Online marketing is a way of getting potential customers to click on your link to visit your business website or attract users to your site through search engines.
· Organic search engine optimisation (SEO)
· Backlink campaigns;
· Targeted email campaigns (e-shots);
· Search advertising (PPC) Google Adwords or Yahoo;
This article will focus on email campaign, any online marketing should include all the above forms.
What is an email campaign (e-shot)
Step 1 – building your mailing lists
Build a database mailing list, add a form on your website pages with an offer or incentive to encourage users to sign up. You can also have a hard copy sign up form on your business card or marketing flyer if you have a physical store.
To comply to rules include a declaration on your website and hard copy explaining to the user what you are using their email address details for
(i.e. to receive regular newsletters etc). You will need to have a routine of combing website emails with hard copy email addresses.
Step 2 – designing your e-shot
There are many rules to follow when building your e-shot;
1. Use text more than images, don’t use text within images include a text-based version of your e-shot.
2. Keep your e-shot clear with a call to action.
3. Make your e-shot image free friendly, if the user has images turned off your e-shot won’t display correctly.
4. Tell the user why they are receiving this email at the top of your email.
5. Show the user how they can unsubscribe from your email; you wouldn’t want your e-shot classed as spam.
6. Make your offer bold, if you have a saving show it large.
7. Use promotional codes as a discount to discourage users to unsubscribe.
8. Test, test and test your e-shot in as many email clients as possible, mail chimp has a good tool called inbox inspector to do this.
Step 3 – Choose a bulk email provider
Once you have completed the design process, next stage is to choose a bulk email provider.
With so many to choose it’s quite a market, the two I have experience with are Mail chimp and Dotmailer. Both provide report stats to record click through and open rates, successful deliveries, bounces & unsubscribe. Choose a good time to send your campaign, avoid sending last thing on a Friday your email may get caught up in Monday’s emails and won’t be read correctly or worse case deleted.
Lastly, make sure you always send your email campaign in HTML and plain text. This is fairly easy to do as most mailing providers have this facility built-in.
How do I Track my stats?
As above most email providers have a stats/reporting sectionwhere you can track all things email related. In particular they can tell you:
How many successful deliveries
which email accounts bounced
Clicks to website
was the email forwarded
These stats help you see how successful your campaign was and whether you need to change anything to improve these results.
The trump card in your pack is A/B testing for email campaigns.
Some email providers offer this service, Mail chimp does it very well. It is well worth the effort to A/B test if you want to improve your open rates.
Subjects lines can make a huge difference in whether a user opens your e-shot, with A/B testing you can change the subject line and send to a percentage of your list to see which subject line has the highest open rates.