Cut through the noise

There are simply far too many emails in the world – you do not want to add to the noise. And with Google’s new Gmail interface with a tab entirely devoted to sale updates and coupons, where all emails which includes an unsubscribe link get lumped together, it gets even tougher for email marketers to get through.  So here are 9 great tips on how to create a successful email campaign. First, 25 mind blowing stats about email marketing:

Email marketing is cost-effective and the results are easy to track. But it needs to be part of a holistic marketing strategy to generate great ROI. Shouting is not enough.

  1. Create target lists – Segment your audience into target groups by creating lists. Use such as location, company, industry or size, job titles, past purchases and demographic information.
  2. Personalize your content – Tailor your message and content to appeal to each audience by using short, personalized messages with industry-specific key words to speak to the audience in their own language. You can also include a call to action by providing a link to an article, whitepaper or something else valuable for the receiver. Try to experiment with both rich text HTML and plain text formats to see which gets the best response.
  3. Don’t forget the subject line – Because it is vital! A survey from Salesforce shows that the open rate increases with 58 % if the subject has fewer than 10 characters, so try to nail a perfect line and this will help out a lot.
  4. Alert sales – Be sure to alert sales when you execute a campaign so they’re ready to respond quickly to the resulting leads.
  5. Integrate with your web – By using Web-to-lead forms you can capture prospect information from visitors to your site. And check out the marketing automation apps on the AppExchange to find other ways to shorten the time between an inquiry and response.
  6. Develop a social media strategy – To increase your visibility and establish yourself as a trusted advisor and expert, develop a social media strategy on how to be present in different social media channels. In my next post I will give you some more detailed tips on how to use social media tools for business and how to build a successful strategy.
  7. Don’t spam – Respect you prospects and don’t spam them with emails, it’s important to give them the information and content they are interested in. Your goal is to have a conversation over time and to build a relationship between the prospect and your company and spamming includes neither one of them.
  8. Track results – Measure how users respond to keep refining your tactics. Think about what you want to measure and then identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track.
  9. Nurture campaigns – Lead nurturing can have a dramatic effect on your sales pipeline so it’s important to alert your reps to follow up on leads being nurtured. You can for example use lead scoring as you can read more about here in my earlier post.

Get the right look

If you want to reinforce the look and feel of your emails and ensure your messaging always is consistent, try using an email template. At Salesforce.com you can find templates for text, HTML with letterhead, custom HTML and Force.com pages (Visualforce). This is not only great for the marketing department, it is also a great tool for your reps so that sales and marketing can speak with one voice. And it saves them time – time to spend on more selling. With Salesforce templates there’s also a built-in dynamic tracking feature so you can track which emails were opened, how many times and when each recipient last opened the email.

Remember to keep your templates up to date and easily accessible. For more detailed instructions on how to create your own email template, go to Help & Training. And if you need inspiration and want to see some great examples of email marketing, you should read this report from MarketingSherpa where they announced the winners of email marketing 2012.

 

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