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How to Run an Email Marketing Campaign - Three Simple Tips to Get You Started!

05 March 2015 12:55

I don't know about you, but my mail box is flooded each morning with emails tempting me to buy something, sign up for certain services, or go on holiday. And interestingly, sometimes I find myself excited by what I see and end up buying or trying something new.

Research shows that email campaigns are still the most effective way for businesses to engage with their existing customers, and prospective clients. So if you haven't run an email marketing campaign before then here are three tips to get you started:

Decide the content of your email

The first thing to consider is what you wish to achieve with your email. Do you want to increase sales? Or let people know more about your services? Maybe you just want to share more about what's happening in your business. Whatever you do you must consider the content of the email and most importantly you must make the copy interesting and relevant.

Your graphics must also reflect the content of the mail, and be of good quality. Infographics are excellent for business to business emails, whilst images with people in them are great for engaging customers. A shoddy looking email will downgrade your brand identity, whilst a professionally designed one shows that you value the recipient.

Engage with your existing customers

Create an email list of all your existing customers (hopefully you have asked them to consent to receive emails from you!) and upload them onto your mailing list. If you are using the new iPages software this is simple to do by adding the Email Campaign module and following the instructions here.

The most important thing in your email is its title. It must immediately get the recipient's attention without attracting the spam filter's! So try to be creative and engender a sense of excitement. People like to read about something that will benefit them, so try to express that succinctly in the subject title. 

Make sure that the email is relevant to your mailing list, and has calls to action with links to where you want the recipient to go on your website. The new iPages allows you to assign customers to different groups, features, or products, so that you can then create bespoke mailing lists from your customer base.

Try to engage with your customers at least once a month! You will notice that some retailers send an email almost daily, but that is because it costs very little to send email and yet has enormous benefits. Emails keep you in your customer's mind, and with a click of a button they are one step closer to making a purchase from you. So although it takes time and effort to put together a well crafted HTML email, it is worth keeping in regular contact with your customer because they are the most likely to buy from you

Review your statistics and tweak!

The average open rate for emails from an SME email campaign is 22.87% with the click through rate being just 3.26%. This gives you a rough benchmark to go off when looking at the success of any email campaign. And although you might be feeling relief that your email has made it out the door it is time now to take stock to see how well your campaign did!

So look at the email campaign statistics and see when the email was opened, by whom, at what time, what links were clicked on, how many people visited the website as a result (you should see an increase in unique visitors as a result of your mail), and did the email result in more sales or business. Don't be discouraged if people have unsubscribed from the mailing list, that is only to be expected.

Use all the information to see how you might improve your next campaign. From the information that you gather you might want to change the way that you present the calls to action, or alter the time at which you send the email out. If you really want to see what works for your customers create two emails on the same subject that have differences in design, or subject title. Send these out to two different mailing lists and see which email was more effective.

Running an email campaign should not be too difficult, but it is often one of the things that SMEs neglect. There are many email campaign packages available and with an iPages website we make emailing simple!

If you would like to find out any more information on how iPages can help to grow your business online please call us on 01403 802000.


Heather Khoo is iPages' leading Sussex Account Manager and specialises in helping small businesses with their website upkeep and online marketing.