EDM: A Journey Towards Successful Conversions With Email Marketing

Email marketing has become an integral part of targeting prospective clients and building a bond with them online. In fact, e Marketer reports that 97% of small businesses use email marketing to connect with customers.

Electronic Direct Marketing (E.D.M) envisages the marketer marketing his products & services by sending emails targeted to a specific list of consumers. It is a type of advertisement campaign wherein the marketer targets the desired group of individuals depending on the product being offered in order to maximize the conversions.

Email marketing was initially tagged as spam and too salesy. However, the rising importance of online marketing and advertising has helped annul that perception. Companies these days are investing more in EDM’s and the response rate has also been on a rise like never before.

In the current scenario, EDM has become an integral part of business marketing strategy. Since it can be targeted to desired customer group, majority of small businesses are turning to this form of marketing to get in touch with their customers and offer their products & services to them. An EDM campaign is measurable, this is another major advantage which helps the marketer to understand the minute details of his customer base.

Email marketing can be turned into a success by considering some factors;

• Subject line:

To begin with, one must provide an eye catching and accurate subject line to the mail. Mails with a vague subject line would hardly be read. Certain words like free, buy now, subscribe now etc need to be parted with, if you do not want to find your mail ending up in the recipient’s junk box.

• Content:

It is the most important aspect of any email. If the content of the newsletter is not appealing, the recipient would snap out of it within no time. Good content is niche to keep him glued to the mail.

• Call to Action:

Call to Action is the next step in bridging the gap between the business and the client. It is the action which you want the recipient to perform after going through your email. If the ‘call to action’ process is complex, it will reduce the chances of successful conversions. Hence easy navigation is the key to simplify the process.

Further, the success rate also depends on other endogenous factors like the format of the email. If the format of the newsletter is complex and difficult to navigate, it reduces the possibility of a conversion. Bringing in personal touch by addressing the consumer by name also largely contributes in the success of an EDM. Providing relevant links leading to relevant pages, the timing of the mail being shot, the target audiences for the EDM etc. contribute towards the success of an EDM campaign, and in turn have significant impact on sales.

Advantages

Email marketing helps you understand what type of consumer is interested in your product, what kind of product interests him. This analysis helps alter the business strategy favorably. Some of the advantages are as follows:

1. Highly targeted:

Direct mailing can be used to target specific set of individuals by developing lists of email ids matching your product segment. It is possible to reach any market segment or buyer profile most appropriate for your business.

2. Measurable:

One of the greatest advantages of EDM is the accuracy with which it can be measured. The marketer can gauge the performance of an EDM campaign precisely by monitoring and analyzing certain metrics like open rate, bounce rate etc, which are explained further in the article.

3. Cost effective:

EDM is much cheaper as compared to conventional means of marketing, and since it can be targeted to desired group of individuals, it helps utilize the budget optimally.

4. Personal Reach:

Mail merging techniques can easily help add a personal touch to the email by addressing the potential customers by name. This has a significant impact on the reader than when addressed in general.

5. Better conversion rates:

The response rate to personalized mails is usually higher than other mediums of marketing. With the response rate being high it leads to better and quicker conversions. Not only is direct mailing cost effective but it also yields a high conversion rate.

Disadvantages

Unsolicited mails:

One of the main drawbacks of e-mail marketing is that some companies use it to send unsolicited bulk email known as spam. Since the volume of spam is huge, it sometimes leads the recipient to ignore a genuine mail from spam. Though email providers are doing their best to prevent spam, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a genuine mail and a spam.

Hoax Email ids & delivery problems:

An EDM campaign will be ineffective if the opt in email ids are not genuine. Delivery is another major issue causing hindrance. According to a report, only 56% of mails get delivered in the US. To prevent this, dead weight mail ids must be cleared frequently.

Spam Filters:

Spam filters installed by email providers in order to avoid spam messages also act as an obstacle to legitimate email marketers.

Now to understand the exact impact of EDM on the conversions, branding & advertisement; tracking and analysis of every campaign needs to be done. Certain metrics listed below need to be regularly monitored to gauge the performance.

• Firstly, in order to know how many people have actually opened the mail, one must take a look at the open rate. Open rate gives you the percentage of people opening the mail.

• Secondly, you need to monitor call-to-action, ie the percentage of people responding to your call-to-action, to obtain the conversion rate.

• Further you also need to keep a check on the bounce rate, which provides a list of emails that fail to get delivered. Such dead weight mail addresses need to be cleared frequently in order to ensure an effective EDM campaign.

E-mail still remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media-nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily, and the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher. In a nutshell, marketing is more of a journey than just a click, and Email marketing is one of the integral parts of that journey.

