Email is a powerful and effective tool in your marketing process. That's because email is the preferred mode of communication for today's buyer. According to Waldow Social, 77% of buyers prefer to receive marketing communications via email.
Marketing emails consist of four common elements.
Your recipient list
The email offer you are sending
Your page layout and design
The schedule or calendar that governs your activities
These elements are the foundation you need when creating and managing an email campaign.
The recipient list is the key element in all of this. You can have the best offer, and a spicy email scheduled to hit the streets but with out a list, you are helpless. To get your list you must have a lead generation process. You can buy a list or develop one for yourself, I reccomend making your own list. It is a little more time consuming but of much higher quality. The best process for creating a list is to offer a "free" white paper seminar or other infromation that your target market wants in exchange for their name and email address. The key here is the word "free" and "wants"
Make sure that you target a specific type of buyer with the email. Your offer should be highly targeted to a particular segment. Think of it this way; men usually do not buy women's things and the reverse is true as well. A highly relevant offer will deliver better results.
The email offer is perhaps the most important part of the campaign. Offer your prospects what they want and that they will open your email and visit your landing page. Offers that are really valuable to prospects convert at a higher rate. Other offers waste the reader's time and might cause them to unsubscribe. Remember, the offer need not be a product for a purchase, it can be a white paper or other item. Marketing is not all about sales and the offer should be understandable in three seconds or less.
The email design needs to describe your offer and its benefits in short order. Lengthy emails tend to bore the reader and you can lose them forever. The subject line and layout should create an expectation that your copy and call-to-action fulfill. The body of text should be limited to the necessary words to engage the reader in an action. Graphics are good engagement tools.
Scheduling your send can be critical. There are good times and better times for the email to land on the recipient's desk. It isn't just a matter of pushing the send button. Time of day and time of year need to be considered. Seasonal items need to be presented in the proper season. Always use ESP (an email service provider) to schedule and present your email campaign. The ESP can ensure better deliverability rates and provide you with the necessary regulatory reqirements such as the CAN-SPAM ACT. The acronym "CAN-SPAM" derives from the bill's full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. Always use the ESP if for no other reason.
A word about measurements here. The service provider you select should be able to assist you in the metrics of your campaign. I am a big believer in the ability to measure everything you do on marketing. If you can measure it you can change it. Metrics allow you to revise and tune your campaign to a more profitable level, they are a great time saver. Moreover, metrics can help you segment your list providing better targeted results.
Now you have the four essentials to an email campaign, the list, the offering, the design and a calendar.
An essential part of email marketing is to carefully manage the people who sign up to receive emails from you. The ultimate goal is to have subscribers make a purchase but along the way, you need to engage them in an effective manner. Your metrics help you do just that.
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Conversions: One of the most important metrics is the conversion factor. That is - how many emails per conversion, How many emails did it take to deliver a buyer to your business door. This is easy to do for the e-commerce site, just count sales. For the non e-commerce sites it may take a little more effort.
Cost Per Lead: The cost per lead measurement is the sum of all costs in a particular campaign divided by the number of leads. This will help you define which methods pay off the best and which may need to be adjusted or eliminated.
So what data do you collect
Messages Sent. This is the number of outbound emails sent as part of a particular mailing.
Messages Delivered. This is the number of sent emails actually delivered to inboxes.
Hard and Soft Bounces. A hard bounce is a permanently undeliverable email perhaps an invalid email address. A soft bounce is an email that is only temporarily undeliverable a mailbox is full. You should track both.
Unsubscribes. This is the number of those who unsubscribe from your list.
Messages Opened. This is the number of recipients who open your email to read it.
Click-Throughs. The number of times any recipient clicks on any trackable link within the email.