Top 5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

The advantages of email marketing for businesses have been well documented in recent years: low costs, high conversion rates, and detailed tracking. But email marketing is becoming much more than a spammer’s and e-commerce tool. Permission-based email marketing is becoming a viable alternative to direct mail as consumers become more aware of the distinction between spam and permission-based emails.

The good news is that most people who receive permission-based emails open them.

Jupiter Research says Effective email marketing campaigns can generate nine times the revenue and eight times the profit of traditional mail campaigns. Writing a good business email requires both art and science. Consider the following factors, issues, and solutions.

1. CTR and conversion rates

So the user has read your email. Great. But where’s the sale? We have some good news to report. For starters, consumers are more likely to buy directly from a business email campaign. An email link led one-third of users to buy something, according to DoubleClick. Another 42% opened an email link for more information and later bought the product. Second, online couponing is huge: 73% of consumers have used an online coupon for an online purchase and 59% for an offline purchase.

Affluent consumers prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than things. All businesses sending business emails in those categories reported that between 71% and 80% of recipients bought something after receiving an email.

If your company isn’t in one of those categories, don’t worry. Email marketing conversions are improving daily. It has increased by nearly 30% since 2004, and by more than 18% since 2004.

2. Why are my images and formatting broken in my emails?

Email marketers are increasingly worried about broken campaigns, as several companies and web-based email providers have begun blocking graphics to combat spam. According to ClickZ, 40% of email marketing messages are “broken.”

So, what’s the plan? Some email marketing software stores all sent emails in a secure online location (a location only original recipients of the email can access, thanks to encrypted technology that automatically authenticates the user). Some programs even allow you to track users’ behavior when they read your email campaign from a secure web location

3. Spam

The average person receives over 300 emails per week, 62% of which are spam. It’s not surprising that the industry is disliked. Spam filters, bulk folders, and “report spam” features are educating consumers. Spam was a major concern for 89 percent of users in 2003, but fell to 85 percent in 2004 due to increased spam-fighting tools.

Is it possible to send permission-based business emails? Encourage your subscribers to add you to their “safe senders” list. The second and most important strategy is to make sure your email marketing service provider has good relationships with ISPs. This ensures that your email marketing campaigns reach inboxes rather than spam folders. Assuring that your email marketing software provider has strict anti-spam policies and follows Can-Spam guidelines.

4. Personalization and content

Business e-mails are not one size fits all.

DoubleClick found that email users were 72% more likely to respond to a business email that was tailored to their specific interests. This figure highlights the importance of allowing users to create their own interest groups and control their business email. The study found that coupons and household goods are the most popular interests.

Your coupon is only valid if the user opens the email. The study found that the “from” field name is the most compelling reason to open a business email. So make sure your company’s name is prominently displayed there. The “subject” line is also vital. Users prefer subject lines with discounts and news, followed by new product announcements and free shipping offers.

5. Who are my real consumers?

It’s past time for more businesses to recognize the importance of email marketing in CRM. You’re getting fleeced if your provider’s business email services don’t include detailed real-time tracking. Actual tracking allows you to see when a user opens your campaign, clicks on your link, and completes the purchase. By analyzing your users, you can improve your campaigns and make them more effective (several email service providers also let you compare the performance of your campaigns).

But many marketers are in the dark. Recent WebTrends research shows that only 5% of marketers are very confident in their ability to measure online marketing efforts, while 26% admit to “flying blind.” WebTrends attributes the lack of confidence to a lack of measurement knowledge, indicating that much work remains.

Email marketing is not the place for a blind shot. To achieve the same significant results as many other online and offline businesses, you must aim correctly and follow these critical rules of play.

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