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Do you have an eMarketing Strategy in place?

29th August 2014

Email marketing and digital strategyWith the buzz currently surrounding social media marketing, it can be easy to overlook email marketing and, indeed, it may even strike some as being a little old fashioned. However, in fact, eMarketing is actually more powerful than ever due to its ability to work alongside social media and provide a more personal level of interaction with customers. Social media involves sharing information and engaging in conversation whilst eMarketing allows you to take those conversations and relationships to the next level.

Below we provide some key points for creating successful eMarketing campaigns & a digital marketing strategy.

Before you can send out any eMarketing you do, of course, need a list of email addresses to send your messages too. You may already have the email addresses of some of your customers and contacts on file, perhaps obtained through past orders and correspondence. Although it may be tempting to use these addresses to compile a list of recipients for your eMarketing, it’s crucial to understand that before emailing anyone, it’s imperative to have permission to do so. If you send emails to people who have not specifically opted in to receiving them, you will be spamming and this caries serious legal consequences. Therefore, you need to obtain a list of email addresses of people who have definitely provided permission for you to contact them. If you have a website, place a form on it that customers can use to sign up to receiving your emails or, if you take paper based information from customers, ensure there is a definite option provided to allow them to select whether they want to opt in.

Once you have established a list of people who are happy to receive your eMarketing, every time you send an email, it’s good practice to remind them why they are receiving it. This is achieved via a permission reminder - a sentence, usually in the footer of your emails, that explains to your recipient how they signed up to your list. However, permission reminders are not just for the benefit of your subscribers. When sending eMarketing there is always a small chance you could be reported for spam, even if your recipients have agreed to receiving it. In the event of this your permission reminder acts as a vital piece of evidence.

Once you’ve established a list of people who have definitely given permission to email them, it’s time to start writing your content. When your email appears in a subscriber’s inbox they expect that it will contain something of value to them. You are asking your recipient to spend some of their valuable time reading your email, so ensure that the content is relevant and useful to them in exchange. Although, of course, the objective of eMarketing is to sell, it’s imperative that your subscriber can really see how what you are offering would be of use to them. Therefore, ensure that rather than just simply listing the features of your products or services, you talk about the benefits of them to the customer. Products and services are created to fulfil needs and solve problems so ensure your recipient knows that you are on their side and offering solutions. EMarketing also offers the ideal opportunity to target specific sections of your customer base defined by, for example, which products or services they have bought in the past. This information can be used to create content such as a special offers tailored exactly to what you believe a certain sector of your customers will find useful. Provide your customers with exactly what they are looking for and you will build all-important relationships with them.

Once your recipient has established that they need your products or services, it’s vital that you provide an easy way for them to act on their decision. This could be, for example, in the form of a link to click, an email address to reply to or a telephone number to call. Ensure that this information is clear and easy to find within the email.

Of course, as well as providing great content in your eMarketing campaigns, it’s also important that they look good. As with all marketing material, it’s vital that your e-mails look professional and fully reflect your business’s corporate identity. Include your logo and corporate colours, as well as any images which relate to your message but also bear in mind that some of your recipients may have blocked visual content with firewalls and filters so be sure to send a plain text version of your email as well as the HTML version.

Before you click send you also need to think carefully about the subject line of your email. It is crucial, as not only does it provide the first impression to your subscriber acting as one of the determining factors in whether they choose to open it, it’s also one of the important factors that spam filters analyse. Keep it relevant and state your company name so the recipient knows who it is from, as well as a very brief description of its content, for example, newsletter.

Once you’ve sent your eMarketing it’s important to review performance. Of course, the number of customers replying or clicking on the link you provided shows how successful your email has been in generating a response, but you can also investigate further. It’s possible to discover what percentage of recipients has opened your email and you can compare these to the rates of other companies within your sector. The findings can be used to analyse the success of your eMarketing campaign and identify where improvements may be needed to make it more effective.

Put simply, e-marketing works. It builds all important relationships, loyalty and trust with customers, it drives direct sales as well as supporting sales through other channels and it allows targeting of specific customer bases.

Glow Creative can plan eMarketing campaigns to help our clients continually engage with their customers, we can develop long term strategies and help clients segment data so content and focus is relevant. We can create templates consistent with their branding. We also offer clients training in using eMarketing systems such as Mailchimp, or we can manage their eMarketing, writing the content, sending the emails and analysing the reports. Get in touch today, we’d love to create the perfect eMarketing campaign for you.

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