Have you ever played the game where you whisper a message into someone’s ear and they in turn send it down the line? By the time the
message reaches the last person, it is completely different from the original message. Somehow something gets lost in the translation. The same may be happening to you, if you use a third-party ad server that is consistently undercounting impressions.
Email marketing can be a great way to reach your customers on a one-to-one basis. The only problem is there is so much spam out there, how do you reach the right customers at the right time in the right way? The answer to this problem is to do your research and take the time to learn how to make your email marketing campaigns successful. This How-To Guide should help you out.
Choose a List
In order to run a successful email marketing campaign, you must start by defining your target market. Find as much information as possible about your potential customers; who they are, where they live, how much money they make, what influences their purchasing decisions, etc. After you have a handle on how to define your best customers, find a list that offers an audience that most closely matches the characteristics you desire.
Ask questions about the list
Ask a lot of questions! The quality of the list will have more impact on the success of your campaign than anything else you do. Look for lists that are double opt-in lists. And try to find lists that do not offer an incentive for registration. The quality and focus of the list may be compromised by “freebie junkies” who only sign up for the free incentive. Don’t be afraid to run head-to-head tests if you have narrowed your choice down to two or three lists.
Negotiate the Buy
As stated above, you want to find the list that is best targeted toward your potential audience. You pay for this benefit, upfront costs are more for a targeted list than for a more general list.
However, the return on your investment is much higher for the targeted list, in essence you get more bang for your buck.
Before accepting a price find out what you are getting for your money. Some email marketing companies will track your ad and provide you with a report after your placement has run. This is all fine and dandy, but make sure the data they gather is actually the information you need to make the best-informed decision for future buys.
Developing Your Ad
Some companies will offer copywriting services. This can be a great service if you don’t have experience writing ad copy. Whether you are writing your own or reviewing copy that has been written for you, you need to be aware of a few Golden Rules for good ad copy.
1. Make an excellent offer.
Don’t overuse the word FREE in your ad. Many people have become skeptical about ads that offer something for free. Some people even delete emails as soon as they see the word free because they assume it is spam. Use your offer to provide value to your customer, not just another sales pitch.
2. Use good creative – Creative includes the look and the content of your ad. Let’s talk about content first.
Use the language of your audience. Be careful not to be too technical if your audience isn’t made up of a bunch of techies. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and superlatives. They make your offer seem too good to be true. Emphasize the benefits of your product instead of its features. Start with a common problem your customer encounters, then show how your product/service can solve that problem. Keep it short and sweet. These copy tips aren’t that much different than for other media, but email ads have to get more people’s attention in a shorter space and time. Now on to design. Devlop a solid, visually appealing ad. Beware of attention-grabbing bells and whistles. Many times these add a large amount of download time and some browsers do not support some of these functions. At the very least, flashing-thingys and whizzing watcha-ma-call-its run the risk of annoying the very people you are trying to attract.
3. Incorporate a strong call to action
If you don’t explicitly ask for the sale, you probably won’t get it. Add a sense of urgency by running limited-time offers.
In summary, the goal of any email marketing campaign should be to establish a dialogue between you and your potential customers. Advertising gets the people in the door, it’s your job to sell them something when they get there.
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