Think about your digital marketing strategy.  What is the most effective tool in your toolbox?  You know, the one that gets results, drives traffic to your Web site and helps you build long-term relationships with your customers so that they will come back time and again?  If you answered e-mail marketing, you’d be right!  According to a study of consumer communication preferences by Exact Target, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based (i.e. “opt-in”) e-mails from companies whereas only 6% prefer to receive those offers via social networks.

If your customers are comfortable with receiving e-mail communication from you, do you know what you need to do to launch an e-mail marketing program and avoid the landmines that can cause trouble along the way?  Read on for our top three tips to getting started with e-mail marketing.

Three Keys to Getting Started with E-mail Marketing

1. Use a Reputable E-mail Service Provider
Sending e-mails to many individuals at one time can get a little tricky.  Working with an e-mail service provider (ESP) can make things much easier.  Using an ESP, you’ll be able to send e-mails out to many contacts at the same time and build up a good “sender reputation” in the process.  Also, many ESPs provide analytical data on what happens with your e-mails.  For example, if you want to know how many people opened your e-mail or clicked on a specific link, an ESP can tell you that information (plus lots more!).

2. Create Engaging Content
You should only send e-mails to your customers and contacts when you have something relevant to share or offer.  For example, if you are introducing a new product line that has appeal to many different customer groups, that would be a great reason to send an e-mail.  So would be a promotion of a specific event, activity or sale.  Newsletters are another great type of e-mail to send (just make certain the content is relevant!).  By sending engaging content, you’ll find two benefits: 1) the chance for your audience to immediately respond to what you’re offering, and 2) the ability to stay up and in front of your audience so they remember you exist and will contact you when they need what you provide.

3. Focus on the “D” Word: Deliverability
One of the dirty little secrets in e-mail marketing is that your e-mail doesn’t always reach all of your subscribers.  In fact, Return Path’s Q3 Email Intelligence Report shows that in North America only 82% of e-mails sent ever reach the inbox.  Think about that for a minute.  Nearly one out of every four customers you send to will never receive your e-mail.  What happened to those messages?  They likely were blocked by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for any one of a variety of reasons.  It could be that your domain is not setup correctly and the ISPs can’t verify that you are who you say you are.  Or, it could be that your message looked a little like spam to the ISP.  Or that your IP address landed on a black list. Or … well, you get the idea.  There’s a lot that can affect your chances of getting to the inbox.  Creating a deliverability strategy that minimizes the threats and properly positions your domain and e-mail list is a critical part of your e-mail marketing program.

Of course, there’s a lot more to running a successful e-mail marketing program, but if you focus on these three steps, you’ll be well on your way to setting up an effective marketing channel that will keep you in touch with your customers and present them with relevant offers that can drive real results.

Ready to Get Started with E-mail Marketing?
Want to know more about getting started with e-mail marketing?  Contact Jon Parks, Lead Dijital Strategist at Dijital Farm today at (919) 901-0485 and learn how we can put our 10+ years of e-mail marketing experience to work for your company.

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