Article written by Darrell Zahorsky, About.com Guide
From the daily onslaught of email spams and newsletters filling inboxes, you would think that email marketing is losing its punch. Email marketing is not dead, but a thriving medium for business today.
Business today is finding email marketing attractive for several reasons:
The cost of sending a direct mail piece by postal service runs over a dollar, email marketing can cost pennies.
A one percent response rate from direct mail is considered terrific. An email marketing campaign can have a five to ten percent response rate.
According to DoubleClick’s Email Consumer Study, over 78% of online shoppers have purchased because of permission-based emails and 59% of email recipients have bought in a retail store as a result of a merchant email.
The benefits of email marketing range from increased sales and lead generation to stronger brand awareness and improved customer relationships.
Instruments of Email Marketing
Email marketing is immediately associated with personalized bulk mailings, and possibly newsletters. A complete email marketing strategy can consist of more marketing instruments, however:
- Individual replies to customer requests
- Newsletters (both with original content and supporting a Web site)
- Personalized mailings
- Public mailing lists (for market research, support, etc.)
- Networking (participating in forums, discussion lists, fairs,…)
- Web site
Of course, all email activities should also be in line with the overall marketing strategy.
Create A Clear “Call To Action”
Sometimes, I get newsletters and marketing messages via email that have everything except a clear call to action. They’re beautifully designed, a joy to read, and they get me in the mood to do something — if only I knew what the sender expects me to do. I don’t know where to click, what link to follow, where to order.
One of the crucial elements of an email marketing campaign is a clear call to action.
- Lay out exactly what you want the recipients of your message to do, and
- Design the message to make that path clear for the recipient, and easy to follow.
Don’t distract with too many links or offers, and make not only the call to action clear but also what recipients can expect when they click through. This can be as simple as “Click here for a 20% discount on your next weekend trip.”
How often is too often? How often is not often enough? Your subscribers know best how frequently they want to hear from you. They’ll let you know by means of unsubscribing. To prevent that, consider asking them for a perfect frequency, test heavily, and maybe ask those who unsubscribe for their reason.
To get started, consider this rule of thumb, though:
- Everything less often than at least every other month is not often enough. People will forget about you, and the surprise of an email from you showing up after a year will probably result in a surprise unsubscription.
- Everything more often than once a week is too often unless your subscribers specifically agreed more frequent mailings. People will get tired and annoyed by your emails, and unsubscribe even if they like your content.
Reflect Your Corporate Design
Your email marketing strategy as a whole must be an integrate part of the overall marketing strategy. Similarly, the design (and the content) of your newsletter or email marketing campaign should reflect your corporate design. Your business “corporate design” or your business “brand” is the look and feel of all your marketing materials (print & online).
Ensuring that your emails reflect your corporate design ensures that recipients can make a connection between the emails and the sender’s other marketing collateral (even if it’s only a Web site). The company image and the image created by the email marketing efforts can interact and maybe strengthen each other.
If the email marketing does not reflect the corporate design, this can have a bad effect not only on the success of the email campaign, but also on the image of the company as a whole. In the subconscious minds of your audience, design consistency in your marketing materials = professionalism and trustworthiness.
Need some help with your email marketing?
Creative Instinct provides a powerful email marketing service that combines excellent design along with statistical analysis allowing you to view detailed breakdowns of your email campaigns’ effectiveness. Our email system allows you to create and send your own email campaigns using a professionally designed “stationery” that we create for you (includes header and footer banners with your logo). Don’t have the time to create an email ad or newsletter? — Leave it to us. Creative Instinct can access your account, design a custom email campaign, and then deploy it for you.
Monthly packages or “pay as you go” plans are available. For more information, call Creative Instinct at 501-244-0573. Or, send an email to Gwen Canfield: firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Creative Instinct, visit our website at www.creativeinstinct.biz.