Email Marketers need not Fear Honest Client Communication

May 2nd, 2010 No comments

The digital age has changed the way we do business.  People live on email, social networks, and Starbuck’s coffee.  Our mornings begin and end with the Internet.  But something interesting is taking place.  I wonder if you have noticed the growing desire and compulsive need being expressed – people want to have personal conversations with total strangers.

Privacy and anonymity seem to be a passing fad, a priority of the past.  Guards are down as people share their most private experiences, thoughts, and relationships to a global market.  The need to talk, question, and comment, may sometimes borderline obsessive behavior, but is actually a blessing in disguise for those email marketers who integrate their marketing campaigns with social media marketing.

As we engage our clients in blogs, twitter, and facebook, we want to have a discourse in meaningful and influential dialogues, furthering the discussions on a positive and informative note.  Our strategies are to develop trust and respect for our company, product, or service.  Without which there is no loyalty or repeat business.  But what happens when a negative comment is made on a blog or email communication?  Does it spiral out of control?  The need to learn how to respond in an open, unmediated arena will reduce that fear.  Learning to adapt to the continuing dynamics and constant challenges of the social Web is a daily experience.  Our attitude towards any criticism, however, should be to learn and grow from every experience.

Is the Comment True?

Whether a negative comment comes from a colleague, friend, relative or customer online we must ask ourselves is it true?  Don’t go into combat mode, as if you are being assaulted.  For some of you, honesty has always been an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience when dealing with negative remarks.  The world is filled with dishonesty.  Salespeople lie about their products, employees make excuses for their mistakes, and customer service people lie about when the product was shipped, and on and on.  It seems that telling a lie is easier than admitting a fault or product defect.  So we practice this thinking when dealing with our clients online.  But, that is not the way to go.

Having smart conversations with people who have something important to say, is being wise.  Productive criticisms about your product, service, website, or support, can only lead to improvement on your end and trust on theirs.  Being honest is being vulnerable.  But how can we develop loyalty and trust, if we cannot institute that in our own actions and lives?

Remain honest and straightforward. Most of your clients have been around the block.  They know when they are not receiving honest, straightforward responses.  Don’t try to impress, but address their issues honestly and respectably.

Be a proactive communicator. Keep your communications alive.  Many email marketers send communications when a new project or client has come on board.  Make sure you are both on the same page.  Never assume.  Question what is not clear, or what you might have missed.  Strive for excellence.  Email your client on a periodic basis.  Let them know they are very much alive in your thinking and planning.  Even if it seems redundant, keep the good vibrations going out to them.

Communications are a lifeline to business and client alike.  Honest communications today, build loyalty and trust offering a better bottom line tomorrow.

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Backlinks and Website Success

April 18th, 2010 No comments

What do backlinks and signposts have in common?  They point the way; give us direction, showing us the path to take.  Without the proper direction, we would find ourselves going around in circles, never finding our desired destination.

Pointing potential customers to your website is every email marketer’s goal, big or small.  Without website traffic, there can be no conversions, without conversions, there will be no income.  You cannot remain neutral; you must have some definite goals in mind, with specific and carefully researched strategies, with which to carry them out.  Like a wise investor, you need to incorporate a diversified portfolio, knowing that one marketing plan, will never be enough.

Welcome to the World of Backlinks

If you have any knowledge about Search Engine Optimization, you have no doubt come across this term.  Backlinks (also termed Inbound Links) are links that direct traffic back to your website, or a particular landing page on your website.  As more and more people rely on the Internet to promote their business, backlinks are now considered one of the main building blocks for smart SEO website strategies.

Why are backlinks so important?  Because search engines like Google give more relevance and credit to those websites that have more backlinks than the others, when they do a search query.  We need to insert a caution here.  Search Engines also consider the quality of the links.  Inbound links should come from other sites whose content is relevant to yours.  The higher the relevance, the great their quality is considered.  For example, if a website is all about health related issues, and you are promoting travel, that backlink would be assessed as having no relevance.

Don’t try to fool the search engines.   Many webmasters do whatever they consider necessary to influence the search engines with as many external backlinks as possible which has been termed “Link Farms”.  Because of these deceptive practices, a search engine’s criteria for quality inbound links has become even tougher.  Those pages that are determined to be link farms are negated and can put your site in danger of being banned entirely!

