Email marketing is commonly viewed as a cost effective marketing channel, however that should not imply that significant investments in this tactic are uncommon. Expenses in email marketing include list rental, email deployment programs, email deliverability services and list building initiatives, to name a few.
It is one of those tactics that can be either inbound or outbound in nature, depending on its execution. For example, and email sent out to a rented list as a scheduled delivery is an outbound message. When used as an automatically triggered message, the lines between inbound and outbound are blurred. When a new subscriber opts into a list on their own accord, the lines are once again blurred. When an email is deployed to a list that opted in to a relative list, well, you get the point.
Now is an interesting time for email marketing. Email as a marketing channel is old enough that many tactics and strategies have been tested and proven, and yet still new enough that many marketers are still catching up with established best practices. For the latter, there is ample opportunity to apply proven strategies to receive impressive gains.
Much like direct mail, personalization of email messages offers great opportunity to increase relevance. Personalization has been rated as the most labor intensive email marketing tactic; however, the results can be well worth the additional effort.
When executing an email marketing campaign, the same principles you apply to your direct mail campaigns will be useful. This includes list, messaging and call-to-action. In addition to the consideration of these factors, we have provided the following list of five important best practices to improve all areas of your email marketing initiatives, from content development to deliverability.
- Be relevant. This encompasses content, format of content, personalization, and the timing and frequency of delivery.
- Be real and authentic in your email messages. Consumers are becoming more interested in hearing from other humans and less interested in hearing from corporate entities. This is a guiding principle for email and many other marketing tactics.
- Don’t hide the option to unsubscribe. If a subscriber wants to be removed from your list, make it easy for them to avoid complaints to email service providers. If your subscribers don’t want to receive messages from you, you shouldn’t be sending them.
- Make list building a priority. List building tactics include social sharing, using incentives to encourage site registrations, mobile capture, co-registrations, etc.
- Test, measure, then test again. Email marketing offers ample opportunity to test content, subject lines, delivery timing, and more. Use every advantage to the data available to you to test and improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns.