I talked in a previous blog about how e-mail marketing is something that every brand needs to consider including in its interactive marketing mix. And while it is possible to run an e-mail campaign on your own, it is often a much better approach to work with an agency like LEAP because you can tap into the expertise and resources that make your e-mail marketing efforts as effective as possible.
With an agency managing your e-mail marketing, all aspects of your campaign, from the building and sending of your e-mails to all of the little nuances that ensure these sends are successful, can be handled by individuals who are experts in their field. An agency's e-mail team can provide a brand with the insight needed for a successful send. They can provide reporting and advise a brand on how to optimize its sends based on their findings. An agency is also fluent in all of the best e-mail practices, including spam compliance, how to place links, what elements work, and much more.
An agency can also perform a variety of tests to help determine what combination and arrangement of elements in an e-mail will get recipients to be the most responsive. It starts with testing e-mail subject lines to help determine which one entices the most recipients to actually open the e-mail. From there, we can focus in on where exactly these people are clicking inside the e-mail itself. If an e-mail has multiple calls to action we can test to determine which one gets the most user clicks and if there's a way to get more clicks for any call to action that is being overlooked. A focus on the best placement for the chosen call to action will increase the specific results that the brand was aiming for. Testing also enables a brand to perfect an e-mail prior to sending out to a large list.
Testing helps brands with all of the fine tuning that an e-mail requires. By performing testing, it's possible to:
- Determine the right number of calls to action to include in the e-mail.We've found that a singular focus works the best to avoid recipient confusion and get the user to do what you want them to do.
- Determine how much imagery needs to be used in the e-mail as well as the best locations to place images in the e-mail.
- Make sure the e-mail is compatible with different e-mail programs like Google's Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! Mail. It is important your e-mail sends be compatible with the systems your audience is using.
- Make sure the e-mail is spam compliant. The wrong wording in the subject line, for example, can make the difference between an e-mail reaching an inbox or being blocked.
- Determine what content engages recipients the most and makes them want to read your e-mails.
Another major component of developing an effective e-mail is determining the right copy and the right amount of copy. Depending on the purpose of your send the right layout and volume of information should be vastly different.
Even the most perfectly developed e-mail may not perform up to its potential if it is not sent at a time of day when its intended recipients are ready to read it. Determining the right day and time to send an e-mail is a task an agency can make much easier. Through testing and experience, an agency can determine when a brand's target audience will be the most likely to actually read its e-mail and take the desired action. There may be times of day when users are inundated with e-mails and will not open or will not read through.
Every brand wants to use their marketing dollars as effectively as possible and e-mail marketing is one of the most effective mediums around. By using an agency with experience in e-mail marketing, you are increasing the benefits that you can receive from these marketing dollars.
[Contributed by Emily Carroll]