Reciprocal Linking.  When web sites link to one another, either directly or indirectly through different website pages, a search engine considers those links to be reciprocal links.  As a person is judged by the company they keep, your backlinks will be judged by your reciprocal partnerships.  In other words, don’t hitch your wagon to a bad apple.  When you apply your personal rules in friendships to your reciprocal links, you will become more cautious and choosy on whose company you want to keep, making sure that webmaster is using white not black-hat SEO techniques.  For further reading on this, please see Google’s explanation on Link Schemes.

Some handy tools for your backlink building campaigns:

  • Domain Stats Tool:  Displays the backlinks of domains in Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
  • Backlink Builder Tool:  This tool searches for websites that have relevant themes and content related to your site.

Web Directories

Web Directories are like an Internet phone book.  Filling out a web directory, as in a phone book, helps you get found.  You can list your services, information or products for sale.  With each directory, you choose a category under which you want your business to appear.  Another great advantage is that a Web Directory lets you pick your own keywords, also called tags.  These tags are used like search phrases when someone searches a directory for a particular service or product.  This is another way of creating a backlink to your website.  Most directories are free and do not require a reciprocal link (a link back to their site.)

Article Directories

Writing and submitting articles to articles directories are another great source when creating valuable backlinks.  Most article sites are free.  The only drawback is that it can be a tedious process.  While some submission sites just ask you to submit an article, on the fly, the better ones will require a double opt-in sign up, with a required step-by-step article process submission form.  The good news is that you are allowed to put your website and email as a signature in each article.  It is a great way to get your name, company, and personal voice out into cyberspace.  For further reading…

Forums

Forum signatures are an easy way to obtain backlinks from topic related discussions. Adding your backlinks to a forum signature when posting your responses is another way of getting your company noticed.  Make sure that your responses are valuable and real.  Do not try to sell yourself on a forum.  Many forum moderators constantly scan the communications for spammers, and will quickly blacklist you if they see a sell in your response.

Blogs

Blogs are not only a great way to get backlinks, but give you a chance to write about the industry, product, or service that you represent.  They open dialogues with your clients and give prospects the chance to exchange ideas and thoughts with you directly.

This is not an exhaustive discussion.  They are many doors and roads to follow when growing your ROI.  Research, read, check, test and prove what works for you.  Perhaps in your future blog, you will be able to share some valuable information with us.   Understanding and apply SEO is a continual learning process and experience, in which we are all students.

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Refresh and Rethink your Newsletter Campaign

April 5th, 2010 No comments

One size does not fit all, even though many clothes manufacturers tell us so.  When trying on any garment, the fit is important.  Why buy anything for the sole sake of spending money.  In a bad economy, everyone is looking for bargains, wanting to become wiser spenders.  If you are sending out generic email newsletter campaigns, you are enforcing and repeating that message – one campaign suits all.  Your campaign is then assuming the times we live in and the people that you are trying to target never change.  Do you think everyone wants to hear and buy the same things?  Without any complicated demographics, our experiences tell us that statement is false.

So now you have your email lists parsed, your behavioral stats are in, and your demographics are tuned.  So now what?

Creating successful email campaigns takes time and planning.  Pretty graphics, a smart logo, and interesting content, make a good start, but, there are many other factors to consider.  Taking the time to rethink your strategies, while weighing and comparing past email campaign results, is the surest way towards the better path of a higher ROI.

As with any car that needs monthly maintenance, a smart email marketer regularly analyze their campaigns.  They look for all the ways to modify, fix, and improve on the results they are receiving.  They are out of the box thinkers that are not afraid to try new things.

So here are some suggestions worth considering when evaluating your future newsletter campaigns:

Revisiting your Style and Design. Times and people change.  What was eye-catching last year may be boring now.  Does your design look professional and inviting?  Does it strengthen and convey your image and message?  Test your design by sending it out to trusted family members, friends, and colleagues.  Have some fresh eyes help see where adjustments and changes may be needed.  Here are some areas of concentration:

  • Colors and fonts
  • Photographs and imagery
  • Too much or too little white space
  • Is your content easy to read and parse?  Can readers quickly scan finding what they want quickly and easily?
  • Are your articles too long?  Do you link readers back to your website to continue reading longer stories?
  • Does your newsletter contain clear and precise calls to action with links to a corresponding and dedicated landing page on your website?
  • Have you created an alternative text-only version of your newsletter for users who block graphics, or read predominantly on mobile devices?
  • Does your newsletter contain tips and valuable information with special sales and close out information?

