Spam, junk mail, trash—whatever you want to call it, we all hate it. Nobody wants 28 emails a day about discount furs, kitchenware sales or celebrity diet pills.
If you want to launch a successful email marketing campaign, it’s important to understand your audience, know what they want and especially know what they don’t want.
The success or failure of your email marketing efforts will ultimately depend on who’s receiving the emails. Your campaign won’t yield great results if your recipients aren’t looking for the service you’re offering. For example, your campaign won’t flourish if you’re marketing student loan repayment assistance to senior citizens.
Finding your target audience is all about using every available and relevant opportunity to build your list. Whether you use web pages, conferences, point-of-sale, events or blogs, your efforts in building a solid following can make or break your campaign.
Also, when people willingly sign up for an email marketing campaign, not only are they showing interest in your services but they’re also giving consent to receiving future emails.
Packing subject lines with all caps, exclamation points and spam phrases like “JUST FOR YOU–OPEN NOW–95% SAVINGS!!!!”, will result in your message being re-routed to the trash either by the recipient or by an algorithm designed to filter out messages just like those.
Keep your subject lines simple and clean. It should be clear that a person wrote the email, not a robot. The first few emails should be explanatory—tell recipients about the company, its services and what they can expect. Include a subscribe link in the email so they can forward it to their friends.
Stay true to your original campaign. If you’re offering loan repayment aid, don’t send emails about credit cards or coupons for luxury cruise vacations. Keep your emails short and relevant to leave the recipients wanting more, and looking forward to your next one.
Sporadically sending emails once a month at 2 a.m. is a poor decision.
Checking email is a part of most people’s daily routine. Studies show that business email is most likely to be checked at the beginning of a weekday morning (around 9:30 a.m.) and then again after lunch (around 1:30 p.m.). Personal email is frequently checked weekdays between 5-8 p.m. or anytime during weekends.
Choose a schedule and stick to it. Sending six emails one week, one the next week and then nothing for a month leaves your audience confused and unsure of when to expect to hear from you again. Staying consistent with your emails is a great way to let recipients know you’re diligent and dedicated.
Encourage recipients to add you to their contact list; this ensures your messages are never sent to their spam or trash folders.
Email is a powerful tool for marketing directly to a specific audience. Staying honest, consistent and personable with your target audience will likely keep them highly satisfied.
Ask recipients for their feedback. Their suggestions, complaints or compliments are the perfect way to make your email marketing campaign the best it can be.
About Guest Author:
Holly Watson is a graduate student working towards her doctorate in literature. She is a tech and social media junkie and blogs about email marketing campaigns. You can follow her on Twitter at @hollyemily7.