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Email Marketing is a Science, not an Art

Email Marketing is a Science, not an Art

By Marc Morris, eMarketing Specialist, Premiere Global Services

There is no denying that marketers are continually pushing the creative boundaries when developing campaigns that are both meaningful and engaging for their target audiences. 

However, email marketers, need to be even savvier when meeting their objectives.  A superb creative is not enough to guarantee success in a world where the audience is under daily bombardment from competitor brands, where the risk of getting blacklisted is high and where you can never be quite certain without taking necessary precautions how you’re content will render on the screen it is being viewed on. 

This piece looks at the science behind email campaigns and the factors that need to be considered to ensure that there campaigns have the desired impact.

Set out your objectives

One of the most important aspects that marketers need to think about before sending out an email is defining what you want to achieve and setting realistic objectives. 

The objectives are entirely dependant on what you are trying to achieve; for instance do you want to sell more units, deliver a measurable RoI, increase awareness of the brand or encourage consumers to advocate the brand. Each objective will result in different campaigns. 

Does it work?

Testing is key before sending out the email.  This can flag any errors and ensure that the email renders correctly in each format. 

Not only should the email be checked for content but open, click-through and conversion rates should also be verified.  Email newsletters that are full of errors and mistakes will be left unopened, deleted and reflect badly on the brand.

Call to action

The call to action is possibly the most important part of your eMarketing campaign and also the one that is most easily lost.  eMarketers will do well to remember to make this a prominent part of their design. 

It should stand out, be above the fold if possible, so as to make it into the reading pane. If you are planning on putting a call to action within the image area, make sure you also offer a text option as some peoples emails will not render correctly with an image. 

Contact detail

It is very easy to forget to put a phone number, email address and website on the email.  Customers who receive the newsletter need to be able to contact you simply and easily.

Are you ready?

Companies need to ensure that they have the right resources in place for when the newsletter goes out.  If the call to action involves visiting the website or calling a customer service line, it is important to make sure that the technology and employees can cope with the high demand placed at that point in time. 

If it is not possible to bring in extra staff to meet this influx, then the email can be staggered over different times or dates. Companies should also look at slowing down emails to ensure demand is met.

Timing is everything?

Timing can make or break a campaign!  If the aim of the campaign is get people to buy flowers for Mothers Day, then sending an email more than two weeks before is too early. Most people will just think about doing something else than simply sending the flowers.  However, sending the campaign on the Thursday or Friday before, will get to those who have forgotten and need a gift that will reach on time.

Be careful of sending emails out first thing on a Monday or last thing on Friday or on weekends as they will be left unread and deleted. You don’t want your email to be at the bottom of an inbox

Right channels

If the aim of the campaign is to increase customer footfall into a shop, then emailing is not the best option.  It is important to access the right channels to use such as sms, voice messages, mms or even direct mail.   Good rest in area

Engage your readers

Once you have caught the attention of your reader it is vital to keep them engaged.  If your email is too long you may lose them, too short and you run the risk of not engaging them in the first place.  It is also important to take a moment to consider the language you are using and the way that it is formatted. 

There are some urban legends out there but it is true that if you use words that have a certain words, a classic example being “free software”, you will probably fall foul of spam filters.

Use of colour and fonts

Use of colour and certain fonts can certainly help to create a mood or elicit a specific emotion from your audience, but there are many do’s and don’ts.  One general thing to bear in mind is that screens need a higher contrast than print versions in order to differentiate colours and so it is important to tone down some colours in order that they appear crisp.

Subject line

Amazingly the subject line can be the one element that is overlooked when sending out an email campaign, especially if the sender is responsible for sending out a multitude of similar communications and doesn’t have the time to come up with a original subject line each time. 

If the reader does not open your email, however, the subject line might be your only chance to communicate the offer.  First impressions count, especially on email, so make sure it a good one.

For more information email Marc Morris

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