NCOA for Email – Is Your Email Address List Clean and Up-To-Date?

Introduction Shrewd marketers devote a great amount of attention to crafting their email messaging campaign. They scrutinize the subject line, fuss over the content, and carefully monitor the timing of delivery. Once the perfect message has been created, it is just as important to focus on its successful delivery to the intended recipients. Unfortunately, it is likely that your current email address list has a number of significant problems. Your List Has Inappropriate Addresses The beauty of the Internet is that it connects you to everyone. The danger is that there are people out there you would rather not be connected to. Obviously, you want to keep these people, and their moments of malice, off your list. Some common situations include: 1. Bogus Addresses Some of your visitors will never disclose their email address to you. If an entry is required, they will make something up. A frequent occurrence is some variation of “[email protected]”, which happens when the user hits random keys. 2. Prank Addresses An innocent person may be getting added to new lists daily, simply because they made enemies with the wrong person. Sometimes the abuse is a prank subscription from one friend to another; other times it targets a public figure (e.g. [email protected]). 3. Malicious Addresses Another common type of abuse is when someone targets your company. Without you noticing, your email message is directed to someone who will make your life miserable. This might be an email address to report spam (e.g. Your List Has Old Addresses Unfortunately, people change their email addresses all the time – when they switch jobs, move, switch Internet service providers, or enter or graduate from school. Technical advances such as cable modems, as well as ISP pricing competition, mergers and failures continue to encourage this movement. In addition to their ISP-provided email address, users acquire additional email addresses from their jobs or schools, hundreds of free web-based email services (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.), and even pagers and cell phones. According to IDC, registrations for webmail accounts are growing at 91% annually, and now exceed 100 million addresses. Email address changes are also fueled by the growth in unsolicited email, as users switch email accounts to escape “spam”. Services such as AOL allow users to create and manage separate screen names and associated email addresses, which may be used and abandoned at will. As individuals change addresses and maintain multiple working email addresses for multiple purposes, it is unlikely that they will make a point of updating you. Recent studies indicate that nearly 35% of Internet users change their email addresses each year, and this does not account for the multiple working email addresses being added every day. Ideally, you are aware of this problem, and monitoring the percentage of your database that is bouncing. Every bouncing address is an unread message. After repeated testing, you may determine that some addresses are truly “dead” (rather than being a short-term bounce) and be tempted to remove these from your list. It is equally important to pay attention to a much harder statistic to track – what percentage of your database are old addresses that aren’t bouncing? These are messages that are ending up in abandoned or throwaway Hotmail accounts, unread school accounts, ignored AOL screen names, etc. Messages sent to old addresses will remain unread no matter how much you tweak your text, change your subject line, etc. Or worse, the email account has been recycled, and you are actually reaching the wrong person. Your List Has Typos No list is immune from the introduction of typos. These errors tend to be introduced through three different mechanisms: 1. User Caused If you accept email addresses from your website, you probably experience a 1-8% typo rate (or more!), depending on the stringency of your email address validation routines and the carelessness of your visitors. Typical mistakes include: [email protected] – missing the “.com” [email protected] – input box too small, user stopped typing [email protected] – double periods, sticky keyboard joe smith @ aol.com – extra spaces [email protected]” – invalid quotes [email protected] – transposition error [email protected] – likely misspelling of hotmail2. Internal Entry Many companies collect email addresses through phone centers, mailings, inquiry cards, etc. The data entry of these addresses is another common source for typos, as often the validation routines are much less stringent internally than on your website. In addition to the challenges of reading and interpreting handwriting, auditory misunderstandings can enter your database. One of our favorite typos, entered by a phone customer service agent, is “[email protected]”. 3. Data Manipulation & Corruption Regardless of how careful your company may be to validate or double opt-in every email address, the list is still vulnerable to errors in ongoing database management. For example, on several occasions we have seen a forced truncation of records, which results in the last few characters of long email addresses being dropped. Other times, a well-meaning database manager will design a quick (but insufficiently targeted) query to clean up or correct a typo they have seen in the data. Unless the error is dramatic, faulty data manipulation or data corruption may remain unnoticed in a list for many months. Your List Has Duplicates Duplicate email addresses can result in disgruntled customers and database management challenges for your company. Obviously, it is unprofessional to email your customer multiple copies of the same message. Even though many duplicate addresses are the result of double entries by your customers, these very same people often become so irritated by receiving multiple messages that they unsubscribe from your list altogether. These “obvious” duplicates are easy to catch and most database managers can quickly do a scan of your list. Ironically, not all companies catch these duplicates, especially if they maintain several lists and forget to de-dupe between them. The more difficult duplicates to detect are multiple unique email addresses owned and read by the same person. Imagine if your customer initially gave you their Hotmail address, and then later gave you their AOL email address. You need access to a sophisticated and comprehensive database of email addresses to discover these duplicates and to decide which is the customer’s current preferred email address. So Now What? Now that you know your list has inappropriate addresses, old addresses, typos, and duplicates, what can you do? There are a number of solutions, including: Improve your email address validation routines Worth looking at, but is this really your area of expertise? Switch to double opt-in Has pros and cons; won’t solve all your problems Manually review all email addresses for accuracy and appropriateness Requires substantial effort by your staff Start building your own block list and use the DMA’s e-MPS (and other) suppression lists Smart idea Consider sending a standalone message confirming your customer’s current preferred email address and requesting any updates Are you willing to devote an entire message to this? Maintain a list of your customer’s alternate contact methods so you can be sure to reach them Making telephone calls and sending letters to get updated email addresses will be costly Remove every typo and bouncing email address from your list NO! Did you forget your customer acquisition cost? How about the projected revenue a typical customer brings in each year? Each lost customer is costing your company from $10 to $50 or more. Removing an email address from your list simply because it is undeliverable is throwing your marketing investment away! Welcome to NCOA for Email You may already be familiar with NCOA for your postal addresses, a service that corrects and updates your snail-mail list. What you may not have known is that since 2000, this service has also been available to freshen your email address lists. A typical NCOA for Email service includes the following functions: Identification of addresses that should be removed from your list. These may be addresses that match a list of suspicious addresses (e.g. [email protected]”, “[email protected]”, etc.), match a block list, are unrecoverable bounces, or are duplicates. Some services can also catch different addresses belonging to the same person, so that you don’t double-message these people. Flagging of addresses that should be manually reviewed. These might be addresses that meet certain rules maintained by the provider, or simply violate standard guidelines for email addresses (e.g. containing unusual characters, etc.) Correction of typos. Using tables of known typos as well as heuristic rules, your provider can help you recover customers lost to “dead” addresses as a result of thousands of typos and syntax errors, including every typo example presented earlier. Some providers even offer recursive processing, which can intelligently correct multiple typos in one pass. Updating of old addresses. All true NCOA for Email providers operate popular consumer websites designed for individuals to use when their email addresses change. These updated addresses, in addition to across the board domain changes, are then made available to you. Typical vendors offer pay for performance pricing. On average, this works out to less than fifty cents per recovered address. Depending on the type and quality of your list, initial match rates will vary from very small to over ten percent. Your relationship with a vendor may be a simple one-time run, or a contract-based relationship where they will help you keep your list fresh over time. Don’t Wait! Your customer database is one of your most valuable and expensive assets. To let it waste away at a rate of 25%-33% per year is not a viable way to do business. You should start thinking now about the problems lurking in your database, and resolve to take care of these as soon as possible. Using an NCOA for Email provider can help you reconnect with customers lost to “dead” addresses immediately, and ensure that your well-crafted messages earn you the maximum return on your investment. Austin C. Bliss President FreshAddress, Inc. FreshAddress, Inc., The Email Address ExpertsTM, provides a comprehensive suite of industry leading database and email deliverability services to help companies increase their e-commerce revenues. For more information on how we can help “Build and Update” your email list, visit http://freshaddress.com/biz or email [email protected] (c) 2002 FRESHADDRESS.COM

