Email marketing – Look to your existing customers to help you weather the credit crunch.

In times of less cash, it’s all about about sustaining revenue.  With customers being more discerning with their disposable income, you need to work a lot harder to keep existing clients spending or from shopping around at the competition.

Email is a great channel for making sure that you are communicating as effectively as possible with your existing customer base. There’s no harm in having a review of your basics to make sure that you are keeping your customer’s attention and are their no brainer choice when it comes to purchase.

1 Plan your campaign
What is your objective from the email campaign? Decide what it is before you start your campaign and create your email with your goals in mind.

2  Get permission
To ensure compliance with Data Protection legislation make sure your email marketing is permission-based which means you need the customer’s consent to contact them. To build up your contacts database, collect email addresses from your customers at every opportunity!

3  Call to action
Include a call to action in every email you send. For example you could invite customers to download discount vouchers, purchase a discounted product online, or agree to attend an event.

4  Be personal
Try and speak directly to the individual customer, the more personal you are, the more successful your campaign is likely to be. Follow up the campaign with a ‘thank you’ or a special offer.

5  Be relevant
The first question the recipient will ask is ‘What’s in it for me?’If you don’t sent them information which can save them time, money or give them information then they are unlikely to take action.

6  Unsubscribe Link
The recipient must have the ability to request that they no longer want to receive emails. Their details should be removed from your database immediately.

7  The Subject line
This is very important and influences whether the recipient bothers to open the email. Think very carefully about the title, keep it short, to the point. Do not use capital letters and exclamation marks and never use words like Free!

8  Provide plain text as well as a HTML version
Have two options as some recipients will have their images turned off. Also when sending HTML versions, make sure the design works in the different email client interfaces (test test and test again!) and there are no mistakes. Keep the content short, be consistent with your layout, and design elements – it reflects the professionalism and brand of your company.

9  Deliverability
The main obstacle with email marketing is the email actually ending up in the recipients in box. ISPs delete billions of emails each day. Research an Email Service Provider with good deliverability rates. (blatant self promotion – we have a very rigorous email marketing set up which has great deliverability across Europe and the US ).

10 Statistics
Review the statistics after  each campaign. How many emails were delivered and opened, and which links customers clicked on within the email.  Each subsequent campaign can be fine tuned with new information collected. The power of email marketing is being able to segment your database based on consumer behaviour.