Email Marketing: Are You Hitting Your Target?

email target

Email marketing is relatively cost-effective, straightforward and measurable, offering the potential for an extremely high return on your investment. However, all of that success hinges on your message’s ability to actually reach and thus be heard by  your audience. Here are a few quick pointers to ensure your message reaches your target:

Build good lists and keep them current

A strong list is the foundation of any successful email marketing campaign. Compiling a list of contacts from whom you have consent to contact virtually guarantees that your message will be reaching a relevant and receptive audience, which will result in higher open and click-through rates. This also significantly reduces the chance of your email getting reported as spam, which could land you on “spam sender” lists.

Continually targeting email addresses that are no longer in service can also flag the sender as a spam mailer, so make sure you’re keeping your lists clean and up-to-date.

Avoid heavy imagery and attachments

Make sure you avoid relying too much or completely on images in your email body. Many email services such as Outlook and Apple Mail will automatically block images; sending an image-only email could result in a toothless message (or land it in a spam folder). Likewise, avoid attachments and the use of JavaScript for the same reasons.

Test the waters

A/B testing is a tried-and-true approach to make sure you’re getting the most out of your distributions. It involves sending one portion of your audience an email with one subject line (and/or set of content), and another portion of your audience a different subject line/content set. By examining the resulting bounce, open and click-through rates, you can gain valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t, which can then be applied to future distributions.

There are also a number of email testing services available, most for free, that test for email deliverability in areas like SPF validation, text-image balance and the safety of your content and links. Running a few quick tests can confirm that your message isn’t headed for the junk mailbox.

Track performance over time

Keep in mind that past performance isn’t always an indicator of future success. Even if you figure out a formula that works right now for your audience, keep monitoring bounces, opens and clicks. Don’t be afraid to tweak variables if they prove to no longer be effective.

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