5 Quick Email Marketing Tips

June 21st, 2011 by Rebecca McDonald

If you are running a business where you capture email addresses (either on the web or in store), you should be doing email marketing.  There are no exceptions to this rule, no caveats, nothing.  It’s simply the easiest way to reach your existing customers and increase their lifetime value.

I’ve seen many folks send emails without really having a true reason to communicate with their customer.  Below are 5 quick tips to help you avoid this common pitfall:

  • Always send an email with a topic in mind – Sending an email just for “sending’s sake” is never a good idea.  Always consider that you have a small window of opportunity to make an impact with your customer, so choose your topics wisely.  For example, communicating a sale, an event, or a new product is always a good idea.
  • Create a communications calendar – Ideally you plan out your communications on a quarterly basis.  If this is not possible, try to get together with your marketing folks at least once a month to discuss customer emails and plan out topics ahead of time.  This will ensure that you content is interesting and not redundant.
  • Always include at least one link back to your site and track that link –  Even if your email system can track basic metrics such as opens or clicks, it’s always a good idea to tag the links back to your site with Google Analytics tags (if you have GA installed).  Here is a quick reference to help you get started with GA URL tagging: http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578
  • Test subject lines – Subject line testing is by far the easiest way to improve the performance of your email campaigns.  Simply split your list in half, and send 50% of your recipients a test subject line.  An easy way to gauge the success of this test is to measure the difference in open rate and site conversion rate (by subject line).
  • Test different email design templates – If you have a standard template you always use, well that’s great!  It’s always good to test alternatives though, because often time’s different formats will work for different types of communications (e.g. a sale vs. an event announcement).

And here’s my final bonus tip! Test your email creative in all major email clients.  This includes Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2010. This way, you can safely ensure that 90% of your recipients are getting a visually appealing experience when they open your email.

If you are doing email marketing, you are already miles ahead of many businesses… Just remember that a few additional changes can go a long way.

Tags: Email, email marketing, marketing tips

About Rebecca McDonald

Rebecca McDonald is Director of Marketing Operations at Ionic Media. She is responsible for day-to-day management of the marketing teams (Paid Search, SEO and Social Media, and Digital Media). She also continues her client account management role for clients, including project management, client and internal communication, and campaign strategy. Rebecca has worked extensively with clients in the education, hospitality, technical and retail service sectors. Prior to joining Ionic Media, she was in marketing for Ryland Homes, managing all email marketing, website analytics and website design projects. Previously, Rebecca worked in online marketing for Teleflora, running their email marketing campaigns. Rebecca has a BA from Scripps College.