02 Sep 2010 Posted by Brian Spencer
Virtually every large consumer product company has some kind of email marketing program in place, and the industry is considered stable and mature compared to other digital media. Forrester predicts that email marketing will increase to $2 billion by 2014, up from $1.2 billion in 2009. With that in mind, here are seven quick guidelines to remember:
1. Leverage and Protect Your Brand
Consumers know and trust your brand name. It is important that email campaigns don’t endanger that trust. Prospects are annoyed by spam and are afraid of email scams and viruses. Therefore, your email campaigns should be opt-in, provide easy opt-out, and clearly indicate the sender as your brand.
2. Have a Robust Testing Strategy
The success of an email campaign will depend on factors such as target segmenting, frequency, timing, subject lines, offers, images, products, and more. All of these can be tested and optimized with a robust testing strategy that will ultimately send shoppers the messages that are most relevant to them.
3. Improve Deliverability
Marketers need to be proactive in improving deliverability. Quality email lists can quickly become stagnant from fickle shoppers opting out, email address becoming invalid, or from ISPs blocking email in a spam filter. Marketers should strive to create emails that focus on building retention, and make sure that their dedicated IP for delivery has a pristine reputation with ISPs.
4. Provide Value in Every E-mail
Shoppers are overwhelmed by the volume email messages they receive every day. As a result, they are quick to unsubscribe or hit “mark as spam” if an email campaign isn’t relevant to them. Brands should strive to have engaging emails that offer immediate and obvious value to the prospect. Users should feel they are receiving something special, like an exclusive offer.
5. Consider Mobile Readers
Email access via mobile devices is growing and is impacting the way shoppers use email. For example, many shoppers access their email while they shop to retrieve coupons or offers they received but forgot to print. Marketers need to remember that emails aren’t always read at home, but rather could also be a point-of-sale media.
6. Integrate with Traditional Media
Marketers need to remember that their email campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum. The timing and messaging should leverage events and messages that are happening in traditional media. An email can often be the catalyst for action after seeing a traditional media placement.
7. Integrate with Social Media
As shoppers spend more time on social networks like Facebook, they are starting to use these social tools to replace some of the roles of email. For example, social networks make it easy to suggest items to friends, share links, and recommend brands. Therefore, email campaigns should be easy to share. For example, marketers can incorporate tools that allow users to upload the link to a Facebook or Twitter account with a single click.