Sticking to the Basic Principles of Email Marketing

Published by: Meredith Thornton    |   Category: Blog, Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Email Validation    

There’s no secret recipe or magic potion that you can add to your email marketing mix that will guarantee that your campaign will go off without a hitch. If you are enticed by an email marketing company with claims that they hold the key to your email marketing success, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, and I’ll give it to you for a good price.

Brooklyn BridgeThe basic email marketing objectives are all the same. We are all aiming to find new customers, increase our leads and sales, generate more website traffic, increase user engagement, and optimize inbox deliverability. However, we can’t all utilize the exact same approach to ensure a “home run” response rate every time  Rather, your email campaign strategy should be tailored to the specific business you are involved in and the particular products and/or services that you are trying to sell. In addition, we are somewhat deceived into thinking that we can micromanage an email campaign to generate results that align with our objectives and predictions. This will only lead to great disappointment when your performance doesn’t match up to your expectations. The fact of the matter is, user response is largely unpredictable. You can only put your best foot forward and execute strategic moves that will help you deliver a relevant message to your target audience.

So, what are the common underlying variables that contribute to a successful email marketing campaign? How can you successfully implement them into your current strategy? Understanding how best to revamp your current email marketing campaign comes with analyzing the basic tactics that lie behind the curtain of many other successful email campaigns that we all know and love. This leads me to speak of my obsession with Living Social.

After whisking through my credit card statement this past month, I noticed an overwhelming number of charges from this deal-of-the-day website. I think I hit an all-time high when I realized I purchased 5 Living Social deals last week alone. So what is it about it that entices me to charge my card multiple times in a short time with no reservations and no buyer’s remorse?

  1. I am presented an offer that I can’t pass up. Relevancy is key in email marketing. When I am confronted with an offer in my area that piques my interest and provides me something of value, I easily become a sucker for a great deal.
  2. It’s so easy to make a purchase! With my billing information stored in their database, I am only one click away from purchasing the deal on the spot. From the Living Social email, I simply click to view the daily deal and am taken to a landing page that provides a full overview of the details with and a strong “buy now” call to action that becomes hard to resist. Also, when I am told that there are only 2 days, 11 hours, and 31 minutes left to purchase the deal, this sense of urgency gives me an extra push to take advantage of the offer immediately before it’s too late.
  3. New, fresh content is constantly being sent to me. When I am introduced to new offers in my area on a daily basis, my interest and attention level is off the charts. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t make time to peruse through featured deals that I have deemed useful and beneficial to my current lifestyle.

There’s no doubt that email marketing is the cheapest, easiest, and quickest way to drive large volumes of traffic (when done correctly). In addition, the capabilities of email marketing are not only limited to generating traffic. This flexible marketing channel is also used to help build relationships and interact with customers, make money with affiliate offers, launch new products and/or services, and much more. It all depends on your unique message that you have created as well as your personal marketing objectives you wish to fulfill.

Once you have gathered a substantial email list of opt-in users who have given you their permission to receive your offers, you can begin to send useful, relevant emails to subscribers that have explicitly requested to receive them. But wait…

Have you cleaned and validated your list yet? Just because you have collected email addresses in an optin and legal fashion doesn’t mean you are exempt from experiencing a high bounce rate with each mailing that oftentimes leads to developing a poor sender reputation. Inbox deliverability presents a continual challenge when email addresses become unused, abandoned, or invalid over time. A reputable email validation service provider will scrub your existing email database and remove all hard bounces, duplicate, spam/blacklist seeds, habitual complainers, honeypots, BOT email data, and invalid domains from your list to ensure a seamless mailing with a minimal bounce rate. Taking action now will help preserve your IP reputation over the long term to enable you to continue mailing without ever getting blocked or shut down by your ESP (Email Service Provider).

However, what if you don’t have an adequate number of sales leads to constitute a healthy, robust mailing list? In an effort to attract new prospects, small to large businesses alike will utilize third-party email marketing, specifically the Guaranteed Opens Program, to generate mass exposure and increase newsletter sign-ups. With this program, you are able to take advantage of a massive B2C or B2B database of fully optin, permission-based data consisting of those that have either made a purchase, filled out a lead form, or have done something online within the last 120 days. When you only pay for emails that have been delivered to the inbox and opened, you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Also, given that you have the ability to view a real-time tracking link that allows you to monitor the sent, open and click-through rate of your campaign, what do you have to lose?

Before I sign off, I’d like to drive home one last point about email marketing. It’s that change is the only constant. When industry trends are evolving over time and users are constantly adapting their media intake and personal buying patters, you must constantly make tweaks to your strategy to experience improvements over time. Email marketing is an opportunity to grab attention from the masses and make a strong impact. You must first understand the building blocks to create your own magical results.

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