Buyers are becoming more fickle and harder to reach, forcing marketing professionals to constantly seek more effective, yet affordable ways to reach members of their target audience.
Email marketing programs continue to be one of the most cost-efficient ways for a company to convey their value proposition to a large base of potential customers. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by DoubleClick, approximately 51 percent of buyers claimed to prefer email marketing to telemarketing, while over 40 percent said that they would rather receive emails than direct mail or face-to-face sales outreach.
But, with virtually every company in every industry competing for email “mindshare” among target audiences, businesses are finding it harder than ever to make their emails stand out from the pack. Below are some tips to help improve the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.
It’s All About the List
Successful email marketing campaigns require an accurate, up-to-date, well-researched recipient lists. Start by working with various sources, such as list brokers and industry associations, to build a database of prospects. Then, use email marketing software to ensure that contact email addresses are up-to-date at all times. This will help minimize the number of bounce backs and error messages, which will ultimately improve response and conversion rates.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize!
Many experts cite a lack of relevancy as the reason many email marketing programs fail today. Regardless of the channel, prospects are sick and tired of receiving content that is of little or no interest or importance to them. Understanding who your prospects are and what they want and need, and using that insight to custom-tailor your email campaign content, is the key to grabbing and keeping their attention. Personalization techniques have proven to be so effective that leading analyst firm AMR research predicts that they can increase conversion rates by as much as 30 percent.
Avoiding the Spam Filters
As spam filters get more and more sophisticated, getting your email marketing efforts through them has become an increasing challenge.
Spam filters use everything from font sizes, ratio of graphics to text, and keywords to weed out promotional email marketing pieces from other business correspondence. Most email marketing software packages available today provide advanced features that analyze each email before distribution, and assess its probability of being trapped in a spam filter. Additionally, there are many online resources which provide valuable tips that can help you avoid spam filters, and prevent them from hindering your email marketing efforts.
Make Email Part of a Fully Integrated Marketing Strategy
While email marketing can be highly effective, it may not be enough by itself. The most successful marketing campaigns are those that leverage a variety of online and offline communication vehicles to reach a prospect from all angles.
By taking your message out via email, as well as other mediums, you can improve brand recognition by close to 34 percent, increase purchase intent by as much as 1,000 percent, and dramatically increase sales and revenues, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.