For all the attention given to PPC and social media marketing, email marketing remains the most effective B2B outreach tool by some considerable distance. But there is a bit more to successful email marketing than just firing off a bunch of messages to your prospects. These tips will help you craft a strategic campaign with a greater chance of success.
Making sure your message is delivered
The first skirmish in your campaign is actually getting mail into your recipient’s inbox, avoiding the dreaded spam filter. There are a number of factors to consider, from avoiding spam trigger words in your messages, to the address from which your mail is sent.
For the best results, choose a well-respected hosted email provider who carefully vets clients to ensure that they do not abuse the system, and get your email blacklisted.
Maximising your open rate
With your message successfully received into your prospect’s inbox, you can begin monitoring the success of your campaign. The first metric you need to capture is the ‘open rate’ which defines the number of emails actually opened by recipients. If you send 1,000 emails and 50 of them are opened, the open rate is 5%.
The higher the open rate, the more compelling the subject line. Use email marketing software that enables A/B testing: this way, you can literally compare and contrast different subject lines, to help you identify which version generates the best open rate.
Improving your click-through rate
The next stat you need to monitor is the ‘click-through rate’ (CTR). This identifies the people who opened your message and were suitably inspired by your offer that they then clicked a link and landed on your website. So if 25 people (of the original group of 1000) land on your site via a link in an email, your click-through rate is 2.5%. However, you may prefer to measure your click-through rate against your open rate for a better idea of how many of your actual readers are responding to your content.
What is your conversion rate?
The conversion rate measures the number of people who make a purchase as a direct result of your email. So if 15 people open your message, click a link that takes them to your site, and then complete the checkout process, your conversion rate from the initial list of 1,000 prospects would be 1.5%. Conversion rate is less straightforward for service-based businesses, but you should keep track of how many enquiries or social media interactions occur as a result of your email marketing campaign.
A cycle of continuous improvement
Email marketing campaigns can, and often are, executed in isolation. But for the greatest success, you should take time to analyse the results of each previous campaign, using them to identify what worked well, and what could be improved.
Armed with these statistics you can begin to experiment with other factors that affect open, click through and conversion rates. Using your email software’s A/B testing functionality, you can try varying factors such as the day, or time of day that emails are sent out. Other tests include the wording of your subject line, or the choice of colours and graphics inside the message, as well as the content and links themselves.
Best of all, collecting information about email marketing campaigns helps to prove the return on investment, demonstrating that your business’s money is being well spent. Remember, ‘The money’s in the list’. Keep sending high quality emails to your contacts: it will pay off.
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