Ramp Up Your Email Marketing Effectiveness

I did an interview recently with a reporter who was looking for tips on email marketing effectiveness. Whenever I do this type of thing, or write bout email or Internet marketing, or even *think* about email or Internet marketing, I’m always struck with how very much the *same* online marketing is to traditional marketing. The tools may be different. The reach may be different. But the bottom line, by and large, is that the techniques remain the same whether you’re reaching out to people via snail mail or email.

I actually got involved in direct marketing way “back in the day” before email even existed (yeah, dating myself, I know…) and I loved direct marketing. I loved the ability to very specifically target a certain audience and I particularly loved the ability to very specifically measure the results of my marketing efforts. Email and Internet marketing, of course, provides this ability to an even greater degree which is a big benefit. Now I can tell not only if someone *responds* to my marketing message, but I can tell if they opened it, what they looked at and for how long and the process they may have gone through to make the final purchase. In the “old days” I couldn’t even tell if they had ever actually looked at my direct mail piece. So there are some key differences in terms of analytics that are very important and very beneficial to online marketers.

But, I digress. In terms of the *sameness* here are the top tips I provided the reporter related to email marketing. Take a look and consider how these same tips could apply to traditional marketing:

  • Select the lists you will use carefully. If you are using your own customer/prospect lists, make sure you are building them on an opt-in basis. When working with others to help in the distribution of your online messaging, make sure that the lists are well targeted and represent those that will truly be interested in what you have to say/offer.
  • Be specific and focused in your communications. Online communications is even more prevalent and intrusive than the old “junk mail” days. People are becoming increasingly fatigued – and frustrated! – by the sheer volume of email traffic they receive, much of which they view as unnecessary, at best, or–far worse–as spam! You don’t want your messages to fall into that category. Less is more when it comes to email marketing; targeted messages to targeted groups of individuals who truly have a need/interest in what you have to say.
  • Think like your target audience when developing your online communications in terms of both copy and layout/design. You don’t have a great deal of time to attract their attention and need to do that through a highly targeted Subject line, well laid out content with plenty of white space, links to detailed information and key messages that get to the point and provide compelling reasons that they should read what you have to say and take action.

Truly – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Don’t neglect the basics when it comes to marketing–whether you’re marketing online or off. It has always been, and will always be, about conveying benefit-oriented messages to carefully defined (and well understood) target audiences.

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