Create Dynamic Content. Think beyond the sale.  Content needs to be catchy, interesting, but most of all, relevant.  Your recipients receive a great deal of email, comprised of spammers selling everything you could think of.  The average user spends about 4 seconds looking at the sender address and the subject line, before deciding to keep or trash.  Here are a few ways to keep ahead of your market and industry, while creating dynamic content for your readers:

  • Make sure your company name is in the “from line.”  People hesitate to open an email when the name is not recognized.
  • Your subject line should be short, catchy, and clearly represent your main content.
  • Send out a survey asking your subscribers what they would like to see in future issues.  Give them a list of potential topics from which to pick.
  • Ask your readers to submit questions about your industry, products, or services.  Let them know that those questions and answers will be put in the next issue.  Create a little anticipation.
  • Invite readers to send in their problem solving success stories.  This will greatly contribute to making your email newsletter content interesting and relevant.
  • Have contest for the best story, rewarding them with a gift or discount coupon.  Everyone loves recognition, with an added freebie.
  • Be savvy.  Research the industry experts in your field.  Ask them if they would like to be featured in your newsletter, with a section promoting their book or article.  Let your readers see it is not all about you.
  • Use Social Media.  Write blogs and articles and put those links in your newsletter.  Involve your recipients in a dialogue.  Create a personal voice showing that a real person is behind the company.

In hard economic times, we need to be innovative and creative.  Use all the technology tools available to create conversations and talk to your audience.  Reaching out in creative and fun ways brings in your personality, while you are building an Internet persona.  Do not be afraid to experiment.  You are dealing with everyday people, like yourself.  Get out there and have some fun.  Now is the time to be different.

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Effective E-Mail Campaign Preheaders

March 28th, 2010 No comments

Maybe you have never thought of using a preheader in your e-mail campaigns, but that might be a mistake.  Why?  Preheaders, correctly written, can absolutely impact your click through rates, which after all is your main goal. Knowing a bit more about them and learning how to use them, might just make you a fan.

What is an E-Mail Preheader? A preheader is typically a short line or two of text on the top of an e-mail newsletter, e-mail announcement, or website that appears on top of a logo or graphic.  Normally, it is the first thing that an e-mail subscriber sees and notices.  Many times, other than the subject line, it is the only test displayed in an e-mail’s preview pane, so you can see its power and potential.  There are two main ways that e-mail marketers use preheaders.  They are used as the call to action or as an extra text tease or snippet.

As more e-mail marketers are using preheaders, there are many differing opinions on how much or how little should be included.  Here are some helpful suggestions to help you get the most out of this strategy.

Make it Relevant – Right to the Point – Keep your preheader short.  Don’t let it become another paragraph.  Use it for emphasis about a promotion or sale, while having a link on the second line stating: “View online” – that is a live link taking them to a landing page on your website for further reading.  A good preheader should amplify your message giving key information with a precise call to action or announcement.

It is important to note, there are no rights and wrongs here.  You need to read and see what others are doing and what works for you.  Overtime, you will develop your own ideas that will be relevant to your campaigns, e-mails, and website.

How to Use Preheaders

Use your preheaders to:

  • Announce a special sale with a link to your landing page
  • Link to an online version of your e-mail
  • Ask subscribers to add your e-mail address to their address book and   white lists
  • Deliver a dynamic one line summary of your content to provoke their curiosity to read further
  • Remind your subscribers why they are getting this e-mail and who it is from
  • Provide an unsubscribe link; don’t make them search for it
  • Provide coupon information for a promotion
  • Inform subscribers of a time limited sale


Research the Internet for Creative Ideas

We are all getting loads of e-mail marketing messages.  Take a look at your competitors’ e-mails, and see how they are using preheaders.  Look at website preheaders as well.

Test your Preheaders
As in any marketing campaign, statistical results help you fine tune and optimize your e-mail campaign strategies. The same holds true for a preheader strategy.  You can do some A/B testing as you send one type of preheader to one group and another type to the second half.  By doing this, you can see which one gets the best results.

