- Email marketing is not mail bombing or mass mailing. It’s a misconception that you can just send an email to a huge list and expect bumper returns.
- A disciplined and step-by-step approach when adopted can lead to very good and effective. A synched campaign with designing, testing, delivery, and post campaign management can give the right results.
- If you are not a technical person, it is advisable to take professional help to ensure best results, especially with design and delivery.
In my previous article (Email Marketing: The Charm Continues), we did touch upon a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to an email campaign. This time, let’s explore what it takes to build a successful email campaign.
Most people simply assume that email marketing is mail bombing or mass mailing. Just send an email to a list of 100,000 users from a database purchased and you will get business…absolutely wrong. It’s a misconception that you can just send an email to a huge list and expect bumper returns!
It takes time and effort to build a serious email campaign. No shortcuts to success here. Put in the required effort and do it the right way, the results can surprise you (in a positive way).
Let’s get down to business now.
You want to build a campaign and send it to your customers. Fine. But, do you have the list of objectives that you want to achieve from this campaign? Even before you create the content for your campaign, pen down what you wish to achieve from your campaign. If you have more than one objective, put it in an order – top most priority first to the least important objective at the end.
Once your objectives are clear, you can pretty much arrive at the list of people (audience) who should receive your campaign. If you are sending a generic campaign like a New Year Greeting, you will probably send it to your entire list or database. If not, segment your list to target your campaign. For example, if you have a financial product that is specific to high net worth individuals (HNWI), you might want to target your campaign to the top management of your customers.
Note: The list or database should be your own and opt-in.
What next? Well, it’s time to put your content on paper now based on your objectives. You then need to translate it into a proper campaign format. If you are not familiar with email campaign designing, you should get it done by a professional. An email campaign should include both text and images. Some design points that you should keep in mind:
- The overall text to image ratio should be between 60:40 and 75:25
- Do not include too many images
- Avoid embedding images in your campaign (host them on a web server instead)
- Avoid attachments (host them on your web server and provide links in your campaign)
- Have a responsive design if possible (campaign that renders according to the device being used)
Are we done and ready to send the campaign? Certainly not!
Having a great design is just one part of a successful campaign. The most critical part is the delivery of this to the end recipient. If you don’t hit the inbox, it’s as good as not sending the campaign itself!
If you are not a technical person (meaning, you are not sure how email servers work), it’s better to take the help of an expert here. You will need to consider a few things to optimize your campaign delivery:
- Make sure your SMTP server’s IP address is not blacklisted
- The “From Name” and “From Address” are valid
- Throttle your campaigns if required (send x number of messages per hour; depends on your SMTP server)
- Ensure that you have got SPF, DomainKeys/DKIM configured
- A PTR record (also called Reverse DNS) is setup for your SMTP server
You are now almost there! But keep in mind the following as well:
- The message subject should not exceed 50 characters
- NO SHOUTING in your subject line (avoid all caps)
- Always include a link to an Online version of your campaign and an Unsubscribe link (should be simple enough to use and action)
Test the Campaign
Want to know the 3 golden mantras of Success? Test, Test and Test.
There are online services (such as EmailonAcid) available to test an email campaign thoroughly. These services allow you to check at least two things:
- How they render in different email clients
- How they are analyzed by various anti-spam filters
Some of these services offer a free trial. Give it a try before you hit the trigger.
Post Campaign Management
There are a few things which should be addressed once a campaign is sent out. Your email marketing software should be able to manage them automatically for you. If not, you need to manually take the required action.
- Bounced messages are actioned on merit (hard bounces should be removed or deactivated from your list)
- Unsubscribe requests are honored at all costs
Email marketing is still the number one method to generate business leads. It’s cheaper and far more effective when compared to other methods of marketing. And it’s measurable unlike most of the other traditional marketing channels.
Until next time, happy Email Marketing!
The article is written by A. Chandra Shekhar for Arab Business Review
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