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just hit sendOne of the key strategies in online marketing is knowing how to run an effective email campaign. For the novice in the world of email marketing, this is a method that is best left to the big boy conglomerates to utilize. Not true, many small and mid-sized companies are seeing the advantages from this highly effective marketing tool.

It may surprise you to learn that as many as 77% of consumers actually have opted to receive permission-based emails over many other marketing strategies. The fact that an email is an invitation for customers to visit your site makes it more personal than any other method of online communication. It’s the most effective way to keep your name in front of them all the time. The challenge that you face though, is how to create an email campaign that will be engaging, unobtrusive, and effective all at the same time. Here are some tips that will help your first email marketing campaign not suck.

Know Your Message

One of the first things you need to run an effective email campaign is to know the message you want to send. A constant barrage of messages about what you offer may not be enough to keep potential consumers engaged. Instead, focus on things that your customers will relate to; your availability, rewards programs, referrals, how you’re different from your competitors, and to build a relationship.

If you’re interested in increasing your bottom line, building a brand reputation, demonstrating your interest in your consumers and motivating your readers to follow you, you need to be able to deliver that message in your email campaign. The key is that your message has to be of value to the reader. Promotions and campaigns have their places in the email marketing effort but your customers are going to be more interested in how valuable they are to them.

The List

Before you can even begin to send out your newly developed email campaign you need to have a list. Start with your present customers and those whom you already have their email addresses. Add an email signup to your website so that you can build that list with people that are actually inviting you to communicate with them. At this point you have two choices before you; A) do you end out a blanket email to everyone? Or B) do you segment your list and send out a separate campaign to different groups, tailoring the message to specific interests? Research has shown that those who send out a segmented list actually attract 15% more clicks than the blanket email campaigns. Although segmented messages may be a little more work, you can expect more results in return.

Develop Your Campaign

Your campaign should have a name so that you can easily identify it when the responses start to come in. If you’re promoting a specific product or service then you can give it a promotional identification. If it’s a regular mailing you can identify it by date. This is important if you’re planning on sending several different campaigns or you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis. You’ll want to be able to identify which campaigns are producing results and which ones are not.

Develop an email subject line that is intriguing enough to motivate them to open it. Many have found success in using a question to draw their readers in while others use a humorous phrase. Many computers now have filters that will reroute your email to the spam folder if you use certain trigger words so watch your wording carefully. This is not a step that you can afford to do without. Email services like MailChimp have discovered that around 93% of companies that invest time in developing their subject line get a higher open rate than those that don’t.

Writing and Editing

Writing can be a difficult process if you’ve never had to do it. Each word has value so you want to make sure that every one counts. Be sure that the font style fits with your brand name. Include your contact information and your focus should be on what you can do for the customer and not on what you want them to do. Make sure that you check for mistakes and grammatical errors. They can be very easy to do but not always easy to catch.

Once your campaign has been launched, keep close records of the results and analyze them carefully. Find out what worked and what didn’t and make the needed adjustments before you begin on another route. Email campaigns can be very effective at bringing new customers to your doors if you invest the time to do it just right. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to do a special campaign on a regular basis and you’ll soon see the results of a rising client base that can be extremely effective in building up your bottom line.

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