Despite what many naysayers would have you believe, particularly those disenchanted with junk mail or cold calling, direct marketing is still very much a relevant and powerful technique – providing it is used effectively. After all, the most frequently repeated criticisms of direct marketing campaigns come from those who have been inundated with irrelevant and unsolicited material. Consequently, it’s clear that for direct marketing to exist, steps must be taken to make the process more useful to consumers.
Email campaigns are particularly effective at sidestepping the usual pitfalls of direct marketing; the integration between data collection and the finished product can be almost seamless when set up correctly, ensuring that exciting information and persuasive calls to action hit the most receptive audience demographic at the most effective time. In order to stay out of junk folders, it’s important for businesses to only contact consumers who have opted-in to receive marketing communications.
Having established that emails are a particularly effective conduit for marketing messages, it’s important to understand how to make them as effective as possible. Your email marketing campaign must stand out from the crowd, in order to stay out of junk folders and be fully utilised and acted upon by consumers. In this article I’ll illustrate some of the best techniques for increasing the effectiveness, and therefore conversion rates, of email marketing campaigns.
Make opting-in an attractive proposition
First of all, you need to attract consumers to your service and persuade as many people as possible to opt into your campaign. In much the same way as the content of the emails, the call to action must offer something useful.
Make the benefits of your campaign clear to the consumer while advertising the potential offers and deals they could get from signing up to your offer messages. Furthermore, you must ensure that they understand the full benefits of signing up for newsletters and other email communications. Consumers are savvy to the old tricks associated with marketing emails; hiding an opt-out tick box in the middle of some legal spiel will just get you blacklisted from the inboxes of potential customers. In this situation, their trust will be difficult – if not impossible – to win back.
Using the right data, correctly
Everything you do with your email marketing should be data driven; fully utilise any information that you can gather from consumer interaction with your website while using all the data that the recipients of the emails gave you when they opted in. By leveraging all of this information, you can form a far better picture of your audience demographic, allowing you to better cater to their needs and ensuring their loyalty. Google Analytics is an effective tool for working out which content on your website is attracting consumers; use this information to modify or plan the content of your emails to work well.
A data driven approach is also important when it comes to following up on emails from your campaign; it’s vital to meticulously analyse every aspect of your strategy, working out which elements work most successfully, and deciding how future emails can be optimised. Analytical packages for email campaigns are often offered as part of the paid services offered by specialist email marketing companies; and are certainly worth looking into.
Catch the eye
A superb design is also an essential part of making your email campaign stand out from the crowd; you can have the most exciting, desirable information and offers that it’s possible to have, but if the design of your email doesn’t attract and hold the attention of consumers, no-one is going to spend long enough reading the email to absorb the value that you’re trying to provide them with.
Furthermore, according to email marketing professionals Mailing Manager, if you don’t produce something which is high quality, carefully organised, and easy to understand, then your email is likely to automatically wind up in the spam folder – or be reported as junk.
Therefore, interactive and even animated elements are both great ways of enticing consumers to engage with your email content. But the design elements of your emails are also a great area in which to take advantage of optimisation and analysis work. Ensure that the content your target demographic wants is the first thing they desire; nearer the top of the email, and designed in as eye-catching a way as possible.