Email Marketing Campaigns | How To Plan Email Marketing Campaigns 

 August 23, 2008

By  Gavriel Shaw

Email Marketing Campaigns share a lot similar with traditional mail order direct marketing.

The number 1 criteria for a high converting direct marketing campaign is list selection.

No matter how pretty your creative. No matter how compelling your sales offer. No matter how topical your message to the needs and concerns of your target market… the bottom line reality is…

If the list you are mailing to does not consist of precisely the right target audience, then your conversion rates will be low.

This requires customer profiling, data cleaning and suppression… the whole 9 yards.

With a highly targetted email list the rest is a matter of creative execution.

And having beat an advertising agency 610% on its control mailing piece for its largest client, I have 3 tips to share about creative execution.

Tip Number 1: Don’t think of it as ‘creative’, think of it as ‘connecting’.

Your task is to create a ‘market to message match’. I.e. A suitable message that matches the thoughts and needs of the target audience. As such, it doesn’t have to be colourful, pretty, curiosity building, loud, big, branded, or any other such thing.

What it needs to be is suitable to the target market.

My 610% win at the agency was done with plain text looking long-copy and only a single picture near the bottom of the email. (See my copy on my Email Marketing page).

Tip Number 2: Test, Test, and Test some more.

In fact, every single mailing you send out should ideally be a split test. Even just testing different subject lines to monitor differences in open rates is a truly excellent start to email marketing campaign testing.

Tip Number 3: Sequencing.

Don’t just mail once and expect a flood of sales. In fact, often times the first few mailings to a list should not be a product offer of any kind at all. First you need to build anticipation and high perceived value in your offering. You also need to build credibility and trust… establish a relationship with the audience. Even interact with the audience by doing surveys or inviting people to comment on a blog or just to reply to your email with their thoughts or questions. Ferret out the top objections that your audience may have to your product offering. Gather market intelligence and prospect insight as part of your early email marketing campaign sequence.

Once you have engaged your audience, identified objections, built credibility, and more… then you are ready for the launch sequence of your product. Take away offers. Scarcity. Bonuses.

Email marketing campaigns are far more involved than cutesy pictures with short copy. They are a replacement of a face to face sales interaction. Respect your audiences intelligence and time. Put your self in their place and ask what would I want to know about this product that would make me buy it.

I hope that helps your in-house team develop more winning email marketing campaigns. Read more about Email Marketing on my main email marketing page.

Addition: Following from this post I have begun developing a more instructive Email Marketing Campaing page.

Gavriel Shaw

Gavriel has product and marketing expertise from a variety of roles, including CMO, Head of Growth, Head of Marketing, eCommerce Director, Web Marketing Director, Product Marketing Manager, and Senior Copywriter in various sectors, both B2C and B2B.

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