Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate sales. The Direct Marketing Association predicts that email marketing's return on investment (ROI) will clock in at $43.52 for every $1 spent in 2009. With numbers like that, who wouldn't use this low-cost, high-return marketing channel?
Here's a checklist to help you start and manage your email marketing campaigns:
Create Your List
- Collect email addresses by asking for them online or collecting them manually offline.
- Confirm each registration by sending an email soon after the address is received.
- Remove all duplicate entries from your list.
Devise a Campaign and Prepare Your Web Site
- Determine which product or sale you will promote.
- Evaluate your Web site. Is it ready for the promotion?
- Create a specific landing page for the promotion or product you're highlighting in your campaign.
Write and Design Your Email
- Make sure your headline stands out and clearly communicates your primary message. If you're offering a sale, that should be the headline. If you launched a new product, that's your headline.
- Write the body of the email like a letter and focus on the customer's needs, not your company.
- Keep the offer and call to action above the fold. Many people won't scroll down.
- Include a strong call to action. Ask your prospects for the sale.
- Use a bold design that immediately grabs people's attention.
- Insert tracking code to measure the success of your email campaign.
- Comply with the CAN SPAM Act—include your address and an unsubscribe link.
Prepare to Send
- Write a subject line that commands attention and communicates your primary message.
- Avoid "spammy" words in the subject line. A few of the worst offenders are "free," "$$$," "guarantee, "affordable," "cheap, " and "apply now."
- Make sure the email address you're sending from is a company email address.
- Look over your list one last time to make sure all subscribers who've opted out in the past have been removed and all new subscribers have been added.
- Send a test email to as many different email clients as possible. Make sure your email displays properly in all the most popular clients.
- Test all the links in your email to make sure they're working correctly.
- Follow the entire path you're sending customers down to make sure everything is working correctly.
Now you're ready to deploy your email marketing campaign!