An Engaging Email Experience
belindawhite August 29, 2011

In an age when there are many ways to talk to your customers, Email Marketing is one of the most powerful and effective ways to talk directly to your targeted audience and still more effective than Social Media, not everyone has a Twitter account, but most are likely to have an email address.  Email Marketing is a large and detailed subject, so this article aims to be just a short overview.

When used correctly Email Marketing can really drive business and within this I don’t consider blanket bombarding of random email addresses as driving or engaging, this is just spam. When emailing your audience, only do so to those who have ‘opted in’ or requested to receive your information, this is one step to ensuring the recipient is more likely to read your email and is happy to receive it. Sign up can be via your website or other marketing activity. There are legal implications when Email Marketing, so make sure you are up to date with the latest requirements.

Once you have your permission based email list or database, you need to plan your campaign and set goals. Key to this is frequency and timing. Regular interval emails could be newsletters, press releases or click-throughs to new information on your website. Sent out at specific intervals as reminders to your customers, the aim being to strengthen customer loyalty and brand awareness. Additional campaigns can include special offers, announcements, product launches or exclusive email offers, sent out when appropriate. Planning is essential and should offer value to both the recipient and the sender.

Email Marketing formats are either plain text or html which includes images and graphics. Ideally use both formats. Use a reliable email delivery service, there are many available with a variety of pricing structures and free services.

A few seconds, that is how long you have your readers attention. So make it work.

In their crowded inbox your email needs to stand out. Creating content requires careful planning and must be relevant, identify your audience and talk in their language. Crafting an appealing and effective email is a essential to get them to open and read. Subject line being the most important. Avoid common spam phrases such as ‘free’, ‘win’ or ‘prize’ in your subject line. Similar to an eye catching advert strap line, your subject line should be short,  snappy and enticing. When using graphical html make sure it is well branded and reflects your website design to give continuity. Content should include the permission reminder, which confirms to the reader that they did sign up to receive it, clear ‘sender’ details and unsubscribe or opt out buttons.

The design should have a good balance between text and images and have a strong call to action at the top, above the imaginary fold, try to keep the email short with site links for more detailed information.  A good idea is to have an alternate version available on your website via a link, just incase a reader has problems viewing the email.

Finally track your results. Most delivery services offering statistical data so you can see opening and click through rates. Within your email have specific links to custom landing pages on your website and set up Google Goal tracking to measure results.

Email marketing is a great way to reach out and build your business. Although technical limitations are a consideration email campaigns can be fun, creative and engaging. Why not reach out today.

 

belindawhite Creative and web consultant

Professional web designer, expert in business branding and print design. Working in the creative industries for over 20 years. Designing websites for over 15 years. Providing businesses with mobile friendly websites, creative content, e-commerce sites that drive business, branding to love and memorable print design.