The do's and dont's of a good email campaign

Direct marketing campaigns have come a long way from the early days of online marketing. In today's fast paced lifestyles, people's inboxes are often full of email marketing and 'junk' email so you need to hit the right note to make sure your clients hover over your response links rather than the delete button.

Use the following list of dos and don'ts to ensure your email campaigns are performing strongly and producing the best results for your business:

Do - get your database in order

An email marketing campaign is useless if your email database is not up to scratch. Make sure you have a strong database, which is clean of incorrect, out-of-date or duplicate addresses before you send a single thing. Be confident that every address in your database is a customer or a subscriber that opted-in so there should be no occurrences of unsolicited email. Not only is sending  unsolicited mail a waste of time, it is also illegal under the Spam Act 2003. The Act states that sending electronic message (email, instant messages, SMS and MMS) of a commercial nature is against the law and offenders can be fined up to $1.1 million per day.

For information on how to create a quality email database read five tips for a strong email database

Don't - send emails too often

Ensure you allow a reasonable amount of time to pass between emails. Don't let your communications become known as spam by sending one every two days. If you send emails too often, many recipients will immediately regard it as spam and stop looking at your emails with little regard for what you have to say.

Do - give recipients what they want

Make sure you give your subscribers some control over the emails they're receiving from you. When they subscribe allow them to specify their preferred email format (HTML or text), frequency and content. This will allow subscriber to easily adjust these options at a later date. You should use these preferences to segment your lists reflecting their choices.

Do - design effectively

Design can be an influencing factor on what happens to your email once it hits your targets inbox. A poorly designed email will do nothing but frustrate your subscribers so make sure it is properly formatted and easy to navigate. You can also use design to increase recognition by putting the important content at the top of the page for an immediate preview.

Don't - forget to test

Test for function, design and to make sure your email doesn't end up classified as spam. An email campaign can easily fall flat because the response links fail or the design makes the email unreadable. Send yourself a test email for both text and HTML formats to confirm they appear as they should and all links work. Also, the last thing you want is for your email to never make the inbox because it is blocked as spam - test your emails against spam filters to ensure your email reaches its destination.

Do - personalise

Personalising your content is more than just including the recipients name at the top of the email. Use all the information you have on the client, including buying history, location, format and subscription preferences, to cater the content to the audience. Relevant information such as this will make your client feel valuable and they will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say.

Do - cater for social media and mobile devices

You should be aware that in today's environment your emails may be viewed on a mobile device so design your content with this in mind. You may also consider offering subscriptions to a mobile version. Social media is an important marketing tool that you can incorporate into your email campaigns. Combine your social media marketing and email marketing by including links to your social media vehicles in your emails.

For more information on social media marketing read pros and cons of social media

Don't - neglect your complete marketing mix

Email marketing campaigns are more successful when used in conjunction with your other marketing tools like social media, direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows. Use your email campaigns to link to other marketing efforts and vice versa. You'll get a higher return on investment if you do.

Do - allocate necessary resources

Don't kid yourself into thinking email marketing is as simple as compiling and sending a new email every couple of weeks. You will need to allocate the necessary time and know-how to guarantee a successful campaign. Also, make sure your email solutions provider offers the range of services you need to put together the right campaign.


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