Email marketing is a great direct-to-consumer distribution channel and is a very beneficial marketing tool if it is exploited correctly. Email marketing, and the analytics that accompany it, allow us to personalise email content, resulting in higher open rates, increased conversions, and more efficient selling. At present, my company uses MailChimp to create email-marketing campaigns. This is a very effective email-marketing tool that is also user friendly. We established an email database through our ‘Open Table’ reservation platform, as customers provide their email address when making a reservation. Also, when signing up to our loyalty card, customers must provide their email address and therefore these can be exported and added to our database. Remember, you must allow customers to opt out of receiving marketing communications or promotions!
Unfortunately when something is easy and inexpensive everyone starts doing it. As email-marketing tools are becoming more and more accessible and easy to use, more and more email clutter has been created, having a negative effect on click-through rates. This is why is it important to create an organic database, through the likes on customer loyalty programmes, as this is an effective way to build an email marketing and direct distribution strategy.
Ok you’ve got the database together… now to design your email campaign. The beauty of MailChimp is that they give you a step by step guide on how to design your campaign, easy peasy! Firstly, you need clearly define the goals for your campaign. This will allow you to measure successes and failures more efficiently and ultimately improve your email marketing. One of the most important questions is who are you trying to target. Don’t just mass email everyone and hope that some of them open it. Research your target market and ensure the information in your campaign is relevant to them.
Ok… what is the first thing your recipient will see? The subject line. So…spend time on your subject line!! It should not only inform the recipient of what the email contains but also entice them to open it and read more. Subject lines are becoming more important in the fight against email clutter. Create a few sample groups and test out a number of subject lines. Analyse them and see what works best.
Building the actual email is the easy part in my opinion. As you can see from my example below, I am clearly targeting graduates and therefore I included a direct quote from a graduate in order to connect with my audience and make it more engaging. I know it sounds obvious but ensure the information you provide is correct. Check and recheck everything you write. You don’t want people calling up about the 99c meal offer when you actually meant €9.99. Once you’re happy with the design, schedule the email. I recommend scheduling your email campaigns, as timing has become an extremely important issue in email marketing. You want to catch people when they are vulnerable, for example during their morning commute or on their lunch break.
Ok you’ve sent the email. Job done… NOT! You need to constantly analyse your email campaigns. Make note of what’s workings, who’s clicking through, what time is working best and so on. What were your campaign goals? Did you meet them? You should always be looking to improve.
My top tips?
- Clearly define the goals for your email campaign.
- Know your target market and provide relevant information.
- SUBJECT LINE!!
- Ensure the recipient can unsubscribe right on the email or via a link from the email.
- Create interesting and engaging content.
- Analyse your campaigns.
Now get sending!