Oct 25, 2011

The email marketing success checklist

Emails and newsletters to opt-in audiences are still working. What’s not working as well are "cold" emails to rented or purchased lists, long-winding emails without a clear offer or call to action. Here is a list of things you should check:

Segmentation and targeting is everything
Any communication is only successful if the message is target towards your audience. For different audiences you need different emails, content, offers and call to action. Even within one segment, try A/B split testing: 50% get subject line A and the other 50% get subject line B, etc.

Subject line is key
Large percentage of email marketing success is driven by the subject line. The subject decides if the email gets opened or not, or worse, goes directly into the spam folder:
  • Make it short (50 characters or less)
  • Create curiosity
  • Match with your actual email content and offer

Short and simple

Nobody wants to read long texts or emails (anymore). More and more people scan texts, they don't read. Make it easy and quick to get the essence of your email.
  • Short (No scrolling required)
  • Use bullets (versus paragraphs of lots of text blocks)
  • Use images to get attention or emotional effects
  • Clean, simple and professional design

An offer they can’t resist with a clear call to action

Probably the second most important driver for success is an attractive offer (what do I get?) targeted to your specific audience and a clear call to action (how do I get it?) in the email.
  • Sign up, register, or download
  • Buy now, free trial – special offer
  • Get a chance to win
  • ...

Landing pages for a "safe" landing
The goal of a landing page is to “land” people and don’t let them take off without having signed up, registered or purchased something. Here is how:
  • Deliver what you have promised in the email
  • Don’t distract with other offers, navigation, etc
  • Ask the minimum amount of information you need
  • Make is easy and obvious (buttons, etc.)
  • Simple and clean design of page

Measure success and always be testing
Email marketing has many variables such as, time of day sent, day of the week, subject line, offers, design, etc. If possible, test different subjects lines, offers, layouts, and optimize your email campaigns over time. Here are the key metrics:
  • How many emails were delivered (did not bounce back)
  • How many were opened (use HTML to track)
  • How many clicked-through to the landing page
  • How many actually "accepted" the offer
  • Cost per lead/sales

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