Wholesale Email Marketing Strategy

You are a cosmetics wholesaler dealing in variety of personal care items for women. You do not have a store since you do not sell to retail customers but have an office where retailers can visit to pick up goods or sign contracts. Your advantage lies in the extremely low rates you are able to offer due to your business model of mass sales with low margins. However, your biggest disadvantage is that you are located in a relatively small town where the number of cosmetic retailers is not too many and hence you find it hard to grow your business year on year.

This strategy will help you realize new markets for your product and help you grow your bottom line exponentially.

Who is your customer?

Typically your current customer profile is the small or mid-sized retailer who deals in cosmetic and personal care items either exclusively or as a part of a supplementary convenience store business. Since you are located in a small town, it is unlikely that there will be an organic growth in demand for your line of products. Therefore you must look beyond physical boundaries by finding online retailers of your products.

What is the best thing you can do for that customer?

Running an online business is far more cost effective than setting up a conventional store. However, the online entrepreneur is often inexperienced in matters such as logistics. To make it easier for them, you can offer a drop ship service directly to the end consumer from your wholesale facility, at a slightly extra cost. Also highlight your high margins in all your marketing literature.

How are you going to do it?

Design a seamless backend process on your website which allows smaller online retailers to become “members” of your site. They can then choose from your inventory of products and market them in their own way, through their own websites. Ensure that the backend is robust and well defined with regard to order taking and delivery as well.

