Email Marketing – Dos & Don’ts

Email Marketing has been creating a buzz for quite some time. In times when Electronic media rules the roost, this form of marketing has become a force to reckon with. But most of these emails remain unopened; some end up in spam and the worst result is that they are deleted without being read. Is there any hard-and-fast rule to tempt your target audience into reading the mails? Our experience in email marketing has made us realize a few facts which might help you out in your ventures as well. We have worked out on a few guidelines that might help you prosper as well.

1.       Filter your Database to choose your target audience: Sending emails to random persons won’t help your cause. You need to identify your prospects well. You should work with the cleanest list you can find that is targeted to your industry and your offering. Make sure your database is being updated regularly; an outdated database is never going to help the cause.

2.       Be persistent: You need to be persistent. Classical research argues that you need at least 20 imprints to make an impression. Of course, you need not be “over-persistent” so that you end up in the spam list. But courtesy mails on special occasions are always welcome. Ogilvy’s research shows the first three emails are the most critical. Mullen advises there should be an introductory message in which customers accept an invitation and give permission for future communications, followed by a second that sets up customers’ expectations by explaining future benefits (discounts, coupons, or high-value informational newsletters). The third should begin to deliver on their expectations by sending the promised newsletter, whitepaper, or discount offering.

3.       Catchy Subject : As the saying goes, “Morning shows the Day”, so is the case with email marketing. Your subject should be catchy enough for the recipient to open it. Here are some quick tips:

 Company name of recipient in subject line increases open rate by 22%.

 Customer name in the pre-header increases open rate by 12%.

 Re-activation emails (i.e. “We miss you” or “Where have you been”) generate an average “open rate” of 54% for B2B and B2C emails.

4.       Personalised content: The content should enthrall the reader. Get rid of your template, because frankly enough they are not interested in your design. What would amaze them is what you write and should have a personal touch. Everyone loves to hear a story and so be an avid storyteller. Make it compelling so that the reader gets curious to know more. You would certainly write better content if you can avoid the following:

    1. Spammy phrases such as “once is a lifetime opportunity!”
    2. Language such as “urgent,” “hot” and that Titanic-sized sinker: “Free!”
    3. A series of CAPITAL LETTERS (email marketing protocol calls this “shouting”).
    4. Lots of different-colored fonts—they shout “junk mail” from the rooftops, and
    5. Never, ever use a bunch of !!!!!! in a row!

 5.       Timing of mails: There is no point sending business mails haphazardly. There is a higher chance that business mails will be opened in working days and in working hours. Weekends are a big no. Optimal times for social emails (i.e. “Like Us” or “Follow Us”) are lunch time, 7-9 p.m. and early morning in some cases. This delivery timing is different for regular acquisition or retention emails (which generally go out early morning—thanks to Groupon and Living Social). Why? Because those are times when you’re relaxed and doing social things. Remember, don’t send out “be my friend” emails if you don’t have a plan or value for Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

 6.       Optimize it for mobiles: With the unprecedented increase of mobile users and advent of smart phones, most of the mails are checked in mobiles. So brands cannot neglect the effect of mobile users if they want to create an impact. The best way out is to optimize your emails for the mobile viewers. Here are a few things you can try out:

a. Make sure its 300 – 400px wide

b. Make the text larger so it is easily readable, e.g. min 12px Arial

c. Make the images smaller in file size

We hope the tips help you. They certainly worked out for us. Best of luck and keep mailing!!!

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Real Time Marketing

A lot of buzz has been created around Real Time Marketing and what more; it has become an inevitable part of marketing strategy. The view about the approach is quite diverse; a few marketing pundits hailing the idea, while some others are not quite convinced about its impact. Whatever may be the case; we will try and enlighten our readers with the concept and draw up a few instances on how the companies have cashed on the concept called Real Time Marketing.

Real Time Marketing is marketing instantaneously to reach out to a target audience across different platforms and the campaign is tailor-made to suit the occasion in which it is pitched. Oreo tried it during the blackout of Superbowl and the campaign scaled new heights of popularity.  But at the same time, their Royal baby tweet failed horrendously. It is not necessary that every event needs to be cashed in. When American Apparel tried out the Hurricane Sandy sale right after the Hurricane Sandy devastated the entire nation, the plan backfired. Their sentiment score scorched down from 67 to 7. Mini Cooper cashed on the Horse Meat scandal and people responded with nearly five and half thousand tweets.  But what is the infallible formula? Well, no one has figured that out for Real-Time Marketing.

Real Time Marketing has held marketers in awe. But, the secrets to success are yet to be unearthed. We are providing a few healthy tips, which you can try out to make your campaign a success:

  1. Be clear about your Target and Objectives: Be sure of your target audience and work out what message you want to deliver. The message should resonate with the audience’s outlook and should convey what exactly you wish to deliver. If you fail to connect with the proper message, your campaign is likely to backfire.
  2. Real Time Marketing is not just giving opinion on current events: It is not about what you are feeling about an event; but it is about how you align your brand with the event. If your brand’s image doesn’t align well, don’t go for Real Time Marketing.
  3. Identify the longevity of the trend: If the trend is likely to get over in a few hours, it is better not to invest in it. Look out for trends that are going to last for a longer period so that you can build your brand over a period of time.
  4. Plan Ahead: You can’t plan real-time content, but you can put yourself and your team in the best position to react quickly to opportunistic situations. This means having the people and policies in place to allow for creativity, taking calculated risks, production or design and publishing all in rapid succession. This is a challenge for brands, yet the potential payoff is huge.

We don’t argue that all these factors are going to guarantee you a runaway success in Real Time Marketing. But it will certainly help you in formulating the right plan. Once you work out that magic formula, Real Time Marketing is going to give you a lucrative ROI.