Keeping Your Email Marketing Relevant
Why are you using email marketing? It might sound like a stupid question, but when was the last time you examined the reasons you do it, and evaluated the effectiveness of your campaign?
It’s human nature to repeat things we’ve done in the past over and over without thinking about it. Getting into this mode can be very dangerous for business though, and can set you on a nose dive which can be quite hard to pull out of. Email marketing is an area where this happens quite a lot. Businesses start a campaign with good intentions, but as the months and years roll on the original reasons for starting the initiative get misplaced along with the motivation to ensure the campaign is being refined for maximum effectiveness.
In this post we’ll look at ways to ensure your email marketing campaign remains relevant to your business now and into the future.
Keep it simple
A lot of the articles and features you’ll read on email marketing tend to focus on the new and cool technologies emerging. While there’s a tonne of great functionality available and more being released every day, many are too expensive or difficult to implement for small to medium businesses. You need to learn to crawl before you walk, and realistically many businesses aren’t competent enough with email basics to warrant implementing more advanced techniques. At the end of the day it’s the basics which will provide the bulk of your success so make sure you’ve got these right. Here a few things to make sure you’ve got covered:
- A welcome message for new subscribers
- Give people a compelling reason to sign up for your emails
- Utilize CTA’s in your content
- Use design preview tools to make sure what you’re sending looks good
Do what works for you
Many email marketers get caught up in following the ‘best practices
‘ they read about as biblical law. There are no hard and fast rules in email marketing (or marketing in general). Every businesses has different offerings, goals and target audiences, therefore the way they conduct their campaign will need to be customized to suit these. I’m not saying you should ignore best practices, but rather use them as a guide, and don’t be afraid to wander a bit from the beaten track to find what works best for your business.
Know the value of your campaign
This point is perhaps the most important. If you don’t understand the value email marketing offers to your business, what’s the point of doing it?
Value comes in different forms for every business. It might be opens, site traffic, word of mouth, conversions, you get the drift. Now, the key thing to understand is that if you want to obtain this value you need to offer value in return to your subscribers. What is it that pushes their buttons? Once you figure this out and deliver it, you’ll start seeing the value that you desire for your business.
Don’t be too rigid
Once you’ve had some success with something it’s very tempting to leave it the way it is and hope that it will keep delivering the same level of success. If a system remains rigid and doesn’t adjust in line with the world around it, it’s doomed to become less and less effective as time goes on. Email marketing campaigns are exactly the same, and even if you see consistent results without making changes, who knows what enhanced performance you could be missing out on by not refining your campaign? Each new email you send out gives you an opportunity to test new variations, here are some examples:
- Test different subject lines and their effect on open rates
- Try out a different from line
- Incorporate more or less images in your content
- Alter your link wording
Final point: Be unique!
There are literally hundreds of thousands of email lists people can subscribe to, and probably thousands within your industry alone. If you want to stand out from the crowd and get more value from your list, don’t just copy what every one else does. Think outside the square and develop a campaign with some flare which is unique to your business.
How do you keep your email campaign relevant?
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