Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Key Elements of Effective Email Marketing

Along with social media and mobile marketing, email continues to be a significant portion of an effective virtual marketing strategy, especially for a small business. However, email marketing can run the risk of irritating subscribers and potentially tarnishing a brand’s image. Here are some essential tactics to running an effective email marketing campaign:

Strategic Timing and Frequency

In order to run a successful email marketing campaign, it is critical that your message reaches your reader at the right time. Ideal timing and frequency varies depending on the type of business you are in. The goal is to find the timing where you are most likely to generate the greatest response. Our office was recently enticed into ordering lunch from a local café after receiving email notification of their specials, including an image of a mouthwatering grilled cheese, conveniently at noon.

Your frequency also has a significant impact of the effectiveness your campaign. Sending emails too often is an annoyance and sending email too infrequently will result in losing your audience’s attention. According to the DMA National Client Email Marketing Report, the ideal frequency for the retail industry is 2-3 times a month.


According to, 80% of email marketers send the same content to all of their subscribers. This is a colossal mistake! Segmenting your lists and dividing your content is a great way to avoid spamming your contacts and to prevent the fatal UNSUBSCRIBE TO ALL. Make sure to send subscribers content that is relevant to their relationship with your business.

Effective Content

One of the most common reasons a customer will subscribe to a business’s emails is to feel that they are being delivered exclusive information. Providing a first look at a new product or special promotion shows that their participation is valuable and appreciated.  

Keep in mind; your readers are just as busy as you are! If you do not have time to read a lengthy newsletter, neither do they. Keep your content short and to the point. Always include links to your website as well as your social media. This provides your subscribers with the opportunity to interact with you instead of just having a one-way conversation.

Analyze Your Results

Any form of marketing needs to be evaluated in terms of response and results. Many email marketing programs give you the tools to calculate how successful your emails are. If not, Google Analytics is an amazing free platform to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Some important elements to track are open rates, click-through, bounces, response, lead tracking and website traffic (Mail Chimp offers some benchmarks, per industry, here). If you are not getting the results you desire, make some adjustments. Something as simple as changing your timing could have a radical impact on your results.