It can be tricky to mount a successful email campaign. We send out thousands of emails every month, and as with everything else we do we offer advice on format and content, but at the end of the day we always do as we're told, so if you insist on a shocking pink theme, then shocking pink it will be. But there are some aspects of a campaign that can't be ignored..
1. Target Your Recipients Sounds obvious I know, but we're often told to send it out to the whole database, and sometimes the whole database isn't going to be interested in that pariculart email but may be interested in others you might send later - so you risk them clicking the unsubscribe link thus losing them from any future campaigns.
2. Get the Timing Right Generally speaking it's not good to send emails out on Friday, or out of office hours. But we ran a campaign for a Golf Bar (with indoor golf simulators) and for them it was beneficial to send them out at around 3.30pm on a Friday - not something that would be right for other businesses. So timing is very important.
3. Make An Impact! You need a subject line which is to the point and inviting. At the same time we have to avoid excessive spam filtering by excluding spammy terms from the subject of the email, and there are lots of them. Exclamation marks, pound signs, and things like "50% Off" will send your email to the digital wheelie bin.
4. Make Things Obvious The calls to action (links in the email to your website) need to be blindingly clear. If it's a newsletter it may not be so important, but generally speaking the whole point of this is usually to get people on your website and you'd be surprised how many tiny little text links we see when they should really be big graphic panels!
5. Minimise Text? We've seen both extremes, from a massive text only email to a heavy graphics email with nothing but clickable products in it. If you're doing something like a newsletter you can get away with lots of text because if they've signed up to it (which they should have otherwise they shouldn't even be receiving it) there's a chance they will sit and read it. If it's not a newsletter type thing then you should be minimising text and thinking "teasers" to get them to click through to your website.
6. Marketing Info. Probably the most important aspect of any email marketing campaign is what happenned to it. You have simply GOT to know how many emails were read (and perhaps who read them), how many bounced (invalid recipients) and how many unsubscribed. But more than anything you need to know how many (and who) clicked through to your website. You must have access to these stats - it will shape your database and tune your 'hit rate'.
7. Technical Bits. Whether you're sending it out yourself or using us to do it there are some things which are simply vital..
- There must be a unsubscribe link (and it must work to exclude them from the next mailing).
- It must be tested and known to work in Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and Thunderbird etc. They all handle HTML emails differently.
- There must be a good text version of the email available for those who are unable to receive HTML email.
Happy Email Marketing!