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Email Campaigns

Put the power of email marketing at your fingertips!

Everyone wants to optimize email marketing, but what do you do when your campaigns aren’t pulling as well as you need them to? Looking at the metrics is the first step, but translating the numbers into an actionable solution can be harder.

This is where a critical assessment of your email marketing campaign makes sense. You can do this in-house or hire an outside consultant. Here’s a quick how-to, with a list of the three most-common oversights companies make and some tips.

Define the Problem

First, you need to hone in on the specific problem. This will keep you or your consultant focused. Make sure you identify the earliest point in the reader experience where your email is falling down. Don’t forget that a low click-through rate may be due to a low open rate.

Then, turn an objective eye to your email and figure out what may be causing the problem. The clients I’ve worked with have had one or more the following issues, each easily correctable once identified:

  • Overlooking the power of the "from" line. Most readers scan the "from" lines first when they look at their inbox and prioritize what they will open. If your email is from someone or something they recognize, your chances of being opened immediately increase. If it’s not something they recognize, your chances of being opened drop significantly.
  • Asking for too much commitment in the subject line. A subject line is similar to the outer envelope in direct mail or a cold call in sales. The goal is to get people intrigued so that they’ll want to learn more. If you give them too much info or seem too aggressive, you risk pushing them away. Terms such as "register" and "buy" in subject lines are common culprits; they ask for a commitment before giving readers any benefits to entice them.
  • Poorly utilizing your "prime real estate." In an email, your prime real estate is the area the reader sees when he first opens the email. You want the reader to start reading and then, almost without thinking about it, scroll down and continue reading.
    Your copy needs to be concise and focused; it should be formatted with lots of white space so that it’s easy on the eye; and it should include a call to action with a link.
  • For instance, a client was promoting an event for online advertisers and marketers. The first paragraph was dense copy with the key information mixed in. The second talked about statistics from Jupiter Media Metrix and had me going, "Huh?" It wasn’t a good use of prime real estate. We revamped it, putting the key information into a header with lots of white space and a link to the registration.
    We eliminated the statistics, which weren’t making the case for attendance.
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