving your mail to engage with it, in other words, to click it and read it – with the aim of ultimately securing a sale? You may think a red flag or an ‘urgent’ classification may be enough, but there’s far more to it than that – if you want to build a success rate. Here are some top tips.

Have a clear goal

There are loads of email marketing platforms out there to choose from and, most probably, a lot of small businesses are using them. But how do you measure success? Your goal and focus must be the return on your investment in such a platform. Is your campaign generating revenue? How many recipients clicked your email and read the contents? What did it lead to? If no one is looking at them, what’s the point? And where are you going wrong?

One of the first things you should be thinking about with the format of the email is the subject line – that’s your shop window and will determine whether it’ll spark interest and entice the reader in. But it’s no good having a subject title that doesn’t match what’s inside – what you’re trying to sell. Recipients are not stupid, they will simply just click back out of the email and probably assign it to the trash bin.

You should be thinking about what the product is, who your target audience is – and the kind of information they would want to read. This is how you can help reach more people and build up a relationship of trust.

Remember, some people are receiving hundreds of emails every day. You’ve got to make yours stand-out, yes, but it also needs to be relevant and realistic.

You don’t have to go alone with something like this. If you’re a small company, with a tight budget, you could use some virtual support services.

But won’t the click rate go down?

You may be tempted to throw in an emotive, controversial or tabloid style headline in your subject line to grab that attention – and to get the recipient to click through to your content.

But, step back, and reflect. It may get them in, but then if what they find isn’t what they expected, the relationship is likely to end there. So, yes, you get the click rates, but the conversions may be low. If you had lower clicks, and more conversions, wouldn’t that be better for your business?

You should think about a clear subject line, and then focus on the content. The content itself needs to explain simply what you’re offering, whether that’s a training course or a consultancy service. You need to try and create an emotion around it, so a sense of curiosity for example, and, of course, you need that all important call to action – which gives the reader a chance to find out more, to click through to your website, and hopefully bring you a sale ultimately!

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