BLAST AWAY WITH EFFECTIVE EMAILS
Hello fans of innovative marketing! The economy is suspect, postage is sky high and fuel prices are nearly double what they were this time two years ago! That’s affecting everything from production to postage, making direct mail less desirable every day. What’s a company gotta do to reach the consumer?
More and more companies are turning toward highly targeted, opt-in email communications to set them apart from competitors and to put their name and offering under the nose of potential clients.
Email blast campaigns have replaced direct mail campaigns nearly two to one at our agency and we think we know why. They’re less expensive to produce and deliver, easier to measure and offer a higher return on investment than anything the U.S. Mail can put into a mailbox. When done correctly they put a professional face on your offering and allow you to personalize, customize and prioritize your marketing messages.
The more you know about the individuals on your lists, the more you can personalize the message and customize an offer. Imagine being able to fire off a direct mail campaign where each piece is personalized for the recipient in message and design and each piece is customized based upon a segment’s buying habits, needs or budget.
Here are some things to keep in mind when undertaking an email campaign:
THE LIST: This is the most important component of your campaign. You will need a targeted, credible list that, ideally, can in some way be considered prospects. You can collect email addresses as registered users to your website or past customers as long as you disclose that you may send them email if they register or purchase from your site. Unlike conventional direct mail, email lists work best when users “opt-in” or request solicitation. Remember, much like “undeliverable” pieces in a snail mail campaign, an email campaign can be hurt even worse when labeled SPAM.
If you’re collecting contacts through a form on your site you can be creative in your segmentation so that you can really customize future email blasts. Consider asking them questions about issues that will allow you to craft messages for people with similar responses. Most delivery vehicles allow for some sort of split when mailing which makes this process really targeted and really effective.
THE TEMPLATE: It’s important to develop a standardized look for your emails for several reasons. First, recipients will immediately comprehend that it is from you, which, if the offer is strong and the layout is professional, is a good thing. Second, having standardized templates from which to select will allow you to quickly develop new messages further contributing to the efficiency of email blasts versus direct mail campaigns.
THE MESSAGE: Are you selling, announcing, disseminating news? Get to the point! People are busy and you have exactly 2 seconds to entice them to read your email with an arresting subject, meaningful message and strong call-to-action, including a specific offer or click through to your site.
THE VEHICLE: The email template should be clean and clear, the design strong and accessible. How you distribute the email is of equal importance. Some submission programs are better than others. Check the strength of their reporting and what extra features they offer. VFC uses MailChimp exclusively and is a preferred vendor and MailChimp expert but there are many others that work as well. Do some research to determine which has the features, support and reports that work best for your company’s new email campaigns.
Support your properly executed email campaign with print advertising, collateral and a robust web site and the value of direct, targeted electronic marketing will become as clear as the words you’re reading right now!