Email Marketing: The Essentials

Today, people use their desktops, laptops, or tablets for everything – and many people see them as essential. People look to their computers to provide entertainment, to help them research topics of interest, to draft business reports, make product comparisons, and, of course, to allow them to communicate with each other.

It is vital, therefore, that businesses reach out to their customers and sales prospects in the place they usually hang out—the Internet. Use the power of your laptop to help you reach your customers.

In addition to social media and search engine optimization, think about integrating email marketing campaigns into your promotional strategy; they are powerful tools that can extend your website’s reach and may create revenue opportunities. Email marketing campaigns are great ways for businesses to target loyal customers by keeping in touch with them directly to offer them the best deals.

You’ll find that the way to a customer’s heart is often through his or her laptop! So, what are the essentials of putting together an engaging mail marketing campaign that prospective clients will actually notice and not just dump in their spam folder and ignore?

Effortless sign-up

The key to any email marketing campaign is, of course, a comprehensive email distribution list. The process of creating this should be easy for all concerned. Provide an email opt-in form for visitors to your home page. Attract attention by positioning your form above the fold, so that visitors can see it even without having to scroll down their laptop screen.

You may need to sign up to an email marketing service provider to obtain the opt-in form code for your website – this will cost you approximately $20 per month (which isn’t too bad if you generate 5,000 members on your list). For online stores, it’s also a good idea to insert the opt-in form as part of the checkout process.

You could also position it on your ‘About’ page, in your blog’s comment section, or even in pop-up adverts. You should have the goal of making it as easy and painless as possible for your customers to sign up.

Routine maintenance

Although this may seem obvious advice, a lot of marketers actually overlook the fact that their distribution list needs to be robust and regularly maintained. Make sure the contacts on your list are actually those who will be receptive to your message. How do you know if your list is already stale? Determine your open rate—it should be around 20 percent, according to a benchmark study released by Silverpop.

If fewer than 20 percent of people on your list actually open your e-mails, let alone click on a link within them, then it’s likely you have a stale list. It is also important to check recent campaign’s click-through and conversion rates to ensure your distribution list is as relevant as possible.

Be creative

Frequently try to freshen up things by sending emails that are unique and unexpected. Segment your list, and think about sending personalized messages to recipients who haven’t opened your emails lately. Make your content a little offbeat or humorous – adjust this to fit your company style. Small business owners should incite reaction and re-engagement (according to the Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing), so think about doing the opposite to what you normally do in e-mail campaigns the next time.

Be daring and think of brand new ideas or content that will make your campaign more attractive and readable to your prospects. Time is precious, and people will spend more of their time on sites that are interesting, up-to-date, and engaging. Who knows – it might be likely that they will open an email on their laptop and find something so interesting and eye-catching that they will then share with their friends and family, widening your customer base.

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Joanna Stevenson studied mechanical engineering in London and currently works for an energy research and consulting firm. She enjoys writing tech and business articles in her free time. She aspires to be an intrepid tech and gaming enthusiast with the exploratory spirit and witty prose of her favourite author Robert Louis Stevenson.