Creamy email marketing tips and tricks

by Joe Pelissier on March 26, 2012

The other week I was invited to moderate some round table discussions about B2C eMail marketing at the Digital Cream conference in London.  It was organised by Econsultancy and the table I was on was sponsored by the eMail marketing specialist eDialogue.

It was a revealing day, as industry professionals shared ideas and opinions. Given the complex nature of email marketing, many were also looking for magical tips and tricks to revolutionize their work.

Some may have had their prayers answered but, for most, it was the perfect chance to become better informed and to leave inspired to try new approaches.

Here are some of the recurring themes that came out of the sessions.

1. The importance of segmentation – put your prospects or customers into meaningful categories and only communicate things that are relevant. This is a proven way to increase your chances of attracting their attention but most companies, especially small ones, find it particularly hard.  If you are guilty of this seek professional help – fast

Remember – the larger the company, the more they invest in email segmentation.

2. Mobile – an increasing number of people now read and deal with email via their mobile phone. You need to start writing and designing with this in mind. Be mindful that financial transactions via mobile tend to decrease in comparison to when an email is read via the desktop. In ecommerce terms the Holy Grail is to improve conversion via mobile.

3. HTML5 in email has the potential to increase dramatically the level of interactivity and engagement. In particular the use of video, which is generally perceived as a powerful way of getting readers to take action.

4. Play close attention to your Unsubscribe option. Make it easy for users to unsubscribe and, if you have several email newsletters, be very clear about which ones are which. Try to get into the habit of auditing your unsubscribes as this will give you invaluable intelligence.

 5. “Use Social Media to do the listening”.  SM is great for telling you what people want so that you can communicate with greater relevance. Be mindful that those who sign-up via your Facebook page because of an offer or the chance to win a prize are not going to be very receptive to the marketing emails you send out subsequently.

6. Timings – experiment and test the time of day, or day of the week, you send out emails. The weekends are perceived as good days. This is because people tend to work through email at a more leisurely pace at the weekends .

7. RSS – always add an RSS feed to your email as this is an easy way of opening another channel and making sure prospects can effortlessly keep up to date.

8. Postcard emails work well when you are promoting a single product or service. The reader only has to read and process one idea, so they don’t have to work so hard. If appropriate, add an urgent timescale to encourage response.

9. Always include a contact telephone number.  This may seem obvious but it’s amazing how many emails are sent out without one. Yes, people who are genuinely interested DO want to speak to you.

10. Be Humble – spend more time thinking about the email from the point of the user who is probably dealing with hundreds of emails. Would you like to receive the email you are planning to send  out?

This is a good list. It shows that the basics never really go away and that, whatever the technology, knowing what your audience really wants is the key to effective communication.

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