Just because email marketing is much cheaper than more traditional forms of marketing communications doesn't mean you should put less thought into your email marketing strategy. Sending the same irrelevant message to thousands of in-boxes who aren't expecting email messages from your company is unlikely to be effective and will gradually reduce your future campaigns effectiveness as your emails will begin to be flagged by spam filters as annoyed end-users add your email to their spam list. Remember that email marketing should not just be used for sales or promotional benefit but to maintain your relationship with existing customers.
Build Customer Lists
Crucial to the success of an email marketing campaign is building an opt-in list of customers who have actively chosen to receive your email updates. How you do this depends on your business and website, but this needs to be thought through carefully as the wording will have a major impact on how many customers opt-in. Don't just obtain your customers email addresses online as these may only represent a fraction of your customer base. Remember you will need to state clearly how you will handle and store their data, especially in relation to 3rd parties; How you do this depends on the data protection laws in your country.
Market Segmentation and Personalisation
Producing emails that are relevant to your email recipients is vital. Invest in Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) and use it to identify different segments within your list, you can then build emails that target specific audiences within your lists to maximise the response from your campaigns. Consider using an approach like Amazon, which sends emails with recommendations based on your previous purchases.
Create Compelling Email Marketing Campaigns
Your email recipients are only one-click away from opting out of your email list, so it is vital that each campaign you send out has a clear purpose and objective which is relevant to each recipient. Remember that your audience has chosen to receive communications from your company so reward these customers for their loyalty by creating offers and promotions especially for them which add value to your marketing messages. Examples of this are restaurants such as La Tasca who regularly send vouchers to their customers by email.
Analyse and Learn from your Email Campaigns
It's important to spend time analysing each campaign you send out to make sure you listen to your audience. Pay attention to hard and soft bounce-backs, keep records of every campaign, what changes you make and the resultant effect of the changes on opt-out requests, click-throughs and 'send to a friend' requests etc. Determine which changes had positive effects and use this information to improve your future campaigns.