Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tips for Successful Email Marketing

We're back again with our Hubspot IMU segment.  Today's lesson is on email marketing, titled "Successful Email Marketing (CV301).  The course is taught by Eric Groves of Constant Contact.  Here are my notes from the class:

What is Successful Email Marketing?

  • Delivering Professional Email communications to an interested audience, containing informatinon that they find valuable
  • Email Marketing is efficient (almost everyone has an email account)
  • Email Marketing is Cost-effective (fraction of the cost for printed mail).  Over 20x more cost effective.

What it's not...

  • It is not communication that the recipient does want or expect


  1. Using an email client (outlook, gmail, yahoo, etc.)
  2. Use an email service provider (constant contact) to add consistency, branding in email campaigns, easy, etc.

Steps to be Successful with Email Marketing

  1. Making Connections - Build an Email List
  2. Inform Your Audience - Use content that your customers want to read.  Be educational
  3. Grow Your Business - Continually add to, and improve your email marketing

Things to Remember

  • Quality over Quantity - Gather contacts that want to be on your list
  • Communicating your email list, with every contact, via:
    • Website form
    • In-store form
    • Phone Call Inquiries
    • Email tag in signature
    • Trade Shows (business cards)
  • Gather as much info as possible for your database
    • What are they interested in?  
    • You can cater messages based on their preferences (e.g., interested in family travel, or singles travel).  This will keep their interest
    • Get additional contact methods
  • Get Permission - Tell people what they will receive.  Make sure they authorize it.
  • Use every touch point to collect info
    • Are you setting your employees up to also collect info
    • Hold contests for employees to gather info
  • Clearly set expectations (frequency of emails)

Gathering Email Content

  • Goal:  Someone forwards your email to a friend, saves your email to a special folder to future reference, and then they talk about you on a Friday night.

Objectives - How do you measure success?
  1. Promote - motivate purchases, increase attendence
  2. Inform - differentiate your business, inform your customers
  3. Relate - increase loyalty, encourage more referrals

Formats - 
  1. Newsletters
  2. Promotions / Invitations / Surveys
  3. Announcements

Content Ideas- 
  • Share what you know, educate your audience
  • Use facts, testimonials
  • Give guidance and directions
  • Use questions from clients, save those answers for content topics
  • Offer discounts and coupons
  • Exclusivity and VIP Status
  • Hold contests and giveaways

Keep it Concise -
  • Use bullets
  • Link directly to other information
  • Give instructions, if necessary
  • Acknowledge your audience

Utilize a Call to Action -
  • Use a click-through link and measure the articles that get clicked
  • Measure content, regions, customers, time of day, etc.
  • Give the customer an opportunity to ask questions, take a survey, give feedback

How Often to Send?
  • It depends
  • Create a Master Schedule
  • Base times on when clients record their timestamps for opening
  • Test times that work best

Get your message read

  • Make sure your "from" line is recognizable.  Use the business name, or whatever is common to your customers
  • Use a compelling subject line (don't do "monthly newsletter").  If a CPA, use "2 tips to get an IRS audit" or something that is informative and provacative
  • Don't be spammy - Look for spammy words, etc.
  • Use clean images, correct links, good spelling/grammar, subject line, and sender

Bounce Management

  • Has an email address changed?
  • Has your contact left the organization?
  • Have you misspelled an address?
  • Was there a full mailbox?

Track and Understand Open Rates

  • Are people opening the message?
  • Are they viewing the images?
  • Are they clicking on the links?
  • Which links are they clicking on?
  • Are they trending up/down?
  • Make a note of who is doing what, and save those names to a list.  This will help you target messages.