Create a database of all your existing customers as well as online retailers dealing in your range of products. Invite them to sign up for your weekly newsletter in order to receive tips and news from the wholesale drop shipping industry. The newsletter should also run regular sections on special discounts on selected products of the week, etc.

Don’t forget to say thank you

Every registrant for the newsletter gets a thank you email that also has a few basic survey questions:

What is the average number of sales made per month?

What is the average monthly turnover for the past 12 months?

What categories of products sell the most on their website?

What do they perceive to be the biggest obstacle to the growth of their business?

When to communicate with your members

Periodical newsletters (weekly / monthly / fortnightly) will help retain your spot as top of mind wholesaler within your industry. Ensure that your newsletter content is interesting and informative. If you are offering any special products or prices before festive seasons like Christmas, you must include notices about these at least a month in advance.

How do you measure success?

Conduct quarterly surveys of your existing customer database to judge their level of satisfaction on various B2B and B2C service parameters. Incentivize survey completion with an entry to a lucky draw that can win entrants a lucrative prize.

Build Build Build, Measure new as well as lapsed retail partners on a monthly basis and compare numbers and turnover with like periods across the past few years. The more people that sign up for your drop ship service, the more business you’ll be doing!

Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?

The recent introduction of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) has had a direct impact on marketing practices, including email marketing. Is email marketing still one of the most effective marketing tools for your business?

The answer is yes, email marketing is still one of the most effective tools for driving sales in your business, but as with most forms of marketing, it rarely stands still.

Ensure You’re Compliant

Personal privacy is a major concern today when it comes to email marketing. So is the way you use the data you collect. Read over your current privacy policy and terms of service for your website to ensure you are up to date.

Mobile-Friendly Emails

Your email should be readable on any device that your subscriber decides to read it on. You can check out how your emails and website look on free tools such as mobiletest.me and responsinator.com to view your content on a range of simulated screens.

Email Rendering

There’s a similar problem with the way emails appear in different email services. Check the overall look of your emails at Yahoo! mail, Gmail, Hotmail etc to be sure it doesn’t look wrong.

Coding Issues

Some marketers prefer HTML coded emails, while others opt for plain text. Any HTML coding mistakes could ruin the look and feel of the email, or even prevent some or all of it from being seen. Check your code at a site like Dirty Markup and clean any errors.

Check and Test

Be sure to carefully check any email before you send it. Look for typing errors and ensure that the link clicks through to the correct page. Make sure that things like the date and time of an event are correct. People are very busy and don’t have time for you to send two or three emails on the same subject, trying to correct basic errors you should have found in the first place.

Send High-Quality Information, Not Just Sales Info

Be certain all your emails are relevant and interesting to your target audience. Do more than just try to sell them stuff, and odds are they will continue being on your list, look forward to your emails and open them, and even forward the emails to other people.

Make It Easy For People To Unsubscribe

If your subscriber makes a decision that they don’t want to get any more emails from you, make it possible for them to easily unsubscribe. If you make it difficult, they will start to begrudge your emails and will certainly never buy from you. They may also report you as spam, which will cause you complications in the future.

Email Marketing – How To Increase Its Effectiveness

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics utilized by current internet business owners. It involves more than creating simple sales messages and with a little bit of creativity can become a powerful and even fun marketing tool.

There are many different ways to approach email marketing and each niche will have its own way of effectively utilizing this technique. Some ideas to keep in mind that you may find interesting:

1. Try to keep your email lists as targeted as possible. Lists that reach a specific group of people will generally have higher response rates. This allows you to really aim your emails at the specific interests and concerns of those particular users.

2. Build your own email list by creating a free email newsletter. By offering free advice, products, or services you can get potential customers to opt-in to your email list. This way you can reach interested customers over time and refresh their memory about your products or services.

3. Generate consistent long term sales by regularly providing relevant newsletters to your opt-in users. Providing your potential customers with useful materials will build trust and lower your unsubscribe rate.

4. Use a reliable and inexpensive auto responder service that will consolidate all of your email lists. Using a service like aweber.com you can create unlimited auto responders and have potential customers opt-in to your email lists from any where. (website, blog, etc.) You can create the opt-in forms and have scheduled messages sent automatically or manually to all of your members.

5. Generate more sales and credibility through offering useful series of emails that can be sent by your auto responder over several different emails. Keep the series of emails related, promoting a relevant product or service.

6. Encourage your recipients to forward the emails to their friends, relatives, and colleagues. This will increase the amount of exposure and improve the reach of your email marketing broadcast.

These are just a few ideas to consider when developing your own email marketing campaign. