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Part 2: Email Marketing

23 November, 2011

This is part 2 of the “How Can I Promote my Website?” Series and follows on from last week’s blog on the differences between Online and Offline Marketing Techniques for Website Promotion.

I am now going to share some insights on Email Marketing as a Website Promotion tool.

Introduction to Email Marketing

If you have an existing contacts database or CRM system, email marketing can be the best way of achieving a ‘quick win’ in terms of website hits or sales. Your audience is (hopefully) already engaged and interested, and there are no printing and delivery costs. Email marketing campaigns can be sent quickly and easily to large numbers of people, and responses can be measured to inform future campaigns.

But beware of mass email campaigns. If they are too broad and done too often, they simply won’t be opened. Over time, sending frequent poorly targeted emails to your customers will decrease your conversion rate for future emails that may have been of interest.

If you plan to run email marketing campaigns, there are some legal and data compliance rules that you should be aware of. See below for a list of Email Marketing Dos and Donts that you should be aware of.

Email Marketing Dos and Donts:

  • DO make sure you include an unsubscribe link at the bottom
  • DO ensure that people have ‘opted in’ to receive emails (this can be done with a simple tick box on sign-up
  • DO give full contact information (name, organisation, address, telephone number and email address). Not only does this make the email look more personal, it also ensures you are not seen as ‘spam’.
  • DO make your headline compelling and short – think about what makes you click through to read more about an email as opposed to immediately deleting
  • DO add a subheading – the first few lines will be displayed in your recipient’s inbox and will increase the number that are actually opened
  • DO make it personal – the more targeted your email, the more likely you’ll get a response. If you include personal information or tailor according to previous sales, you’re much more likely to get a response
  • DON’T send emails to people unless they have asked for them – copying and pasting email lists you have collected from other people or organisations (unless they are publicly available) is a huge no-no.
  • DON’T send the same email to everyone on your contacts database. If your emails aren’t targeted, they won’t get a response, and – in time – will mean people expect spam from you so delete without ever opening.
  • DON’T give your email list to another person or organization. Not only are you giving away valuable marketing data, you are actually breaking the law.

The Direct Marketing Association gives good practice advice and industry guidance on email marketing.

Email Marketing Tips and Ideas

email marketing in leeds

Running successful email marketing campaigns that your customers will engage with is all about being creative and interesting. Below are some email marketing tips and ideas to use for your email marketing campaigns.

  • Create an eZine (bit like an online one page magazine!) offering useful and relevant content to your customers. Giving them something useful for free rather than trying to sell to them is much more likely to result in customers positively engaging with your brand.
  • Make your eZine easy to share – include a ‘forward to a friend’ option with quick sign-up
  • Give special offers and exclusive deals that are only available to your email mailing list customers, giving added value
  • Conduct polls or questionnaires (no more than five questions) with an incentive, such as entry to a prize draw, for respondents. This will give you valuable data about the behaviour or opinions of your customers and help you create products or offers that meet their needs.
  • Include a time-sensitive component to all campaigns, e.g. sign up by a certain day to receive a prize, or be part of a particular event on a certain day. This creates a sense of urgency, and people are more likely to respond immediately so are less likely to save for later and forget.
  • Lastly, make sure you check out my post some of the coolest tricks to get people to read your emails!

If you are considering running email marketing campaigns to promote your website or to increase website hits, the key is to think carefully about what you offer and how you present it. Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign, ensure you get good advice on how to set it up to ensure it isn’t deleted or swallowed up by over-zealous spam filters.

For impartial advice on setting up and running successful email marketing campaigns, or to simply get one set up, contact or give me a call on 011 33 20 21 21.

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