There are so many important roles every part of your e-campaign plays in a well designed e-mail campaign promotion.  From appearance to content, your goal is to improve your open rates and raise your ROI’s.  No stone is left unturned, all content must be tested.  Success is not an accident, in fact, it is darn hard work.  But at the end, it is worth it.

Preheaders teach us the top matters.  Just a few little lines on the top of your e-mail, graphic, or logo, can make the difference between a click open rate, or the trash bin. That little Preheader has power; make it work for you.

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Effective Marketing with E-Mail Marketing

March 28th, 2010 No comments

The Internet has truly been the best thing that has happened for anyone involved in e-mail marketing strategies and e-mail marketing campaigns. With the emergence of the Worldwide Web and a constant growth and expansion of our state of the art technology, a more innovative, creative and more accurate e-marketing keeps evolving, with every campaign and new market segment opportunity found.

No longer for the young, the geeks, or the techies, technology has integrated itself into all our daily lives.  People rely more and more on e-mail and the internet as a source of information and survival.  No longer a luxury, the Internet is a real necessity, essential in everyone’s life. Using the Internet and e-mail to market, generates more sales than the older traditional ways of print, snail mail promotions, and announcements. Nevertheless, any good marketing campaign requires skills and tools to create successful and profitable results.

Whether you are a minor or major player, small or medium business, e-mail marketing has a great appeal to all and is constantly gaining popularity.  E-mail marketing is still the most cost effect tool a marketer has at their disposal allowing for lower costs while resulting in higher conversion rates.  So, how does one effectively use e-mail marketing to market?

Building an E-Mail Marketing Address List
Whatever your profession, an e-mail list plays a very integral role.  Your list will be the heartbeat of your strategies.  Building an accurate list, based on accurate demographics, along with researched behavioral data, will enable you to communicate market your clients, with relevant and interesting information pertaining to their interest, age, gender, and lifestyle.  Whether someone is buying your products, wanting further information on your company, or is visiting your website, you need to build a finely tuned e-mail marketing subscriber list.

Good Content or Just Another Sales Pitch?

Content – Every direct e-mail marketing campaign needs good copy.  Remember, your client may never meet you.  Your content will always reflect your voice, whether it is personal or just another sales pitch.  Their responses and decisions will be solely based on what they see, read, and perceive.  Realistically, both content and a good sales pitch are needed.  Without good copy, no one will read past your first paragraph.

Sales Pitch – Without a good pitch, you may never see any click through results.  But as we have said above, your content needs to be relevant and targeted to a specific audience.  Once size does not fit all.  Demographics and behavioral research proves this out over and over again.  While focusing on relevant and dynamic content, the average user is scanning their inbox using only seconds when deciding to read, keep, or trash their e-mail.  Use that window of opportunity wisely.

Building Relationships

Digital relationships are very fragile and need to be nurtured. Your clients and prospects are constantly being bombarded with aggressive email marketers looking to entice and lure them away, as they build their own successful email address lists.  This action calls for a smart strategy on your part, making sure that you are sending the right message to the right audience.  Bring your campaigns to a personal and dynamic level.  Let your audience know that they are important and their choices and opinions are respected and noted.  Do not give them an excuse to leave.  Loyalty is built slowly and consistency.  Trust does not come overnight.

Create a Secure Environment

Identify Theft is a very real threat.  With a majority of people giving out their personal information online, there is a need to be concerned.  In a report put out by e-marketer.com in March 2010, it was stated:   “Overall, consumers expressed the most concern about conducting financial transactions online, including banking and bill pay. E-mail was a greater concern than online shopping, perhaps because of the wealth of personal data contained in e-mail accounts.”

Never forget that you are marketing to real people, with lives, families, jobs, and responsibilities.  Respect their time and intelligence.  Send campaigns out that are relevant, valuable, and worth reading.  Make your communications worth waiting for and greatly anticipated.

Using effective and powerful tools, does not guarantee success.  Tools cannot do anything by themselves.  As a captain needs to steer his ship, keeping it on course with precise and accurate instruments, an e-mail campaign needs to be kept on course with good strategy, great content, and the right targets to bring in a successful ROI.

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Don’t scare away your customers just for an email

March 25th, 2010 No comments

Obviously if you are planning on launching an email-marketing campaign, you want to send emails to your customers and as many consumers as possible. Emails are a great way to advertise your products and services, while also building a relationship with you customers. But you shouldn’t force your customers into signing up for your emails.

