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Six things you must do to make email marketing work

Ben Molfetta PhotoBen Molfetta

Email marketing is a powerful tool that should be part of your online marketing strategy. Email is cost effective, and is an ideal vehicle for communicating with both prospects and existing customers.
But as with any online marketing tactic, it must be executed in a thoughtful way. Indiscriminate use of email won’t drive results. In fact, if not done properly, email marketing can be detrimental and drive prospects and customers away.
Here are six key things you must do to optimize your email marketing efforts:
image0011.    Develop an Opt-In List
Purchasing lists and “spraying and praying” is not a strategy for success. Not only will it produce disappointing results, it could also land you in trouble with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
The most productive email marketing approach is based on communicating with interested audiences;  prospects who have requested information as part of a decision-making process or customers that want information about products, services, industry trends, promotions, etc.
2.    Deliver Compelling Content
This seems obvious. However, we often see email communications that are not engaging, interesting, compelling, etc. Your email content must inform, inspire, help, and amuse.
To have a fighting chance of your content being deemed as valuable, you must develop it from an “outside-in” perspective; what is the target audience interested in, what information will they find useful or entertaining?
3.    Great Subject Lines
To maximize open rates, email subject lines must capture a recipient’s attention and compel them to view the content. You must give careful thought to subject lines, as opposed to simply using the first thing that comes to mind.
View Hubspot’s “18 of the Best Email Subject Lines You’ve Ever Read” for examples of great email subject lines.
4.    Calls to Action
You should always encourage prospects or customers to take a next step in a well-developed sales or engagement process. Calls to action should offer a tangible benefit with an ultimate goal of moving them closer to generating revenue.
5.    Test and Analyze
You should test all elements of your email marketing campaigns; subject lines, calls to action, content, email distribution mechanisms, etc. Email marketing technologies include analytics that allow businesses to track open rates, click-throughs, unsubscribes, etc. Use this insight to refine and optimize your email marketing activities.
6.    Use the Right Technology
Email marketing technologies vary in a number of ways, including the ability to design professional looking templates, sophistication of analytics, fees, email deliverability, etc.
Research your options and select the platform best suited to your needs.

In summary, strategic use of email to nurture prospects and engage with existing customers makes good business sense. But you must do it right if you want meaningful results.

Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected]

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