Email Marketing: Dead or Alive?

By Angela Leavitt

It seems the world has gone crazy over social media marketing, and with good reason. The explosion of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn has allowed sales and marketing departments to reach potential customers in new and exciting ways never before possible.

With all the excitement over and focus on new platforms, its easy to let other older” strategies move to the back burner. Case in point: email marketing. On the one hand, there are those companies that believe email marketing is overused, oversaturated, past its prime and less effective than it once was. However, companies that have learned to adapt their email marketing strategies are still achieving impressive results.

Our company recently launched a new service and our entire marketing and sales process was executed with email marketing. And our results were unbelievable: We closed sales to nearly 20 percent of our email list, and the national average is usually between 1-3 percent.

How did we do it? By integrating what we know about marketing to our particular target customer every step of the way. What follows are some of the key factors to killer email marketing campaigns.

A Clear, Effective Strategy. Start by asking what the purpose is of your email marketing campaign. Is it just to touch” current customers each month to continue to stay top of mind, or are you launching a new product or service and trying to generate leads for your sales team? Clearly identifying the purpose of your campaign will help you determine the needed frequency, content and other aspects of your email marketing.

An Accurate, Targeted List. Once you have your plan in place, the next key question to answer is how good is your database? Do you already know whom you are trying to reach or do you need to build your list?

If you already have a thorough database, great! Make sure its organized into potential subcategories, such as products, so that you can send specific up-selling emails to those on lower-level services that you would not want to send to those already on higher services.

If you need to further build your list, create some “lead bait,” such as a consumer report or white paper that prospects can download from your website in exchange for an email address. Another way is to partner with complementary companies to share lists. We recommend you avoid purchasing lists if possible, as this typically crosses the line into spam territory.

An Intriguing Subject Line. With all the email that bombards us, you must create intriguing subject lines to get people to open yours. To do this, think of what your reader wants or needs and offer it to them in the subject line. Is your reader really interested in news from your company (i.e., News From ABC Company”)? Or would something like Monthly Telecom Tips” or New Ways to Lower Your Telecom Bills” be of more interest to them?

Are you a little more daring? Creating intrigue will get even more opens. Think about the headlines you see in newspapers or online. They typically have two things in common: they create mystery and they are slightly negative. Try subject lines like Bad News for Cable Subscribers” or Dont Make These Telecom Expense Mistakes.”

Relevant, Problem-Solving Content. Of course, the nature of your content will depend on your overall purpose for the campaign, but here are some principles to email by:

  • Get to know your readers really well
  • Discover your readers pain points
  • Give them free content to help them address their pain point

Remember, people dont typically care about what you have to say. They care about solving their problems. All your content should focus on this concept solving problems for your reader.

A Clear, Concise Call-to-Action. What do you want people to do as a result of reading your email? Do you want them to find out more, watch a video, take a survey, download a white paper or some other action?

Determine what you want your reader to do; then create an effective call-to-action inviting them to do it. Be sure to:

  • Invite your reader to do one thing. Keep it simple.
  • Make the invitation short and clear.
  • Highlight the benefits the reader will get by taking the action. How will this solve their problems?
  • Include a large, inviting button within the email to link to the action.

Angela Leavitt is the chief mojo-making officer for

Mojo Marketing

. With more than 10 years of experience in sales and marketing, and nearly four years in the telecom channel, Leavitt helps telecom companies design and execute effective strategies for social media, PR, branding, Web development and more.

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