I debated using a different title for today’s article, as the word ‘effective’ has has become something of a cliche. We’re all supposed to be more ‘effective’; marketing more effectively, working more effectively, communicating more effectively.
If email is part of your marketing mix, you might have found it has become less effective in recent years.
You may still send as many emails, but as we are all receive more email than ever before, it has become harder to get your emails opened and read.
Sending out emails that generates leads and responses has become difficult.
I have three pieces of advice for making your emails more effective…
Measure real results
The first, is to make sure you are measuring how many leads, appointments and sales your emails are generating.
It sounds obvious, but most businesses have no idea. You cannot improve if you do not know how many people opened, read and responded to your emails. Most email marketing systems will allow you to report on opens and clicks. We suggest going a step further, and tracking clicks through to eventual leads and orders. It takes more work, but is possible with the help of Google Analytics and a decent CRM system.
Spend less time preparing your emails
If you already send a reasonable volume of emails, you already know that writing your emails, putting them into HTML, assembling your contact list, and proof reading your email is where most of your time evaporates. The quicker you can do all of this, the better.
While there isn’t much you can do about certain things (writing the email, testing and proof reading), there are other parts you can eliminate. You don’t need to spend hours playing around with HTML, or tweaking your contact list in Excel.
Any good email marketing system will come with a range of tools and templates for creating your emails quickly, assuming you have the content prepared.
Be less message focused, and more customer focused
Conventional wisdom says that as email is free at the point of delivery, so you should include as many email addresses as you can to increase your chances of success.
The problem with doing this, is that sending emails not relevant or interesting to your contact list actually costs you a lot of money.
It costs you money in lost responses, as each time you send a badly targeted email it lessens the chance that the recipient will open and respond to your email in the future. She already receives too many emails, so if your email does not provide value she may use this as the mental shortcut to unsubscribe or ignore future emails.
Think about it – do you still read every email you receive? You’re in a minority if you do.
Your email effectiveness will drop, and you will have no idea why. You may decide that email marketing no longer ‘works’.
Every email you send adds or subtracts to your standing in the eyes of your email recipients.
They won’t open your emails if they:
- Don’t know who you are (don’t recognise your sender name)
- Don’t remember why they are hearing from you
- Don’t find your email content interesting or relevant to them
How can you make your emails more relevant and interesting? By being more focused on who they are, what they want, and what they are interested in. Be more customer focused, and less message focused. Your message is important to you, it will be less so for your email recipients.
How to make your emails more customer focused?
The best way to to make better use of customer information you already have to target your emails. Information such as:
- What products have they bought in the past?
- What information do you have about the individual that could increase relevancy? Where do they live, what company do they work for, what they are interested in…
- What sender name do they respond to. Do they have a regular account manager?
Pulling together this information can be tricky. The key benefit of ProspectSoft Email Marketing is that it comes with a scalable CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. The CRM system then pulls in historical information from your accounting system, including what a contact has bought and what they paid. You can then store further information such as likes and preferences, and use this information to create truly customer focused emails.
When you are ready to start making your email marketing more effective, have a look at ProspectSoft Email Marketing. You could actually save money overall by making your email marketing more effective.
About the author: Rob Drummond is a marketing communications specialist at ProspectSoft. Read more from this author