Email’s Looking Fine in 2009. Four Keys to Running an Effective Campaign.

By January 14, 2009Email

You smell that? That my friends is the smell of change and whether you cringe or embracing it with open arms, it is upon us. Traditional forms of advertising such as direct mail, print and magazine continue to decrease in value while marketing channels such as email and search are ranking one and two respectively as top performers. Email marketing will be the primary marketing medium of 2009 and I have compiled a list of four key components to a successful, healthy campaign.

Trust is a Must

Viewing email as a relationship and building trust is a big factor in a campaign. You have no doubt been hearing a lot about social networking, web 2.0 and the season premier of American Idol as of late and the big reason to their success is the relationship buidling. Facebook, Twitter and some Idol wannabe’s are so successful because friends and fans are able to get the inside scoop to the personal lives of an individual or company. The same can be said for the email campaign you are running. Don’t simply use email as way to sell sell sell (although yes this ultimately is the goal). Through your emails, let your customers get to know the personality of your company. In addition to those great specials and packages you’re promoting, tell them about the office chair relay race that went on last week. Giving a personality and face to your emails can do wonders!

Consistency is Key

Being consistent is a major factor but there is a fine line. Upon opt-in to your email, let your customer decide how often they would like to receive information or at least tell them how often to expect communication from you. Maintaining that consistent sending frequency builds trust which you now know is crucial! It’s no secret that email produces the best ROI (define) out of any other marketing channel (see chart). It may seem logical that the more emails you send, the more money you rake in but you…must…resist. Sending too often or more than the customer would like can lead a sever case of email fatigue. While the customer may not unsubscribe from your list you have worn them out with a barrage of emails and are no longer interested in what you have to say. This in fact is even worse than if they had unsubscribed in the first place. Now they are receiving your emails but not paying any attention therefore lowering your open and click-through rates which in turn can ultimately tarnish your sender reputation. Like the cheesy saying goes “Email is inexpensive, bad email is very costly”.

Design

While many say “It’s what’s inside that matters most”, we all know this statement is a bit flawed. Your emails may have the best of intentions with great, useful information but if it reminds people of the ugly sweater your crazy aunt made for you last year, it is going to turn people away. Keeping the design of your email templates updated and inviting can go a long way in terms of keeping your customers interested.

Know the Value of your Emails

I can’t express how important it is to be able track the ROI of your emails. You may be running a great campaign that follows all of the best practices but in the end, what is the point if you don’t know the value of these emails. Track your emails through analytics, unique 800 numbers, etc. so you not only see the traffic patterns of your customers but can tell your boss “Our $350 email generated a 2,170% ROI“.

For those of you still cringing at the sweet but potent aroma of change, cheer up! Email marketing generated an ROI of $45.06 for every dollar spent in 2008. How can you afford not to have a healthy email campaign?If you aren’t currently running an email campaign with Blue Tent, please contact us so we can further explain email’s benefits.

If you do have an existing email program with Blue Tent Marketing, then contact us regardless as we would love to schedule an account review to see how we can improve for 2009!

Eric Taylor

Email Project Manager

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