Some businesses make their customers and potential customers signup and offer their email, before people can start browsing or buying their products. On one hand this can be a great way to keep track of your customers, while updating them about sales and new products. However, on the other hand you might lose some potential customers if you force them to signup to your service or give an email, just to browse or buy your products.

Just think of when you enter a store and you want to take a look around, you might even have something specific in mind that you want to buy. And as you walk in, a salesperson begins to pester you and repeatedly asks you if you need any help. All you wanted to do was be able to look around or buy something nice without being bothered. But now you’re annoyed and don’t want to spend time in the store and so you leave.

This is the same for people who simply want to browse a site. If they have to fill out a long form giving their information and email, they might just choose to leave the site and look somewhere else where they don’t need to give their information. Instead of forcing consumers to hand over their email addresses, try to entice them with some advertisements or special deals, maybe a 5% discount for all members (and of course to be a member, they need to join your mailing list).

You should also be careful of your wording when asking consumers for their emails. Don’t make them feel as if you are pressuring them or forcing them into anything. Tell them about the benefits of giving you their email, the updates, exciting news, special offers. Just don’t make it sound like you are going to send them spam or an email everyday.

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Mobile E-Marketing

March 23rd, 2010 No comments

Once considered a luxury, (hey I am dating myself), cell phones are now falling out of everyone’s pockets, including kids.  Having a cell phone is like having a watch; you can’t leave home without it.  How exciting it once was to receive a call outside the home!  You felt important, privileged, and singled out from the crowd.

In 2010, from Nextel to Blackberry to IPhone to Android, the transformation of that little cell phone, coupled with the latest state of the art technology, has overwhelmed and excited even us die hard techies.

Nope, it’s not just for texting and taking pictures anymore.  Cell phones are being used to help people in developing nations, bringing global awareness of their needs, raising their living standards, along with diagnosing their problems!

Mobility and literacy
“A variety of other applications for cell phones in remote areas are also being developed, including some aimed at improving coordination in areas where transportation both for people and goods is often unpredictable. One such system, called Transport Link, also developed in NextLab, is a way for people who rely on infrequent bus service to get timely updates on when the next bus will come through their area or to arrange informal transportation with others in the area who have private vehicles.”  Read Entire Article

Predictions for 2013
“Yet, personal mobile devices with Internet connectivity encompass a broad array of devices and with a wide range of functionality that continues to evolve and expand rapidly.  To put this in perspective, the number of mobile devices accessing the Internet is projected to reach 1 billion by 2013 based on research by IDC.  Say “mobile” to most marketers and they think cell phone, maybe SMS (define).”

Mobile E-Marketing Strategies
From an e-marketing perspective, this leads to increased complexity and expense. In order to integrate a mobile strategy to take advantage of this evolving market, here are some basic suggestions:

Conform your e-marketing campaigns for mobile surfers. Make sure your mobile campaign can be easily read on a mobile smartphone.  Most mobile shoppers are looking for high priority items, quickly scanning the surface in between meetings and travel.  They want to find what they need quickly.  As with any email marketing campaign, use brand name they will recognize, with a visible call to action.  Don’t forget to include your phone number, e-mail address, or Web site on the bottom.

Mobile Demographics

Before starting a mobile-oriented marketing program, gather your demographics.  Survey your customers and prospects, finding out which devices they use and what type of mobile content they’d like to receive from you.  Don’t forget to find out what your competitors are creating and sending.

Create a Mobile Website

“Think of where customers are when they access your information and include critical information like phone number, store hours, location and/or directions,” recommends Microsoft Mobile Solutions Specialist Steve Siegel.

Register and Index your Mobile Site on:

Based on Nielsen tracking, mobile search grew 102% in 2009.  Remember you can’t be found if you aren’t there.

Mobile Metrics
* Count the number of impressions from mobile Web sites.
* Track your mobile marketing advertising results.
*  Monitor social media stats related to mobile communications.

As the variety and power of mobile devices continue to grow, marketing strategies need to evolve as well.  Remember, whether or not you have a mobile strategy, your prospects and customers are already receiving your competitor’s marketing messages via these devices.  Don’t be left behind.  Your ROI is depending on it.

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Kick Start a Social Media Campaign

March 23rd, 2010 No comments

Whether for your own company or the one you work for, beginning your adventure in the social media world of digital communications is a good decision.

