For any marketer, who is getting started in the area of online or digital marketing, email is the easiest and cost effective medium through which they can embark up on the journey. Even though it looks simple, there are various measures that a marketer needs to take care of, while initiating a marketing campaign; particularly when you have a concrete objective tagged to each campaign, which is to attract more traffic to your website. An important part of email marketing is that it is more direct to the target audience and one can easily convey the right message that they want to, to your target audience. Reading an email will help the viewer to easily relate to what he wants or what problem he is facing and the solution offering that is mentioned in the email, with key value proposition. Although, there are other channels like social media, SEO, PPC etc. which have changed the dynamics of the concept of marketing, email though an age old technique is still prevalent and has proven to be effective in most cases.
Email marketing encompasses various types of activities done, like sending out an email blast to a wide variety of audiences with a common message (which usually is brand promotion or product promotion) to sending targeted messages to a more filtered audience list. Since the ultimate goal is to get a customer, through email marketing one can prompt the viewer to visit the website and then take decisions. However, to get the viewer visit the website, there are certain prerequisites that need to be taken from an email marketing activity perspective
Build a List
It is not just about sending out emails. If a business operates through website (like an ecommerce website), then it is imperative that they need to have more and more hits on their website. Hence, marketers need to build a comprehensive list of the viewers or potential customers, to whom they will send out emails and attract them. There are lot of third party service providers who offer a huge list of contacts, but the authenticity is questionable and if it is not of good quality, a marketer might end up putting more and unwanted efforts in data cleansing. The best way to go about is to build your own list, which can start by contacting existing customers, references and then proceed forward. Though it is a tedious task, but the quality of the list is good as you have got it through known sources.
Managing your List
Once the list building activity is set and you have started effectively building your list, it is important to manage them. Doing it manually can be a cumbersome process, hence it is better to have a tool – like a CRM which will allow you to manage your lists effectively. A very common tool that is used in initial stages is Mail Chimp, which can be used not only to manage your lists, but also to effectively dissipate email to the list. However, for larger set up there are tools like Infusion Soft and Salesforce.com.
Once you are through with list building and setting up the tool, the next step is the crucial one. Defining and creating email marketing campaigns. Every campaign will have an objective in place, which is to be clearly defined. Every campaign will have a target audience from the list tagged along. No two campaigns may be similar because that dilutes the effectiveness of both of them, when you start measuring the output. For example, some campaigns will have only sending out product related information, however when you are sending a targeted mailer, then you may even mention value proposition and some key problems that your product or service helps in solving. Nonetheless, a campaign should be defined in a detailed manner.
There is no point in running a bunch of campaigns and not measuring it. How do you know if your campaign is effective and giving you the desired output? Hence, you need to measure each campaign, what was the target and what is the deviation and try to rectify the shortcomings in the next campaign. Use analytical tools that will help you to keep a check on the performance of each campaign so that you don’t have to spend time in analyzing and decision making is faster.
Having taken care of these measures, will allow you to improve your website traffic and then with constant engagement and nurturing of leads, you can convert them into customers. They key to effective email marketing is proper planning. Just because it is email, doesn’t mean you draft any random message and start sending it out. Chances are that it will work negatively for your company’s brand image.