Successful Email Marketing – Rule #1 – Keep It Relevant

When individuals give you permission to add them to your email list, they do so with the understanding that they will receive relevant email marketing messages based on their previous interactions with you (e.g., a purchase, request for information, or subscription). It is imperative that you get to know your subscribers and tailor your messages to their individual needs. Irrelevant and therefore unwanted emails will damage your reputation, reduce open rates, and potentially drive recipients to unsubscribe or, worse still, mark your campaigns as spam.

Example: A fashion retailer selling men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel will want to segment its email marketing lists according to previous purchase patterns. There is little point in sending an email campaign featuring summer dresses or ladies shoes to a customer who has previously bought only men’s fashion. The campaign wouldn’t be relevant to the recipient and has the potential to confuse or dilute the impact of future campaigns. However, because your customers may occasionally wish to buy clothing for someone else (perhaps a family member during a gifting season), it may be possible to feature alternative product ranges as a secondary call to action (i.e., not the main subject of the email). In such cases, you should monitor which subscribers click on these secondary links, add them to an additional targeted subscription list, and send them relevant campaigns in the future.

Case Study: Tackle Discounts is an online fishing tackle retailer. Over the years, Tackle Discounts had built up a significant email marketing list but had failed to segment its subscribers according to the type of fishing they were interested in (e.g., course and match, game, and sea). This meant that Tackle Discounts’ email marketing campaigns were either very general, featuring a random selection of products, or were completely irrelevant to a large percentage of recipients. The company needed to start segmenting its list.

Tackle Discounts was able to segment a significant proportion of its list by running a simple email competition that asked the question: What kind of fisherman are you? A small prize draw incentivized recipients to click on an icon representing the different styles of fishing for the site. Within 48 hours, the retailer understood exactly what “floated the boat” of 18% of its subscribers. Although it represented a fairly small percentage of the entire list, this group of engaged subscribers represented the group most likely to make a repeat purchase. By learning what interested its customers, Tackle Discounts was better able to segment its list and to send campaigns that drove a significant increase in sales.

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Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and therefore profitable online marketing solutions available to today’s entrepreneur. Its simplicity and speed, combined with its low cost and transparent, easy-to-understand reporting, make it a popular driver of business for companies and organizations of all sizes.

Despite this, many marketers fail to maximize on their potential from email marketing.

Could your email marketing campaigns be more effective? Would you benefit from a quick review of email marketing best practices? Are you making common email marketing mistakes that reduce the success of your campaigns?

We believe that successful email marketing starts with 10 easy-to-follow rules that help you maximize your results while avoiding those “rookie” mistakes that damage your reputation and eat into your profits.

Download your free 10 Rules for Successful Email Marketing guide from iContact.

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