Feeling the pressure as an email marketer? You’re not alone. There’s a lot riding on the performance of your email marketing campaigns – there’s no getting away from it. The better it does, the better your brand exposure and, ultimately, the bigger the bottom line.
But, don’t panic. This means you’re one of the most important cogs in your firm’s engine. You are absolutely indispensable and, luckily for you, email shows no sign of abating; it is still one of, if not the, most effective forms of communication.
Like any marketing campaign, email needs to start from the best possible foundation. If that foundation doesn’t exist, mistakes will inevitably arise and create frustration and delayed campaigns.
To ensure your foundation is as strong and reliable as it should be, we’ve got a series of questions you should try asking yourself. Consider it an email marketing self-interview…
1. Have you established your goals?
Email marketing is all about goals. You’ll have one you want the subscriber to reach in every email you send, but what about your own? Do you have a specific revenue-increasing goal? A figure by which you want to increase your sales as a result of email marketing? Even if you start with a low figure, it gives you something concrete to aim for.
2. Are management fully engaged?
If you’re a manager yourself, skip this question. We’re sure you’re engaged. But if you have people above you, have they bought into email marketing or do they simply let you get on with it without ever asking how it’s going or what your goals are? The more they know and the more you involve them, the more likely you are to see increased budgets and respect for what you’re doing. Be proud and show off your handiwork!
3. Are you using technology other departments have access to?
It might be the sales department’s CRM software, or your colleague’s web analytics account, but it is likely there are tools within the confines of your building which could greatly benefit your email marketing campaigns. Leveraging technology which has already been invested in enables better results and will help you produce more relevant emails at no extra cost to the business.
4. Are you aware of customer behaviour?
This depends very much on the industry within which you operate, but we’ll use ecommerce as the perfect example. Are you aware of shopping cart abandoners (those who fill their cart before leaving it at the checkout, unpaid for)? Similarly, do you know when a user abandons a particular part of the conversion process on your mobile website? Knowing this stuff and segmenting your subscriber lists accordingly will help you send targeted follow up emails which engage those who have, for whatever reason, become disengaged.
5. What’s really going on?
Email marketing software such as mailingmanager contains a wealth of information on past email campaigns. How often do you delve into that data? Do you know what your subscribers are doing with your emails? How often they are opening them, clicking links, sharing them on social networks or forwarding them to friends? Tieing such statistics in with revenue figures and customer retention reports will help you fine tune future campaigns.
6. Can you bring in outside assistance?
Most companies will have partners of some form or another. Resellers, or third parties with which you integrate could be key advocates for your emails and, more importantly, potential contributors. The next time you speak to your partner contact, ask them if they fancy providing some content for your next email newsletter. By highlighting your relationship with them and giving them the opportunity to promote their own wares, you’ll be providing real value for your subscribers.
7. How critical are you of your own work?
Unless you work for a large organisation, it is likely you are the only person conducting your firm’s email marketing campaigns. This makes you an expert within the confines of your building, but it doesn’t make every email you send perfect. How often do you check and refine the content in your emails? It is all too easy to compose an email and send it without checking for anything other than spelling mistakes or bad links. Fresh eyes will uncover errors and grammatical mistakes of whose absence you were confident. Fresh eyes could be those of a colleague, or they could be your own. Take time away from the copy you’ve just written and return to it half an hour later – I guarantee you’ll be surprised by what you find and just how much you need to edit!
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