Building an ongoing e-mail marketing campaign may not sound exciting, but it is one of the fastest and most guaranteed ways to grow your business over the Internet. That's because subscribers to your newsletter are more than three times as likely to buy from you as first-time visitors to your website are; they also tend to place larger and more frequent orders.
All of those sales don't come without effort, however. To sell successfully through e-mail requires a long-term commitment, and some careful attention to the most important steps in the process. If you can make the commitment, though, the bottom-line impact of a strong e-mail newsletter will make it worth the work many times over
Here are five keys to a successful email marketing campaign:
1. Start with the right opt-in list. Like anything else in your online marketing efforts, building an e-mail campaign is all about matching the right buyers to the right message. Whether you are signing up current customers, growing your list through special reports and other information pieces, or even renting a list from another source, make sure you have the right match for your product or service, rather than random contacts – you'll never see results without the right list.
2. Keep your e-mail marketing messages short. No one likes to see a lengthy message sitting in their inbox, waiting to be dealt with. Keep your messages short – no more than a few paragraphs, if possible – and direct readers to click elsewhere to find more information. Not only will this make your e-mail marketing messages seem more crisp, but it will also make it easier for you to track the results.
3. Share first, sell later. Begin your e-mails with an interesting fact, rather than a straight sales message. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, and times when you want to start selling right off the bat, but in general it's better to share information first. That's because readers are generally interested in learning something more than they are making a purchase, so work to capture their attention before you look for a credit card number.
4. Include a strong call to action. Once you have your customer’s attention, give them a very good reason to click back to your site and make a purchase. Whether it's a new product, special price, or limited availability, try to create a sense of urgency that makes them want to act immediately.
5. Study the numbers and adjust. Treat your e-mail marketing newsletter the same way you would a web page, and pay close attention to the number of click-throughs and conversions it is generating. Over time, those observations will tell you which products and topics are attracting the most attention in your customers’ inboxes.
A successful email marketing campaign is a great way to increase your online profits, but it isn't as quick as dashing off a few product details and hitting "send." Stick to these five keys, and you'll be sending out the right messages in no time… and having them come back to you in the form of new orders.