While social media has been growing tremendously in recent years, email marketing has continued to be a consistent performer and should not be overlooked. With an average open rate of 13.9% – 29.4% and click through rate of 1.5% – 5.6% (according to MailChimp’s statistics), email marketing receives a high response rate from recipients and is a great way to reach your audience.
Here are a few key steps to building a successful email campaign.
The first step is to put together a strategy for the campaign and its goals. Many questions will need to be asked and answered such as:
- Who is the target audience?
- What response is desired from this audience?
- What email lists are available to reach this audience?
- How will additional email addresses be collected?
- Should visitors be directed to a specific landing page?
- How often should the emails be sent?
- What software will be used to manage and send the emails?
Once the overall strategy is defined, it is time to move forward in putting the pieces together.
There is nothing more important than quality content for an email campaign to succeed. Always keep the audience in mind when writing copy to achieve the campaign’s goals. Invest the time needed to generate great content. Typically content should be less than a page of text, and as the number of email readers on mobile devices continues to expand, the content may need to become even more concise in the future.
The combination of devices, operating systems, screen sizes, and email software creates a tremendous variety in the way that emails are viewed by recipients. It is essentially impossible for the email to display exactly the same for everyone. This is not to say that emails cannot be designed well, rather this means that often the best strategy is to keep the design relatively simple. Use a few images to supplement the copy and choose fonts, text size, and colors to make the copy easy to read and scan.
The majority of emails are opened on mobile now (according to Campaign Monitor and Litmus) so responsive email design (emails adjusting to the size of the screen) is quickly becoming an important design consideration as well.
Don’t forget to test the design on a variety of browsers and devices to make sure it works well in each. Double check each linked photo or text to insure that the recipients are being directed to the pages that you are intending.
Implement and Adjust
Once the strategy, content, and design are finalized, it is time to launch! One of the benefits of email marketing is the ability to easily make variations to the email campaign, compare the results, and adjust the future emails. Continue to monitor the campaign and be willing to make adjustments as you go.
When implemented correctly, sharing quality content in a designed email template to the right audience can provide exceptional results. Email marketing in this digital age is an important addition to the marketing efforts of an organization.