by: Stephen Woessner
E-mail marketing campaigns can be integral parts of any organization’s marketing strategy. That’s because e-mail marketing can be a powerful tool for differentiating a brand, driving targeted traffic to a Web site, and increasing sales. In addition, one of the greatest benefits of an e-mail marketing campaign is that online reporting tools make measuring results easy and data is available nearly instantaneously after launching a campaign.
The keys to success are the relevancy of the content provided to the target audience as well as the quality and segmentation of the sender’s e-mail list. Organizations that pay attention to these critical points will increase the probability of accomplishing their goals.
This article contains practical tips that you can use to develop and implement an e-mail marketing strategy.
Developing your e-mail marketing strategy
Who is your audience? What is your message? How often will you launch a campaign? Develop a clear strategy that answers these questions while remaining consistent with your overall marketing strategy. Consider the following four components when developing your e-mail marketing strategy:
Set realistic goals.
What specific, tangible benefits do you want your e-mail marketing campaign to help your organization achieve? Some examples might include:
Increase sales leads from A to B.
Increase product or service sales from A to B.
Enhance customer relationships by increasing the number of times that your organization connects with customers from A to B.
Differentiate your brand by providing customers with expert advice they can apply to their business.
Drive traffic to a specific content section within your Web site.
Analyze and segment your e-mail list. Get to know your customers and determine what topics grab their attention. Then segment your e-mail list into smaller lists based on the identified commonalities. Remember to update e-mail addresses that have changed.
Develop relevant content based on your segmentation.
A segmented e-mail list gives you the freedom to develop customized content, increasing the odds that your audience will respond. Provide your audience with content that is interesting to them. Highlight product and service features that are highly relevant to your audience and unique from your competitors. These types of features are called drivers.
Providing relevant content also reduces the risk that your audience would consider your e-mail marketing campaigns to be distractions, or even worse, spam.
Measure your results.
Most leading e-mail marketing distribution tools provide real-time data as part of their package. The AVS Group uses Constant Contact for our campaigns. For a broader view of your Web site’s performance, Webtrends is a leading Web analytics tool that generates detailed traffic statistics.
Differentiating your brand
Can e-mail marketing be useful in differentiating a brand? Absolutely, and here’s how.