We’ve been writing about the benefits of email marketing on Online Friendly, and we wanted to share some tips that will help your organization’s email campaign go well.
Thinking about sending out an email blast for the first time or want to improve your existing efforts? We put together this checklist to give you a good chance of getting the most out of your email marketing campaign.
- Tell people about your mailing list — Developing an email list is essential to your email marketing campaign. Place a “subscribe to our newsletter” or “get email updates” link prominently on your website, on your social media profiles, and in your email signature. If you have a brick-and-mortar store or office, make sure to promote your email marketing initiatives there too.
- Comply with local laws when building your mailing list –Don’t just add anyone to your list. The American CAN-SPAM act and recently passed Canadian regulations make it legally risky for you to add people to your mailing list without their consent. For advice on compliance for Canadian companies, we found this resource useful: “The Marketers Guide to Applying FISA” (pdf).
- Make sure the message is from you — When sending a message, make sure that your organization is in the “From” label, so that subscribers know who sent the email. Send your emails using an email address from your domain. Webmail programs such as Gmail can, with a little work, be set up to use your domain email. Also, try not to change your sending address because it may force subscribers to change their spam filter to the new address, which can be an annoyance.
- Write headlines that people will click — A compelling subject line is crucial to having your email opened: Don’t leave it blank! Also, generic titles like “Newsletter #3” aren’t as enticing as ones that are more descriptive like “Newsletter #3: Top Ten Email Blast Checklist”.
- Send relevant content — Make sure your content is relevant to your subscribers. Don’t fill emails with extraneous information. Think about your subscribers’ needs and write content that will appeal to them. If your subscribers fall into markedly different camps, divide them into different segments and send different emails to meet their specific needs.
- Proofread your email — We all like having a laugh at typos, but it’s not always funny when someone points out one of your mistakes. It’s important to make sure that your email is free of typos and grammatical errors. Read your email carefully, and have someone else read it if you can.
- Avoid attachments – Instead of attaching images and files in an email blast, send HTML emails that show up as soon as the person views the email. By doing this, your email will have a greater, more immediate impact because people don’t have to take a second step to see the image or other information.
- Consider a third-party email service — Email services such as Constant Contact, and MailChimp provide many advantages over sending email from a typical email account. These services feature customizable newsletter templates that give your email greater visual impact, user management capabilities to keep track of subscribers automatically, statistics on what has been opened, forwarded, deleted, and clicked on, and more.
If you decide to use Constant Contact, it has a marketplace where you can find designers and other qualified service providers, including Kobayashi Online.
- Give them something to click — An email blast should provide your subscribers with a next step. Whether it’s signing up for your service, going to your website or brick-and-mortar store for a discount, contacting you for a product demonstration, or anything else, your email should provide a call to action. By clearly presenting the next step the recipient should take, you’re making it easier for them to complete a desired action, and reducing confusion.
- Send email blasts regularly — With email marketing, you should try to send email blasts regularly, but not too regularly. Every two to four weeks is a good goal for most businesses. Any longer and it will be hard to keep your customer thinking about you when it comes time for them to, say, make a purchase. Decide on a realistic schedule and stick to it.
Creating an email marketing campaign can be hard work, but we think email marketing is worth the effort, since it helps build and deepen your relationship with your customers and prospective clients.
Have any email marketing tips to share? Need help with your email marketing campaign? Please let us know. We’re here to help!