Monday, November 9, 2009

Successful Email Marketing

Email marketing is a useful tool in your marketing armoury and can produce excellent results if used with care.

I have a blog post that talks about the benefits of using email broadcasting here.

But I want to add to that with some practical advice from my own experiences.

I, along with 3 other Norwich based business men, have been running a monthly networking event that attracts around 50 visitors every time. We work with a large database that has been collected and built over 5 years and is managed through an excellent autoresponder system to ensure that subscribing and un-subscribing is handled correctly.

But here's the extra that we have learnt over time.

We used to send out two versions of the email - one which was html based and had attractive graphics and a pleasing layout, and a very plain text only version that simply had links to the appropriate events page on our website.

Like all good marketers we constantly test and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. Over a long period there is no doubt that in terms of desired results - in our case, bookings for the event - the plain text version wins hand down.

Why should that be? I can't give a precise, scientific answer. However we must assume that the more complex html version didn't make it past the various virus checkers and junk mail filters and the recipients never even got to see the message.

The second observation is that of the delivery time.

We have consistently found that sending the message to arrive between 10am and noon gives us our best chance of instant bookings. I guess earlier than that and it gets lost among the overnight junk. We also find the Tues/Wed/Thurs work best for us too.

So, in summary, use our experiences as a starting point, but do make sure that you do your own testing. Try different times and formats - and measure the results.

If you need advice on sales strategy, email marketing or finding an autoresponder just call or email me and I'll try to help.

Useful autoresponder links: