Email marketing is still being used by various businesses to bring targeted customers to their products and services. Email marketing is no longer what it used to be today, with new ways of disseminating information being regularly discovered.
A company must keep abreast of the developments in email marketing techniques and strategies. Here are answers to some of the issues people face when considering or implementing their email marketing strategy.
Why should I implement email marketing for my business?
When you need to reach a large number of targeted prospects at the same time, email marketing is the ideal tool to use. Email marketing must be done carefully so as not to drive customers away. If done in the wrong manner, customers will mark the emails as spam, and they will never be read.
Email marketing earns value through entertaining, informing and teaching. This value converts to credibility and trust, thereby encouraging customers to buy a product or service.
How do I go about creating a sizeable subscriber base?
This is one of the most pressing questions asked about email marketing. Without a good subscriber base, investing in email marketing would be unfruitful. The subscribers must be active, so getting a large list of inactive subscribers will not build a business.
A good subscriber list should include potential, current and past customers. Then, neighbours, family, friends and colleagues should be added to the list. Opt-in techniques are the best way to get a targeted subscriber list.
How do I create the right content for my niche?
The simplest approach is to find out what your audience cares about and then look for engaging ways to deliver the content to them. Emails should have a great subject to encourage customers to read them.
You have to think about what your potential and existing customers care about. You need to know how your content will strike a chord within. Proper content will address the needs of the customers and not your private agenda.
How do I create engaging subject lines?
It takes less than 5 seconds for a reader to decide whether to read your email or pass it by. You have to create subject lines that will catch their browsing eye. You should look for debatable subject lines, which should have a minimum of 50 characters. This is not a rule of thumb so go ahead and increase the number if it will make the subject line better.
Such subject lines include asking questions, personalising issues, numbered lists and any other method that will spark some interest.
Are there laws that regulate email marketing?
Yes, there CAN-SPAM Act lays out the way email marketers should conduct the process. You should follow the rules set out below
- Place a subscription method, whether it is an offer or a simple subscription form.
- Unsubscribe anyone who asks to be removed from your list, and do fast.
- Include a physical address if the emails are for commercial purposes
- You should not send emails to people who have not subscribed. This means that you should avoid buying email lists. This is a grey area within the act.
What is the best time to send the emails?
This question is widely debated because different people read emails at different times. Every email marketing provider on the Internet has a different idea about when the best time or day to send emails is. Although the times will depend on your target niche and their geographic region and time, it is best to send emails in the middle of the week.
Send emails too early in the week, and people are thinking about their jobs, schools and tasks to be done during the week. Send them too late, and people are in the weekend mood and will not pay much attention, especially to commercial emails.
What is the best frequency of sending emails?
This is yet another grey area when it comes to practices of email marketing. The proposed rate is about twice a month. If sent once, the customer is bound to forget about your business for the rest of the month. If you send too many times a week, you will be a nuisance.
Keep an eye on how many customers open your emails and how many are requesting to be unsubscribed. This will give you an idea of whether your frequency is appealing or disheartening to your customers.
What do open rates and email deliverability refer to?
These are the metrics used to determine the success of email marketing strategies
Email Deliverability – This is the success rate of delivery of your emails. It is a ratio of the number of emails sent to the number of emails delivered.
For example: 5000 emails sent and only 4500 delivered => 4500/5000 = 90% email deliverability
Email open rate – This is the percentage of people who opened the delivered emails. This is the most important of the two
Using the above result: 4,500 emails delivered and only 1,500 opened => 1,500/4,500 = 33% open rate
What other metrics show the success of my email marketing efforts?
Email marketing effort should be tracked by metrics that serve the larger business goals of any company. However, there are four most common metrics to be tracked:
- Inbox rates: how many emails went to the inbox and not the junk mail
- Bounce rates: how many emails were rejected by servers
- Spam reports: how many times were your emails marked as spam
- Unsubscribes: how many people opted out of your subscriber list
In the end
A lot of questions surround the principles and implementation of email marketing techniques and strategies. Some of them have straightforward answers, and others have grey areas. Any blogger or webmaster should understand the basic principles of the industry and follow the best practices. Statistics and metrics play a great role in proving whether your efforts are successful or not.