An 8-step E-mail marketing refresher
Ian Lurie Apr 27 2010
I’ve been on an SEO tear of late. I admit, it’s one of my favorite topics. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore stuff like e-mail marketing.
E-mail continues to get a bad name. It also continues to produce amazing results for companies that use it right.
So, here’s 7 steps to spruce up your e-mail marketing campaign. And by ‘spruce up’ I mean ‘bring back from the dead,’ since that’s where most campaigns sit:
- Make signup easy. Ask for one thing: The visitor’s e-mail address. Nothing. Else. This isn’t about lead generation yet. It’s about providing something of value to potential customers with minimal risk on their part.
- Put signup where it makes sense. On every page of your site is great. But having a simple little checkbox when someone completes their order, or when someone leaves a comment, is even better. One of our clients, the Machinists Union, has had great results with this:
- Use a good e-mail service. I’m currently in love with AWeber. They’re relatively inexpensive, offer everything from autoresponders to templates, and their interface is veyr straightforward. You can sign up here. And yes, I’m an affiliate. But only because I like them.
- Write a decent subject line. Use words that aren’t spammy but grab attention: ‘Run’, ‘Grow’, ‘Tips’ and ‘Learn’ are all good examples. Stuff like ‘Free’, ‘Warning’ and ‘Hey!’ may make sense, but only in context. If your brand is a strong one, include it in the subject.
- Focus on the preview pane. Understand that your visitors will preview your e-mail, first. That means they’ll see a tiny little chunk of your message. So the core – the most important stuff – needs to be visible in the upper left-hand corner. On my laptop, the preview pane is only about 300 pixels high and 500-700 wide, depending on my mood. You’d better tell me everything I need to know in there, or I’m gone.
- Resend to non-opens. 24-48 hours after you send out your e-mail, send it again, but just to the folks who didn’t open it the first time around. We’ve seen astonishing results with this: Clickthrough can jump by 30%.
- Measure and test. I had to say it eventually. Split your list in half and try two different subject lines. Learn what generated a good clickthru and what didn’t. Keep improving.
- Offer real value. Don’t just spam coupons out every time you e-mail your customers. Try sending them a tip, or answer a question you’ve seen show up in customer service a lot. You’ll retain a lot more subscribers that way.
Remember, the house e-mail list is your biggest asset. Don’t neglect it!
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He is co-author of the 2nd edition of the Web Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and wrote the sections on SEO, blogging, social media and web analytics. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. And, Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Read More