Computing Magazine

Old Hat Marketing Techniques

Posted on the 02 April 2014 by Siraj Wahid @blogcooters

marketingSpam emails have a lot tOnline Marketing Key Can Be Blogs Websites Social Media And Emaio answer for; apart from being irritating in the extreme they’ve done severe damage to the reputation of the marketing email. Today, many online marketing experts will focus more on link building, SEO, social network marketing than on this ‘traditional’ method. While there is nothing at all wrong with this, and your online marketing should include a rounded selection of all of these efforts, email marketing shouldn’t be overlooked and, in many ways, it can be one of the most effective ways to create sales.

The Most Common DM

Thanks to spammers it’s fair to say that email marketing has suffered some fairly serious knocks in the marketing world and in the eyes of the general public. However, email itself is a trusted communication technique. Unlike some chirruping, in your face newcomers in the online world, email actually has a lot of trust amongst its users. Both for personal and business communications it’s ultimately the most trusted form of direct communication. While sites like Twitter are great for public displays of emotion they also feature a more private direct message function. However, that function is largely used for statements such as “email me”. Users may distrust spam, or marketing emails, but they trust email. Reach is also important factor to consider; most people who have any online presence at all, have an email account. Not all of them, however, tweets (no, seriously, they don’t) and not everybody is on Facebook (believe it or not). In fact, social networks appeal to different demographics, while email tends to appeal to all demographics. So how do you take advantage of all these advantages?

Investing for Returns

There’s spam emailing, email marketing and effective email marketing and all three are very different things. Hard work is involved in the latter and it’s not an instant gratification type of result (no marketing efforts are, whatever marketing gurus tell you). The first step is to find a reliable, quality email marketing provider. SMTP server based providers will help to reduce the risk of your campaigns being defined as spam. Those that feature tools allowing you to segment your marketing lists and provide a full range of reports on the results of your campaigns should be factors you consider when choosing a provider. There’s a cost, yes, but all marketing costs and if you’re tempted back to the allegedly cheap and easy delights of social media marketing consider just how labor intensive they can be.

Quality Lists Should be Your Priority

Building your list should be a long term project (again, no pain, no gain). While web optimisation gets your site noticed it doesn’t necessarily generate leads. An email marketing campaign to existing customers already has several boxes ticked in terms of relevancy. Getting people to opt-in to a list is considered hard work, but getting people to do anything is hard work. The benefit is that those who choose to opt-in are genuinely interested in your product. A list of a few hundred email addresses belonging to this type of individual is way more valuable than a list of tens of thousands of disinterested leads. Keep your email list opt-in option visible everywhere on your website but don’t overplay it and avoid the pop-up opt in, it tends to encourage visitors to pop off somewhere else.

The Perfect Email?

Relevancy and quality are crucial when it comes to email marketing; one email does not fit all. Email providers that allow extensive segmentation, dependant on demographics or location, can help you to create very effective campaigns targeting exactly the right people on your lists. The copy and design of the email matters as well. An eighty/twenty split on words and images is recommended, email is, very much, a written form of communication. Leave the all singing, all dancing graphics for your website (or just don’t, they’re irritating in most cases). The written word, despite all evidence to the contrary, still has a trusted reputation for some reason, so take advantage of that fact. Tone and quality of the copy matter; tone should be dictated by your target audience and quality copy will add yet more trust. Keep things simple, focus on the subject line and include a clear call to action. One of the beauties of email marketing is that once in the inbox it stays there until a decision is made over what to do with it. If your email can compete with “War and Peace” on the word count front, that decision will have a lot to do with the big delete button at the top of the page. People want fast information, from a trusted source that they can act on promptly and a sales email can tick all of these boxes if done correctly!

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