E-mail can be one of the most cost-effective tools for a marketer. Messages are delivered instantly, and response time is generally fewer than 48 hours. E-mail works for both inbound and outbound marketing campaigns, and nearly all business professionals have an e-mail address.
But, given the increase of spam, phishing, and other e-mail predators, the world of e-mail marketing is changing dramatically. Techniques used just two years ago are likely to generate only half the open and response rates. But by honing in on the following four key areas, your campaign can be successful.
1. The list. To start, stop thinking of "a list.— Instead, think in terms of building a highly targeted audience. Avoid adding names for the sake of trying to achieve a certain number of responses or to satisfy a minimum purchase from a list vendor. You’ll probably still miss your goal and tarnish your brand by sending a non-relevant message. 2. The offer. E-mail marketing has the most success if the message provides immediate value and personally connects to the recipient. The message should help readers either to learn through educational content, news or tips, or to gain savings of either time or money.
3. Media creative. Look at how your e-mail is designed. Is your offer located within the preview pane of the message? Include links to specific landing pages or pages on social networking sites. Think about your subject line; refrain from capitalization and excessive punctuation, and include the company name if the sender is not clearly your company.
4. Timing. Be cognizant of the time the e-mail will be sent; is it going out too early for the West Coast or too late for the East Coast? Also, make sure you’re not sending multiple e-mails to a prospect too close together; instead, space them apart over weeks.
Keep in mind that business-to-business e-mail campaigns are all about providing relevant content in order to build brand awareness and trust. With these four elements in mind, you’ll be on your way to success.
Christopher Golec Founder and CEO Demandbase San Francisco