How to run effective email marketing campaigns?

Email marketing can be such an effective marketing medium, but all to often customers emails end up as SPAM. So what do you need to do to make sure you next email is one of the effective ones, and not one of those marked as SPAM! Below we have a few simple but essential tips on how to make your next email campaign a success.

First of all lets talk about SPAM. There are some pretty scary statistics about the level of SPAM email in the world today. In fact in a report published in mid 2008 by one of the world’s largest anti-spam firms (Sophos) they reported that only 1 in 28 emails are legitimate (the rest are Spam). Given the rate at which email and spam is increasing, we can assume it is even worse by now. Interestingly the worst two countries for spam origination were the US and Russia. Australia, New Zealand and all GCC countries were not in the top ten.

So what are the steps to ensuring your next campaign is not marked as SPAM.

Rule 1. Ensure you email to a targeted list of recipients only.

There are two ways your email can be marked as SPAM. The first occurs automatically. Ant-spam software scans your email and if it thinks it is SPAM, it will either delete it completely or at least mark it as SPAM. The second is that someones receives your email and then reports you and your email to an ISP or Anti-Spam firm, which can also result in not only the single email campaign, but also all email from you domain name being marked as SPAM.

So the first rule is only send your bulk emails to people who have requested it. If you send bulk emails to unsolicited lists, you email will be marked as SPAM and you may even get Blacklisted (all email from your domain name will be marked as SPAM automatically). 

Rule 2. Personalise your email.

If you reach the recipients Inbox, the next key is to ensure that they read it. The best way to do this is to personalise the content of the email. Now you may immediately think that this means addressing the email to them personally. Yes this is valuable, but the single most important thing is to ensure that the content they receive is relevant to them. A personalised email promoting a new car will not be relevant nor appreciated by someone who contact you enquiring about property for sale.

In terms of property, this means sending relevant property content. If someone has enquired on 2 bedroom apartments for investment, don’t send them luxury waterfront villa’s. No matter how you address the email, this is bad for business. It won’t get you enquiries, but it will get you unsubscribes.

Emailing non-relevant content and offers to your database can be one of the fastest ways to kill your valuable database.

We recommend recording prospects buyer matching criteria and sending only relevant information to each prospect. Our two CRM products, foxEnterprise and foxAdvantage, can do both with ease so this shouldn’t be too hard to implement.

Rule 3. Always use a relevant but still catchy Subject Line.

In my view this can be the hardest rule to follow. As we all know, we scan our email often quickly, scanning the subject line and making a decision then and there as to whether to read or delete. That split second is often the determining factor in a successful campaign or otherwise.

The hard part is making your Subject Line cut through all of the other emails your recipients get, but not going over the top so that your email gets marked or is viewed as SPAM.

Here is a small sample of words you should NOT use in your subject line:

  • Free
  • Discount
  • Opportunity
  • Click here
  • Call Now
  • Amazing
  • Make Money
  • Eliminate Debt
  • Winning
  • Credit
  • Loans
  • Order Now
  • Special Offer
  • Cash Offer
  • Going fast
  • etc

Pretty much any derivatives of the above are going to also be highly dubious. Also don’t add in explanation marks, question marks and any punctuation, as this will also affect your SPAM rating.

So what is a good subject line?

As with the email itself, it needs to be relevant. So ideally your subject line will immediately identify to the recipient why your email is relevant to them, and hence why they should open it.

So in the example above where we have a prospect wanting a 2 bedroom apartment for investment. The ideal subject line may be: – New 2 bed apartment ideal for investors.

This hits all of the hot points the prospect needs, namely ‘new’ (something they have not seen and also creates the opportunity to get in first), ‘2 bed apartment’ (the right product – so they are not wasting time looking at non-relevant properties) and ‘investment’ (once again relevant product).

So if your prospect got this email, and providing the email itself was sent to a targeted and relevant list, I would think that you would get a high % of opens (the emails are read).

This is an easy example but unfortunately writing subject lines is pretty hard work. So the best idea if you have time to to run trial campaigns. Come up with 2 or 3 different subject lines and use them to different sample groups and measure their effectiveness. There is no metric better than the number of email responses or phone calls that you get from each one to tel you what is working and what isn’t.

Rule 4. Update your CRM software religiously.

Once your mailing lists are out of date, then your emails will start loosing relevancy and their effectiveness will drop rapidly. If you are serious about email marketing you need to ensure your house in always in order – which in this case means your CRM is always up to date.

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