At EB HQ we are often asked for tips and guidance with email marketing.  Often clients will come to us and ask why their open rates are dropping, or why is the open rate high but the click through is low?

Email marketing is about so much more than just send out an offer to a long list of email addresses and hope for the best.  Often the strategy of volume over quality falls flat on it’s face, a poorly thought out marketing campaign is ineffective no matter how many people it is sent to, sending out to millions of people doesn’t make any difference.

There isn’t a ‘magic bullet’ theory unfortunately, there is no one answer that instantly makes any campaign a runaway success.  There are however a sound set of basic principles, that if followed diligently will really make a difference to your email marketing and will offer sustained success over a long period of time for any business in any industry.

It will evolve with the requirements of your business and help to build loyalty with existing clients and generate new ones in regular numbers.

After viewing literally thousands of email marketing campaigns sent out using our software we have put together the following principles for sustained success:

Make sure that your email lists are all good addresses that want to receive your marketing.

Take the time to source a good quality list of confirmed opt in addresses.  Everywhere you can, you should publish a ‘join my mailing list’ option, on your website – in local advertising etc.  You could contact your ideal demographic and ask if they can be emailed, offer referral schemes etc.  There are lots of sources that you can use to locate and contact the right demographic of client that you are trying to reach.  Building a good quality email marketing database maybe something that takes a while to do, but it really is worth it.  It will be a solid source of business for years to come.

Never be tempted to buy lists of email addresses, these are generally harvested without the consent of the email address owner and typically contain spam traps.  Mailing lists of dubious source will result in tagging you as a ‘spammer’, tarnishing the sender reputation of your mail server and potentially causing damage to your brand.

Check your document for it’s spam rating prior to sending

You should always take the time to study your newsletter before it is sent.  A hastily sent document will often end up be consigned to the junk box because of a few simple mistakes that could have been easily rectified prior to sending.

You should read your copy text and make sure that you aren’t using words or syntax that could be classed as spam.  Never use lots of capitals, or large fonts, never use exclamation marks or punctuation that isn’t needed. You should always avoid ‘hot’ words or phrases such as; free, discount, promotional, special offer, earn £££.  Too many images will also have a detrimental affect on your mailing, the average spam filter will classify a newsletter with too many images as spam.

Using Email Blaster takes the hard work our of this for you.  Our ‘spam ferret’ will quickly run a check on your document and advice of any changes that need to be made prior to sending.  With a few simple clicks you can see how your newsletter will be interpreted by the major email viewers.

Send your marketing on a regular day at regular intervals

Always try and send your marketing on a set day at set intervals.  A good time seems to be once a fortnight on a midweek day.  Your viewers will start to expect your communications and they will quickly be familiar to them – this really helps build trust.  All research shows that building trust will really help to to encourage your viewers to start using your products and services.

Too many campaigns fail because they start with a massive flurry of activity and then the send levels drop off.  Your recipients will find this confusing – far too haphazard.  Regular mailings at regular intervals will always generate good consistent, solid results.

Make sure that your message contains a strong ‘call to action’

Make sure that your message prompts your viewers to do something, give them a reason to either act now or to save your email.  It is very important that once you have got your viewers attention that you then prompt them to do something, this gives your newsletter a value and if it is of value to the viewer, they will keep it to act on later or act on it now.

Make sure that your mailings ‘evolve’

Put some time into planning a series of email marketing newsletters that offer regular viewers a reason to keep receiving your mailings, each one should be a further step forward – you should be able to see a progression of information through a series of marketing.

The classic mistake is to keep sending the same document to the same people – it may look really nice, but if you don’t give your viewers new reasons to read your email document then they will start opting out of receiving further communications.  This is known as the ‘second month dipper’ – often if you’ve followed the all of the other steps but neglected this one. By the time your viewers see that your third communication is exactly the same as the second at the first, they may very well reach for the ‘unsubscribe’ link.

Analyise your statistics

With Email Blaster, you will get access to a powerful set of analytics tools to view your campaign results.  By looking at these results you can really start to find answers to some very important questions- are open rates better at different times, are different geographical areas better than others, are the same people clicking through to your website.  By understanding how your recipients react to your mailings you can build up a very clear blue print of what works with your marketing.

We hope that this article will help to turbo charge your marketing, all of the principles are tried and tested, and if followed will really help to deliver consistent results.