Social Media has become one of the most aggressive ways to promote your site or business, increasing back  links, resulting in additional website traffic.  For any business counting their costs, while weathering a bad economy, social media has become a lifesaving path.

Social media is all about conversation.  It is a very appealing way to create relationships online – giving a face and voice to small and large businesses.  This strategy can easily add to an email marketing campaign, whose name and brand begin to take on a more personal and widespread public recognition.

Beginning your SM Campaign Strategy – Before jumping in head first, you need to know what tools you will be using, as well as the information you want to share.  As with any email marketing campaign, research, time, and strategy must always come first.  Here are a few tips:

Preparation and Research

  • Create an audience persona. What does your target audience look like?  As an email marketer, demographics is a survival word.  Get an image of your audience, age, gender, spending and surfing habits, what sites they visit, and how they use the Web.  This forms your foundation.
  • Check out your competition. Find out what your competition is doing in the social media arena.  What are they talking about, what are they writing about.  See what kind of responses they are getting.
  • Policy Guidelines. Make sure your company has a social media policy in place.  Guidelines are needed for any employee that engages online conversations representing your organization.
  • The Designated Blogger. It is very important to designate a blogger.  Whether you hire a freelance blogger, or give someone in your organization this opportunity, this is a serious commitment.  Blogging needs to be consistent, live conversations need to be monitored.  Give this serious thought – you need the right person creating the right voice and conversations.
  • Goals and Meetings. Have your plans and strategies clearly defined.  Make time for follow-up meetings on the outcome and results.  This is a learning process.  You can easily modify ideas and content along the way.
  • Interesting and Relevant. Whatever message you put out there, cannot be taken back.  People are stressed, quickly skimming through titles and bits of conversations, as they surf.  Take the time to surf around at what your target audience is talking about on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  Do not let stress or urgency make your efforts sloppy.

Don’t forget to have fun. Social conversations should have some lightness about them.  We are not engaging in metrics or behavioral sciences.  Bring a bit of fun into this.   The very fact of the enormous proliferation of social media, proves that people want a more personal relationship and voice with those they do business with or buy from.

Here are some of the top SM sites in which to get started – Click Me!

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Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

March 21st, 2010 No comments

As great as a value added email marketing campaign can be, planning its content, timing, and target is just as important to its success.  The proper approach to any email campaign should start with a well thought-out plan, which requires a little more time and effort then most e-marketers realize.  Here are some points that you need to cover when planning your email campaigns:

1.   Permission-based mailing list. Unless you have the recipient’s permission (op-in), you are trespassing and may be considered sending spam, which is against the CAN-SPAM Act.  Know the spam laws.  Stay out of trouble.

2.    Content is still king.  Your content should be relevant and directed at an intelligent audience.  Your message should be clear, sharing the essential facts in carefully thought out wording.  The structure of your message should be easy to parse.  Remember to give your message a personal voice.  You need to provide them with something that they desire.  Your content should hold their attention long enough for you to market yourself successfully.

3.    Grammatical errors. The amount of errors found within many emails can be quite surprising.  Misspelled words and poor grammar convey a lack of professionalism.  Rushing to get a campaign out, may cost you the loss of clients.  Take the time to read your email campaign over several times.  Have someone else read it as well.  Don’t let pressure cause you to be sloppy.

4.   Are your graphics in overdrive? Too many cooks spoil the soup; too many graphics spoil your message.  Your graphics should compliment not overshadow your text.  Keep your message simple and easy to parse.  Oversized graphics can cause a slow download, causing impatience in the recipient

5.    A clear and precise call to action. Don’t make your clients perform and jump through hoops.  If you want someone to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter or sign up for updates about your product or service, do not make it difficult for them.  Filling out endless online forms, clicking through multiple pages, is annoying.  Even if someone wants your product, you may push them over to your competitor.

6.    Your “from” and “subject” lines are crucial to your email campaign.   Why?  Because that is what your recipient will see in their in-box before opening your email.  If you are not recognized in the “from” line, recycle bin or spam here you come.  The “from” line should represent your company or newsletter name that they signed up with.

Subject lines should be catchy and short. Keeping your subject line down to 50 characters or less is the general rule.  If your subject line is too long or cut off, it may quickly end in the trash bin.  Shorter lines help optimize your open rates.  Remember, subject lines need to be relevant to the content.

