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6 Steps to Effective Email Marketing


By David Byrd

Email marketing offers the highest return on investment (ROI) of any form of digital or interactive marketing tools. Currently, it is nearly 40:1 for every dollar invested an average return is $40. Knowing email marketing has a high ROI potential does not necessarily translate into developing and executing an effective email marketing campaign. So, lets identify some basic steps to complete for effective email marketing.

 

  1. Establish the goals. Is the campaign to introduce, inform, sell, upsell or nurture? Each of these requires a different message and potentially different audience. An introductory email may be part of a multistep campaign to discuss a product, value proposition, features, case study and testimonials. Upselling would only go out to existing customers and should be segmented further to only go to those that do not have the new product, add-on or feature. Nurturing campaigns may be primarily focused around follow-up, e-newsletters or company briefings.
  2. Compose compelling content. With few exceptions, email content should vary by audience and segment. It is very untargeted to send the same content to all of your customers and prospects. The email should be designed to convey a message quickly providing enough interest to have the reader pursue additional information.
  3. Generate an interesting subject line. Email subject lines need to be concise and to the point. Minimize the use of adjectives and articles. Consider the subject line as summary of the email to follow.
  4. Determine the appropriate sender. If your salespeople have the relationships with your customers, consider sending the email from them. It takes a bit longer to divide the list, but with a good CRM, you should only have to do it once and then enforce account assignments thereafter. If it is more appropriate to send from the company, CEO or others, then do so. Just recognize that both the sender and the subject line are going to be scrutinized prior to the opening of the email.
  5. Select an email marketing tool. There are several good ones with each having strengths and weaknesses. ExactTarget, MailChimp and Constant Contact are fairly well-known and popular. A quick evaluation of features, cost and ease of use should enable you to select the tool that best fits your business requirements.
  6. Develop or find a good mailing list. Given ANPIs interest in SIP trunking, hosted communications, collaboration and such, we are inundated with emails from companies asking us to purchase email lists. I wish I could recommend a specific one but I cant. There are too many with too a great a diversity of capabilities, accuracy, level of contact, etc. However, I strongly suggest building a list from your customer lists, prospecting activity (email responses, industry shows, form fills, etc), social media presence (blogs, LinkedIn groups) and any contacts interested in your website offers (white papers, case studies, etc).

Effective email marketing is not an accident but it also does not require the planning of a moon launch. So, get out there and expand your opportunities to increase prospects, revenues, customer loyalty or all of the above.

David Byrd is chief marketing officer and executive vice president of channel sales for ANPI ZONE. He previously spent five years as vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox and before that was vice president of channels and alliances for Eftia and Telcordia.


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