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All businesses are looking for new ways to increase sales and are probably using email marketing or considering it. But how do you run a successful email marketing campaign?

The success or failure of email marketing was traditionally based on a number of factors including:-

  • What subject lines achieve the best open rates?
  • How to ensure that emails are not treated as Spam by avoiding Spam words and phrases
  • Evaluating the optimum length of an email
  • Determining the best time of day or week.

The list goes on and on.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with this type of thinking it does lead to wasted effort and attempts to create a ‘one-size fits all’ solution. Unfortunately, customers and potential customers all have different needs and requirements.

Sending a bulk email to your email list often results in anomalies (e.g. inviting a woman to a male sports class, or sending a discount offer to a customer who has already purchased the product. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your email campaign is more effective.

1. Send only Relevant Messages

Rather than sending out a bulk email to everyone on your list, take the time to ‘segment’ your list into different categories, and send out targetted emails to specific customer or potential customer groups.

For example:

Group A – existing customers. You may send them an email about an update to a product or service that they have already bought.

Group B – potential customers. You may send them an email, with an introductory offer. (It would not make sense to send this group A, as the contact being an existing customer, would not understand, why he is receoving an ‘introductory offer’. At best he will just ignore the offer, at worst he may get a negative impression of your company.

The goal here is to get as much information as you can about your contacts, so that you can send ‘targeted emails’, which will achieve better results.

2. Be Consistent

Inevitably businesses send out emails when sales are down, or when they are trying push a new product or service. This makes sense when you first start an email marketing campaign. Typically these types of email newsletters have low success rates. This is because you are trying to ‘force’ the sale, from your own objectives and the email is only sent when you need something.

The key here is to think like your customer and target what he or she wants – and when.

It is important that you consistently stay and touch and that you are perceived as being consistent, reliable and available.

Some ideas:-

Follow up potential new customers, with an introductory offer.
Let contacts know about events, industry news and ‘what’s going on’
Send out hints and tips about your industry, product or service
Create a Monthly newsletter
Invite comments and feedback on your products, service and industry

By being consistent, reliable and available to existing customers and potential new ones, you will create a long term relationship with them, which will lead to an increase in sales.

3. Size isn’t everything

Whether creating your own email list, buying one or using an email service, the key to remember it is not the size of the list that is important, but the quality of the contacts and how it is used.

Having 20,000 names, that you have collected over the years, that may have only a passing interest in your product or service, will not increase your sales. ‘Segmenting’ your list and sending targeted emails to those segments, will have a much more positive effect.

4. Call to Action

Email is everywhere and has lost it’s personal touch. ‘Thank You’ emails are passé and are probably deleted before being read.

Target your emails to your clients with a ‘call to action’ and make it personal.

Rather than say ‘thank you for your order’ and leave it a that

use ‘ thank you for you order and as a welcome gift, you will receive 5% off your next purchase’

Summary

Sending relevant, targeted email messages to all existing and potential customers, will build relationships with them and result in a long term, increase in sales.