7.    Do you have a landing page? Are you sending people to your homepage?  Not good.  A targeted direct email campaign needs an accompanying landing page.  Creating key pages that people land on when they click a link from your e-mail campaign is very important.  Make sure that page has all the relevant information pertaining to the product or service you are marketing.  Giving a prospect all the information needed, on that page, enables them to be able to make a quick response.

8.    What’s in it for them? Don’t focus on telling your readers how great your business is, and the fabulous products you sell.  All they want to know is how does this benefit them?  Focus on what they want and need.  It’s all about them, not you.

9.    Using Social Media. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, you can let clients know to join and follow you, as you use that media to announce your specials and discounted pricing.  That makes you cool, and gets your name out there as well.

10.   The Three T’s – Test – Test – Test. Before you send out your campaign, do a sampling on a small number of people.  See what the response is.  How well was it received?  Better to delay a campaign, than to court a disaster.

There is still an important point to add.  Make sure that your e-campaign is targeted to the right audience.  An email campaign can only be effective when the right campaign, goes to the right people, with the right message.  Don’t let all your hard work go down the drain.  Make each campaign work for you.

Creating a professionally targeted campaign is not easy.  It takes planning, thought, and strategy.  Don’t let time pressure you.  Your campaign needs to be professional and relevant.  Do you have everything covered?

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Behavioral Marketing and Email Campaigns

March 21st, 2010 No comments

Behavioral marketing gives the e-marketer the ability to accurately segment and target your audience by present and past online behavior.  Utilizing this method when creating your email campaigns, can significantly change the way you plan and send your emails in the future.

“eMarketer projects that behaviorally targeted ad spending will reach $4.4 billion by the end of 2012.”

Behavioral targeting is predicated to become more widespread, resulting in better customer experiences, as they are targeted with more relevant information.

“Using behavioral targeting with email is not a new idea,” says Shar VanBoskirk, senior analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA. “It is something that good, smart marketers have been tuned into for several years: understanding that the activities within an email are good clues to the types of offers that would be useful to send in a subsequent message. In fact, email used BT even before other types of online advertising did.”

E-mail campaigns need to evolve.  Irrelevant email campaigns must change focus and deliver messages that their recipients want to see, hear, and read.  What does this mean?  Direct email marketing campaigns need to make use of behaviorally triggered e-mail in response to customer actions.  Content needs to be more personalized and much more dynamic.  E-newsletters need to have more valuable and interesting content, not becoming a replacement for an autoresponder type message.  All e-newsletter content needs planning and purpose.

Implementing Behavioral Marketing in our Email Targeted Campaigns:

Broadcast email:  According to Jupiter Research “when marketers actively target their email campaigns to specific behavioral and demographic characteristics, they can produce more than 18 times the profits that broadcast messages produce.  Think of the effect on your ROI?

Re-marketing: Marketers can easily track when an email is opened, what specific pages are explored, what links are clicked on, or any combination of actions and responses.  This important and recorded data can then used to create dynamic and strategic behaviorally targeted email.

Email Address Lists:
By collecting and utilizing specific and accurate information from your email address lists, you can send relevant offers and information based on a user’s preferences and prior purchases.  Instead of just depending upon your demographic data, you can now deliver unique offers and information that they want, according to their behavioral patterns.  This is differentiating the differences in specific actions that have happened, opposed to behavioral, demographical theory.

Actions are Key – Don’t Assume

Demographics are important but cannot be relied upon as the sole means to understanding your audience.  For instance, if you are selling perfume, and have targeted just women, within a certain age range, and location, you have automatically left out the all the men who buy perfume for their wives or girlfriends.  When the holidays come, men buy perfume, flowers, chocolate for various reasons and various people.  You can now see the implications and importance of targeting behavior and actions.

Up-selling to the Full Person

Combine past and present behavior.  Using the above approach let the actions speak louder than statistics.  Using past purchase behavior coupled with recent purchase activity, gives you a better and wider scope of understanding the entire person.  The more you know about the interests and overall purchases of anyone, the better chance you have of sending them a campaign that speaks directly to them.

Behavioral targeting is an ongoing process.  Remember, the more accurate the campaign, the better chance you have to convert browsers to clients.

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