1. Clean and refine your email list

Make sure you carry out a full review of your email list.  Try segmenting your list into different groups of people as this will allow you to tailor your message more effectively to different types of customers and prospects. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you clean your list:

a)    Take a close look at your list and any existing segmentation groupings.  Are they still up to date and accurate?  Are there segments that never produce a sale?  If so, delete them.

b)    To achieve success with your email marketing you have to produce quality content not quantity.   Review how many people have responded to an email in the previous few months and consider transferring them to a new segment which will allow you to write to them in a slightly different way.    Similarly try sending an email to all those people on your list that have never responded to you asking them if they still want to receive your emails.  If they do not reply delete them from your list.

2. Enhance Your List Segmentation

Effective email marketing depends on the relevancy of your email to the recipient.  Not all people buy in the same way or like to be ‘sold to’ in the same way.  Most businesses have 4 or 5 ‘types’ of customer or prospect.  Use your email list to segment your list into groups of people with similar buying behaviours.  This will allow you to tailor your email messages in line with their buying behaviours.  Possible segmentation criteria might include:

a)      Geography – Where your customer is may determine their buying behaviour.  Someone in the Caribbean will not be in the market for a snow plough for example – although people in the South East of England at the moment certainly would be!

b)     Demographics – The age and gender of your target market will also determine people’s buying behaviours.  You would use a totally different approach if you were selling skateboards to the teenage market for example than you would if you were marketing mobility scooters to the elderly.

c)      Job Title / Position of the Recipient – If your email is being sent to a sales director they are likely be motivated by different content than say the finance director.  One will most likely see the benefits whilst the other will focus on the costs.  Knowing the area of responsibility covered by the recipient will help you to frame your email in the most effective manner

d)     How often do they buy? – If you are selling a product or service that is a one-off investment or a long lasting investment your email content would be very different to that being sent to a buyer of short-life consumables.  For instance you would send a different style email if you were selling printers than if you were selling printer ink.

e)      Previous spending record – You should prioritise your efforts to email those people who have a good spending record with you. 

3. Review and improve your existing campaigns

Look at each and every aspect of your current and previous email marketing campaigns.  Consider:

a)    Is it possible to increase opt-ins by pruning the data collection process?

 b)    Are you using your website or Blog to encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletters?

 c)    Are you letting your readers know what benefits they will enjoy if they sign up to receive your emails?  Does the confirming email they receive when they sign up for your emails reconfirm those benefits?

d)    Do you ask your subscribers to ‘white-list’ or ‘add this address to your safe senders list’?

 e)   The words and graphics used in your emails will make a huge difference in being read and valued or being ignored and deleted.   Make sure your email content is appropriate and interesting for the reader.

If you are not already using a strict ‘opt-in’ policy 2011 is the time to start doing so.  As more and more businesses use email marketing consumers start to tire of receiving unwanted emails which leads to declining open and response rates.  Having your list ‘opt-in’ to receive your emails – because they are of value to them – is the best way of ensuring that your emails will be read by the recipients.

Tomorrow we will continue with Part two of this post.  If you would like to learn more about successful email marketing please leave a message below or visit WSI IMS – Internet Marketing Services for UK Businesses.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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