How do you get started?
It may be important to know if you have the bandwidth to develop your email campaign. While running your business remains at the top, your campaign will need time put aside to track its results and success. If there is room in your budget, some small businesses turn to agencies to assist them in creating that campaign for you. In addition, they may also handle all facets of the list distribution, signup and ongoing management.
Here are some helpful tips that may help you get started in the process.
- First and foremost, what is permission based or opt-in e-mail and how is it distinguished from spam? Opt-in or permission based e-mail means recipients have confirmed their interest in receiving e-mail and have signed up (opted in) to receive e-mail about a subject of their interest.
- The actual opt-in e-mail content is very important too. The subject line itself needs to be informative (as this is how most people filter e-mail), the text in the message should be clear, with paragraphs no more than 2-3 short sentences. If you have some customer testimonials, be sure to include those too as a way to build credibility.
- Use HTML (rich media) to target your consumers or textual content to target those who only want the facts. If you are targeting consumers, then HTML (rich media) is the way to go to drive the message and carry the brand message through. However, if your campaign targets corporate or technical personas, text may be the best option as they generally are concerned about the facts without all the marketing hype.
- What should a good campaign generate in terms of response rates; i.e., those that clicked through from your message to a web site or called a toll-free number? These numbers will fluctuate based upon your market segment, product or service you are selling, type of response rate you are seeking (download, e-commerce sale, review of materials via a web site, etc.).
- Message testing is also a very important component of this process. Meaning, you need to develop 1-3 creative messages that have different marketing content and call to action components. Then test by utilizing 10-15% of your total media buy, by sending out these test messages and assessing the response rates. Then go to market with the message that generated the highest return.
- For those campaigns that contain a call to action, a landing page may be necessary. If you hired an agency, typically, they should assist you in creating your landing page or pages to drive leads. This page should have content that is integrated with your opt-in message and have a strong call to action as a response by capturing sufficient information to enable you to build your own in-house newsletter.
- Analyze the results from your email campaign to see what is and what isn’t working. If possible, generate a report showing the number of respondents, and the overall response rates from the campaign. This may help understand the overall effectiveness of the campaign.
- Finally, one of the biggest marketing challenges facing some businesses out there is generating a subscriber list. E-mail is also rapidly moving from a textual communications process to one that is rich in multimedia content via server-based streaming audio or video. Virtually anyone, even those with extremely low bandwidth, can now view compelling content.
Whatever way you get started, the upside rewards are too significant to delay!