Friday, August 1, 2014

A Manufacturer’s Guide to Email Marketing


Email is still an important marketing tool for manufacturers. It gives your business the opportunity to easily connect with your target audience on a consistent basis. According to a study by ExactTarget, 91% of consumers use email at least once a day. Furthermore, “66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message,” according to the Direct Marketing Association.

manufacturer's guide to email marketingWhile email still plays a vital role in how we communicate, email marketing is evolving. Your target audience is being bombarded with email marketing messages, so yours has to rise above the noise. Forrester reports that 838 billion marketing messages were sent in 2013 alone.

If you haven’t seen effective results from your email campaigns, here is a guide on how you can improve your email marketing program:

1)    Convey your Brand – Your email blasts should have a template that’s consistent with your brand. Your emails, website and sales collateral should all have a reliable look and feel. Make sure to include your logo in all emails.
2)    Subject Line – People are going to open or delete your email based on your subject line. Keep your subject lines catchy and to the point. Avoid using “sales-y” terms and $$$ signs because spam filters will block them.
3)    Strong foot forward – All emails should start with a “hook.” Translation: the beginning of your email should be enticing and “hook” the reader to view the rest of your message. Think about a news article – if the beginning is boring, do you read on?
 
4)    Content – The occasional discount or deal is fine, but shouldn’t be the entirety of your email marketing program. Use your emails to demonstrate your credibility and industry expertise. Provide useful tips and information for your target audience and earn their trust.

5)    Use Visuals – While your copy “does the talking,” use visuals to support your messages. Using pictures or videos to show your products or processes can make your emails more effective.

6)    Targeted blasts – Instead of sending every email out to your entire database, segment your email marketing lists. Break down your email list based on location, industry or demographics and tailor your messages accordingly.

7)    Consistency – Sending out an email once a year probably won’t yield the best results. Outline an email marketing schedule and stick with it. At least shoot to complete one email a month.

8)    A/B Testing – Is 9am on Tuesday the best time to send an email to your database? Or is Thursday at 2pm? Does your audience respond better to “edgier” emails or do they prefer more conservative messages? You won’t know until you do some testing!

9)    Social Integration – If you have them, make sure you include you include your social media sites in all of your email blasts. A lot of email marketing programs now give you the option to include social sharing in your communication.

10) Call to Actions – All emails should have a purpose and “call to action” at the end. What is the next step for a reader? Are they supposed to request a consultation? Buy a product? Make your call to action clear.

11) Drive website traffic – Include opportunities for readers to visit your website to find out more information. Hyperlink key words and phrases in your message.

12) Feedback – Your email messages should be interactive. Invite readers to provide feedback on how you can improve your email program and thank them for suggestions.

13) Mobile Friendly – According to Litmus, nearly half of all emails are now viewed on mobile devices and almost 70% of those users will delete emails if they aren’t optimized for mobile. Check with your email marketing vendor to make sure your emails can be viewed correctly by mobile channels.

14) Tracking Reports ­– Virtually all email marketing systems allow you to view the results of your campaign. Evaluate how many people are opening your emails and more importantly, how many readers are clicking on the clicks and following your calls-to-action. Tweak your email marketing program based on the results.

Think about how many emails you receive everyday. Now think about how any emails you delete everyday. Follow these tips and make sure that your emails stand apart from your competition!
For more information about MMTC’s business development and growth services, click here or call 888-414-6682.

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.


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