Launching an email marketing campaign is a great way to reach a large number of those who make up your target market without having to spend a lot of money. It can boost sales, strengthen customer loyalty, and increase brand awareness. But how do you keep recipients from hitting the unsubscribe button? This guide will teach you the tips and tricks to building an opt-in list, creating an effective message, and tracking your success rate.

 

 Step 1. Build your list

Stop buying lists. Returns are minimal and reputable marketing businesses don’t sell lists. Building your own permission-based (or opt-in) list of current and potential clients is a much more sustainable business practice; recipients are actually interested in what you have to say and it will generate pertinent leads for your sales teams.

So how do you get people to opt in? By making it easy for them to opt in and by offering value-adding material. Provide a sign-up form in an easy to access space on your website and make it easy to fill up. Ideally, it shouldn’t take more than one minute to sign up. That means only asking for information that you really need. Below is a good example of a concise form taken from folk rock band The Lumineers' website.

 

The Lumineers Mailing List

 

Step 2. Create an appealing message

Now that you’ve promised to send out value-adding content, do it! Offering subpar content that’s not presented in an attractive format will result in many recipients hitting the unsubscribe button fast.

Know your target market. Know what content they want and need, and deliver it. If you promised subscribers that they’ll receive pertinent information, then offer your health care provider subscribers tips on how to adapt to new HIPAA regulations, for example.

Not only do you need to know what kind of content your subscribers want, you also need know how your subscribers want their content presented. Are lots images something that your target market wants? What colors suit your message? What about the font? These are all factors that must carefully be considered in order to craft an appealing message that will improve your brand’s reputation.

 

Step 3. Find a suitable email campaign program that will track success

There are lots of great email marketing campaign services online – some are even free. MailChimp, for instance, allows users to design attractive emails with its drag and drop editor as well as track key performance indicators of your campaign – open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates are some of the data you’ll have access to. MailChimp is free for businesses with 2,000 subscribers or less who send a maximum of 12,000 emails per month. 

 MailChimp Reports

 

Step 4. Launch your campaign

After revising and proofing your email, it’s time to launch. Many studies have been done on which is the best day of the week to send emails out and at what time. Kevin Gao, CEO and Founder of Comm 101, says that sending emails on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays will produce the best results. Inboxes are overflowing on Monday mornings, and people are uninterested on Fridays and weekends. And according to this infographic below from Adverblog, between 6am and noon is the best time of the day to send out emails. 

 

Email Results by Time of Day

 

Step 5. Evaluate the success rate of your campaign

Finally, assess your campaign. Silverpop, a leading online marketing solutions provider, released the 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Study. The free PDF breaks down a number of key performance indicators by industry and region. This study is a great starting point for evaluating the success rate of your campaign. Compare the data provided by your chosen email marketing program to median rates of your industry and region to get an idea of how successful your campaign was. Also, speak to your sales team to find out if any good leads were generated during the campaign.

 

Running an email marketing campaign can be daunting but with some careful planning and strong implementation, you’ll see better readership, improved customer loyalty, and higher returns.

 

Do you have any other advice on running a successful email marketing campaign? Tweet us @NapkinBetaBeyond.