How to Create a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
With a massive amount of emails delivered to our inboxes everyday, it can seem like a daunting task to get your email blast to stand out from all the rest. In addition, there are many factors to consider when developing an email marketing campaign, including:
- What platform will your end users view the email in? (Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, or on their Mobile Device)
- What day of the week should you send your emails to get the highest click through rate?
- What is the desired action you want recipients to take upon reading the email? (Also known as your conversion)
- Are you sending the “right” message to the “right” people? (Not all customers are alike, so not every email campaign should target every customer.)
However, when done correctly, email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching your audience. Email campaigns are targeted, allowing you to reach a section of your customer base with a focused message. Based on research from HubSpot, targeted and segmented emails have a higher CTR than mass email communications. For example, these emails can focus on an action that the recipient has already taken, creating a more personal connection.
Dedicated emails create more of a personal one-on-one conversation with the customer; as a result, companies may see a higher click-through-rate but a lower sharing rate. For this reason, dedicated emails may not create as much social media buzz around your brand, but they will create a better connection with your key/best customers.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
In addition to creating a highly targeted campaign, email-marketing can offer companies several benefits, compared to other online marketing options. One advantage that email-marketing has over other online marketing options, such as PPC campaigns or social media, is the large amount of visual and content real estate available. Companies using email-marketing can use this larger space to better grab the attention of their customers, display their branding, and convey their message.
Email-marketing also offers companies a large amount of data and insights into customer behavior. It is easier to track the effectiveness of email campaigns to a greater degree than it is to measure success of a social media strategy because of the variety of different metrics available to measure the success of a message. In addition, with the variety of metrics available companies can create individualized goals for each email campaign. The following are a few of the types of measurements that can be used:
- Bounce rate: the percentage of total emails sent that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox
- Delivery rate: the percentage of emails that were actually delivered to recipients’ inboxes. A delivery rate of 95% or higher is often considered a successful delivery rate. However, your delivery rate goal should be based of the delivery rate of your initial send, which you can grow off of.
- List growth rate: a measurement of how fast your email list is growing. A list of subscribers will vary over time as some recipients unsubscribe and new recipients subscribe to receive emails. In addition, many addresses on an email list can “go bad” over time, due to changing jobs, switching email programs, or creating new email accounts.
- Click -Through-Rate (CTR): the proportion of the audience who clicked on one or more links contained in an email message. To determine a realistic CTR for your future email blasts, you should use the CTR from a previous campaign a benchmark to compare how the CTR trends in the future.
- Email Sharing: the percentage of recipients who clicked on the “share this” button to post email content to a social network site
- Conversion Rate: the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within the email and completed a desired action, such as filling out a form on your website.
- Open rate: The amount of recipients that opened the email.
- Unsubscribe rate: The amount of recipients that unsubscribe from the mailing list.
Don’t worry about having to calculate all these rates and percentages yourself, if you use an email marketing platform you will be able to pull this information and create reports at any time. In addition, email marketing platforms are very beneficial for managing your lists of subscribers and for making sure your email sends comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. Some of the popular email marketing platforms are StreamSend, Constant Contact, and MailChimp.
Reaching the Right Customers
A successful email marketing campaign has many components, including:
- Determining when recipients are most receptive
- Powerful subject line
- Strong call to action
- Personable message content
Overuse of images can decrease the effectiveness of an email campaign because it may be difficult for recipients to download the email or view it on their mobile device (i.e. iPhone, Android, Blackberry). In addition, avoid using an array of different colors and fonts in your emails; they will appear overcrowded and “flashy”. Instead, focus on using complimentary colors and fonts that are easy to read. The goal of your campaign is for recipients to complete a desired action. If the email layout and design are too busy, they may miss the call-to-action entirely.
The time and day of the week that you send emails can be almost, if not more, important than content of the email, because if you don’t reach your customers at a time when they are most receptive to opening the email then it won’t matter what the email looks like or how it reads. To keep your customers interested, it is important to send emails on a regular basis, don’t send an email blast once in a blue moon, rather set a schedule to every an email blast once quarter or each month, depending on your business.
Integrating Social Media and E-Mail Marketing
Email marketing is also a tool that can help drive customers between different platforms, such as your website or social media profiles. According to a recent email marketing study by GetResponse (a leading email marketing provider), social media plays a significant role in achieving a higher click-through-rate (CTR) for an email marketing campaign. The study shows that email messages that include at least one social sharing option generally have a 30% higher CTR than emails that do not. Beyond that, those that had three or more social sharing options had a 55% higher CTR.
Twitter appears to have the largest impact on increasing a campaign’s CTR, as messages with the Twitter sharing option had a 40% higher CTR than messages that didn’t have any. While emails can stand alone, they are much more powerful tool for driving traffic between each of your online marketing platforms, such as your website and social media profiles, and for reaching the “right” customers with the “right” message.
Email marketing is a tremendous marketing tool for connecting with your customers. The creation of a successful email campaign requires the untangling of a complex web of factors, including types of recipients, message content, layout and design, subject line, goals, and metrics. However, in return for investing in the creation of an email marketing strategy companies can receive great insight into when to best reach their customers, the different types of customers they have, effectiveness of brand messaging, and trends in customer behavior.
For more on creating a captivating email campaign: