How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaign
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Hello and welcome to the Digital Media Branding Podcast, Media On Q Episode 8 How To Optimize Your Email Marketing. Today, we are going to clearly define the 9 Golden Rules of Email Marketing which can immediately impact your campaign’s reach by helping you avoid the dreaded spam filter and getting more eyeballs on your content. We’ll also discuss the Email Marketing Metrics you should watch closely as these can help you grow your business by building relationships with your customers while you solidify your competitive barriers. Hello my name is Carlos Quintero; I run a Digital Media Branding company in the Midwest called Media On Q. Since 1997, I've been fortunate enough to help many different companies extend their brand's reach out far beyond traditional marketing. Leveraging technology has allowed me to help many small business owners; new business start-ups as well as large fortune 50 companies create profit centers around their brand's products, content and information. In my job, I work with many aspects of the digital space and I found it interesting how many of my clients as well as friends and family members misunderstand the notion of email marketing. This misunderstanding served as the inspiration for episode 8 of the Digital Media Branding Podcast; How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaign. Let’s dive in. I decided to ask some of my friends and family members what’s their perception of email marketing. Most of them were pretty sure that email marketing was responsible for filling up their spam folder daily… The shocking truth is that they are not completely wrong. Some of you may disagree, and I am sure that I will get those emails but just about everyone I know has received one of those work from home emails that promise to show you how you can make a 6 figure income by simply working from home. Lots of these so called companies attract people by using or implementing some of the most advanced email marketing techniques, which unfortunately undermine the efforts and practices of ethical companies. I want to be clear. I am not saying that Email Marketing is Spam. These are two very different items that share some characteristics. Here are some examples of the shared characteristics between Email Marketing and Spam: Both are delivered via email and potentially can reach your inbox. Both may contain big or fatty subject lines. Both may contain information about a particular product or service. That’s where the similarities end and here’s why. The most important difference between email marketing and spam is that in an email marketing campaign the user has agreed to receive email from the sender. Users grant the permission usually through a registration process or by signing up for a particular site. In this example there is no such thing as an automatic subscription. Spammers on the other hand, build their email databases by purchasing email lists, steal email addresses or harvest them from websites through the use of grabbers from where ever they can find them. They then blast out email messages that fill up your spam folder. Another huge difference between the two is content quality. For a detailed explanation on content and content quality I’d recommend that you listen to my Digital Media Branding Podcast episode 2 How To Grow Your Web Business as I cover this topic in depth and share great tips on how to survive and stand out by leveraging your content. Legit email newsletters are tailored to the user’s interest, which is probably why they signed up in the first place. Spam on the other hand can be as plain as a single line of text or a single link. Newsletters tend to be well structured, well formatted and show off a good blend of text, images and sometimes-even video. One other significant difference between the two is personalization. Legit email newsletters are sent to one user at a time. You may have noticed that some spam has multiple recipients in the TO field of your email message. Legit email newsletters also address you by your name in a greeting message at the beginning of the content. In a Spam message you will not be greeted. Let me say that one more time. In a Spam message no one will greet you. So if you or your company is blasting out email newsletters or messages in bulk and not personalizing the content and greeting your recipient, you’ve categorized yourself as Spam. Fix this ASAP! One other thing to remember is to always include a way for users to unsubscribe. It is important to build relationships and trust with your audience. The ability for users to unsubscribe let’s your audiences know that you will not push your content, service or information on them if they don’t care for it. Now that we understand the differences between Spam and Legit Email Marketing Newsletters, let’s discuss the Email Marketing Metrics you should watch closely so you can grow your business, build lasting relationships with your customers and solidify your competitive barriers. So if you have a business with an online presence, you definitely need to have some sort of strategy in place to build up your customer email database. You’ll also need a newsletter. Newsletters can often times act as your first line of defense for your business. What I mean by this is, that say your website went down for any number of reasons…how would you then stay connected to your customers to reassure them that you have not gone out of business? You could do this through your newsletter. Also, let’s say that you launched a new product, service or published new information. It is fair to assume that your customers are not going to visit your website every day, every week or even every month. How then could you stay connected to your customers? You can do this through your Email Marketing Newsletter. An Email Marketing Newsletter is one of the ways that here at Media On Q we help our customers build what we call an Active Brand. Building an Active Brand is much more involved than an Email Marketing Newsletter and if you’d like to learn more about Active Brands, please visit MediaOnQ.com. Now let’s assume that you’ve decided to start an Email Marketing Newsletter. You will want to pay close attention to six key metrics that will help you gauge the success of your campaign. The first of these metrics is the size of your email list or database. You need to continually grow this number. This is very important because you can expect to lose roughly 25% of your subscribers every year. Don’t be fooled by what might appear as a constant size to marketing list. The fact is that it is constantly shrinking. Wait. How is it that what I said makes sense? Well it’s simple really. Peoples lives’ changes constantly. For example, if your customer is say a college student, once they graduate they may simply stop using their school email address or no longer have access to that email account. Also, people change jobs or the technology they use. So have a strategy in place that allows you to continually grow your email database. The second metric that you should pay attention to is your “unsubscribe” number. A good rule of thumb is that if more than 5% unsubscribe, you need to segment your newsletter’s content to more specifically target your audiences. Having a highly targeted list with relevant content allows you to keep “unsubscribes” to less than 5% but more importantly it allows you to deliver content of higher value and interest to your subscribers. The third metric that you should pay attention to is the amount or percentage of successfully delivered email messages. This measures the number of emails that actually made it to someone’s inbox. The fourth metric you’ll want to keep an eye on is the percentage of opened emails. This can actually help you better understand your company’s perception by your subscribers. Generally speaking, the higher percentages tend to represent high company recognition and trust. The fifth metric you’ll need to monitor closely is the click-thru rate. The CTR or click-thru rate represents the number of people who received your email, opened it and clicked one of your links. You can use this number to measure the value your subscribers placed on your offering or content. The sixth and final metric on my list of important metrics to track is the conversion level. This might be for most a little bit more complex or involved. To do this we’d assume that your content would have it’s own landing page on your website. You would use your web analytics to help you track how many of the people who clicked on your email offer took action on your own site, by acting on the offer. If you’d like more information on this, please email me at email@example.com and I will be glad to answer any questions or discuss it with you. So now we have a clear understanding of what is Spam and what is a Legit Email Marketing Campaign. We know that having a newsletter for our business with a strategy to grow that marketing list is a key ingredient toward building an Active Brand. And we know, that we must monitor six key metrics in our email marketing newsletter campaigns. The last piece of this puzzle is to understand the 9 Golden Rules of an Email Marketing Campaign. I will go over these nine rules in order of importance, with the most important first. Number One: Send emails only to those users who personally subscribed to your newsletter. Number Two: Make sure that your email newsletter covers content that people actually subscribed to. Number Three: Consistency; keep up with the promised consistency weather it is every week, every two weeks or once a month. Stick to your schedule. Number Four: Send your emails out somewhere between 5pm and 8pm on Tuesday through Thursdays or on Saturday afternoon. Number Five: Add a message at the top of your email that is similar to this; “to ensure you receive our emails, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book. Number Six: Make sure that the FROM filed contains the name of your company or the name of the person responsible for the newsletter and it correspondence. Number Seven: Always include two versions of your newsletter one in Plain Text and the other in HTML. If you choose to send an HTML version only of your newsletter expect that at least 5% will never open it or read it. Number Eight: Do Not Use All Caps or Multiple Exclamation Marks In The Subject Line Or Message Body. If you use all caps or multiple exclamation marks know that the spam filter will be triggered and your message will never reach its destination. Number Nine: Create subscriptions that cover different topics. It is ok to have a general newsletter, but also give your subscribers the option to only receive emails for the topics they are interested in. This will allow you to better target your audiences and lower your unsubscribe rates. There it is, my advice to you on how to optimize your email marketing campaign. Is your email marketing campaign following the 9 golden rules? Do you have any other points that should have been included in this podcast? If you do, I’d love to hear from you. Simply visit mediaonq.com and leave your feedback. Email, Voice Mail, Social Media or even Live Chat, all the links are there at mediaonq.com for you to use. If you find this information useful, please subscribe to the Digital Media Branding Podcast on iTunes, share it with a friend, or leave a review. I’m Carlos Quintero, owner and founder of Media On Q and the Digital Media Branding Podcast. Join me next time where we’ll continue to explore how to compete in today’s web economy through a variety of digital media branding techniques. Thank you for listening.
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