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Email Marketing Best Practices
Among different kinds of marketing media, email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to spread your product news and acquire potential customers. It’s a much economic way compared to traditional bulk direct postage mailing. It also yields large impact on immediate sales and long-term customer relationship enhancement than traditional marketing media.
This Email Marketing Best Practices Guide provides the fundamental knowledge of permission-based email marketing as well as the latest techniques to your organization to build a successful email marketing campaign.
Permission based-email marketing
It is important to distinguish two types of email marketing, unsolicited email and permission based email. As the name defined, unsolicited email means that the sender sends the promotion materials without the recipients permission, in other words, spam. Sending spam will yield very bad effect on any organization's reputation and ruin there brand value in a very fast way. In contrast, permission based email marketing is to send out emails only to persons who have subscribed to it. It is valuable information to the recipients, and the sender also enjoy the benefit of promotion, brand building and increase in sales volume directly. Our system is permission based email marketing system which have zero tolerance on any spam activities.
Understanding consumer and business users
The strategy of the email marketing for consumer and business users are different. Even the email would be delivered to the recipients' inbox eventually, the timing of there arrival is important.
For example, Monday morning is not a good time for business users, because it is generally reserved for regular meeting and catching up of the pending task of the last week. The top position in the inbox would be easily replaced by the coming email, and finally, message get ignored by the subscriber. To match the general rules of thumb for the best timing to send our your campaign, we have complied the following table for your reference.
Business Users Consumer Users
Day of Week Tue. - Fri. Fri. - Sun.
Time (Weekday) 8:45am to 3pm 5pm to 8pm
Time (Holiday) Not good 10am - 10pm
List filtering
You may get dozens to hundreds of products to promote. Even promoting the same product, you may have different strategy to different users. For example, a lovely pink color package for the women and a cool black package for the men.
In the email marketing world, it is not how many email you sent to determine your ROI. The key is to match the right product (or message) to the right customers. An effective segmentation technique is to classify your email to different lists, but you have to do it at the very beginning, and it has no single classification that can match all your campaign targets.
You can utilize the list filter function to select the appropriate segment to the send in each campaign. By filtering your recipients by gender and demographic, the performance of your campaign can be much improved.
How often should we contact our customers?
As you can guess, don't do it too frequent (daily) or too rare (quarterly). Our suggestion is bi-weekly to monthly. But most important, send something with value to your end users, even it is a short paragraph of the industry news or a few dollars coupon.
Where is the email list?
For almost all the marketing activities, marketers would like to deliver there promotion messages the audiences as much as possible. But, where is the audience coming from when we are not allowed to buy a list? You have to build it. Build you own list is the most effective way to implement permission based email marketing. Once the list was built in a reasonable size, it can generate direct sales for your company for many years to come.
We provide some tips here to assist your list building:
Sign-up Form in your Website or Blog
For the B2C Websites, it is an ideal way to place a Web-based sign-up form on an eye catching area in order to acquire further potential customers. Try to create a simple form, such as an email only form. Think as your customers, who is willing to fill there first name, last name, address, email, phone number, fax no, where to know us... in the form in order to subscribe. So, make a simple, email only sign-up form would be an ideal way to acquire customers's information. It is also noted that subscription may be different from your membership system. Most of the membership system requires some kind of commitment between the members and the Website, however, an email only sign-up form would get an impression of less procedure. It is worth to provide both membership and email only based sign-up for your customers for most of the case.
Adding value to the subscription
It has less motivation for a user to subscribe your list without any immediate rewards. Try to create a "Short guide to ...", states what you know in your industry, make a simple PDF file and let your user to download immediate after there subscription. It is meaningless to build a guide in many pages with few informative contents. Try to build an one page "Cheat sheet for ...", a one page only PDF guide that states the most valuable information in your domain or something that you have to remember in your industry or working environment. Minimize your work load by making something short, but useful.
Trade show, seminar, events and networking
When you are doing business, you have many events, trade show, seminar, etc. This is a great chance to collect dozens of business cards, and the most important, you have to unlock the value of these business cards. It is important to know that getting a person's business card doesn't mean that you can send promotion message to them without there permission. After getting a new business card, immediate send out a one-to-one follow up email within a few days. Start the conversation by stating something you have spoke to him/her, then ask them for permission to be added to your email list. State clearly that you would respect there privacy and send them relevant information only. You have to spend more time on this kind of list acquisition, but the list quality would be kept very high and it would eventually benefit to you organization.
Customer service hotline
If your business getting a customer service hotline, it is a good way to obtain the customers permission to be added to your email list verbally. In many case, it may take some additional workload to your staff. But, at least, you can simply tell your customers to go to your Website to sign-up your enews which you may regularly provide coupon and promotion items.


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