44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.” – ConvinceAndConvert.com
An email marketing program that incorporates good strategy, design, a compelling subject line, and a targeted list, can consistently be one of your highest converting media channels. It starts with a well-organized and segmented email list collected from your website or another ethically obtained source that is funneled into a monthly distribution program. Email marketing is one of the best ways to build a relationship with current and potential customers in an intimate way.
There are six important steps by which a successful email-marketing program is executed and they are as follows:
Strategically pull in email contact data through a CAN-SPAM Act compliant process such as an opt-in form on the website.
Identifying the right email database provider or CRM is important. Considerations must include cost and pricing structure, list capacity, scheduling functionality, and list management.
By segmenting the email list, the email marketing program can be designed to target a specific audience with content that is relevant to them, resulting in greater call-to-action success and goal achievement.
Template Design & Content Creation
One or more branded template designs are created then programmed in HTML5 with content placement consideration. Strategic content is developed based on a mix of educational information and call-to-action buttons and links, driving them to purchase or other desired actions on the website. Best practices today require that emails be created with a mix of images and text as opposed to full or sliced images as was the practice in previous years. As a result, email content is easily searchable and can incorporate responsive design for viewing experiences tailored to any size screen.
Performance Optimization & Testing
The success of an email marketing program is due in part to the careful testing done to ensure optimal performance. First, quality assurance must be implemented locally, through certain testing tools, and on the email database or CRM being used. This first phase of testing includes cross-platform compatibility (i.e. Mac or PC, Gmail or Outlook). Lastly, A/B and daypart testing of emails are highly recommended to test alternative subject names in addition to template layouts by randomly splitting the distribution list before launching.
Analysis & Reporting
Programming of the HTML5 emails should include tracking codes, which allow for analysis and reporting through Google Analytics and other integrated reporting tools. It’s important to carefully analyze performance data against key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks. This includes total emails delivered, total emails opened, open rate, click-through rate, and total landing page sessions.