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Email Marketing de-mystified - A Five step Guide
Thursday 7th February 2013
These days, sending bulk emails is an essential component of the marketing mix. At the moment, we’re getting a number of calls from customers that know that they should be ‘doing it’ but are a bit daunted by the whole process. In response, we have put together a simple checklist to get you started. This guide is not system specific – you can follow the steps regardless whether you’re using GoldMine, Sage CRM, Nimble, Swiftpage, Constant Contact or a combination.
Step One - Choose your Target Data Set
What are you trying to promote in your message? Remember that Data Protection Rules apply and your data must be opted in. You’ll need to build a target 'Group' in your chosen CRM to include your recipients first. Remember to exclude any data flagged as ‘do not mail’. Validate your data quality – so ensure that ‘Dear’ fields are completed to personalise your mail. Ask Prior Analytics for a factsheet or to request some training if you’re not sure where to begin.
Step Two – Template Design
Whatever design you choose should enhance your message, not distract from it. Keeping things simple will also help to prevent your communication falling foul of the spam filters.
Make sure that the ‘look and feel’ is consistent with your brand and add relevant images to attract interest. Keep email widths under 650 Pixels to ensure that they always display in Outlook’s preview pane. Use absolute image paths (images hosted on your website). You can find the image URL by right-clicking on an image and selecting "View Image Info." It should end with a file extension like .jpg or .gif, not .com.
Include an Unsubscribe Link, Physical Address, and Company Name. It’s illegal to send emails without these included. Good template building software will prompt you to include this.
Include a Call to Action. This might be to download a white paper, claim an offer or request a product demonstration. Make sure this is clear, concise and easy to locate within the message.
Step Three – Testing Testing
For this, you should enlist the help of some colleagues. Make sure at least two people proof read your work of art. Check that the links work and click through to the expected location (if to a website, then open in a new tab). Check CRM data personalised via merge fields are inserted correctly. Finally, make sure you’ve tested your template in a variety of email clients such as Outlook, GoldMine, Gmail, Hotmail etc.
Step Four – Sending Basics
Edit the user profile to include ‘sent from’ name and Email Address and make sure they match the branding of the email Now write a subject line that is relevant to the content within the email and re-check you’ve got no spelling mistakes or “spam” words. HubSpot have a great list of words to avoid published here. If you’ve got access to a Spam Checker – most email software packages include this – then test in advance and make tweaks as required.
Step Five – Ready to Go!
- Double check the number of contacts that will receive your mail and send it off.
- Avoid weekends and holidays when recipients won’t be as attentive.
- Experiment over a few sends to find your ideal send day and time and make adjust accordingly.
- Consider using tracking /reporting software (e.g. Prior Analytics’ Link between GoldMine and Constant Contact or Nimble with MailChimp) to analyse results and manage opt outs and bounces.
Happy mailings… if you’d like further help or trial versions of any of the solutions mentioned above, please ring 0845 658 8121 or contact us and we will be in touch by return.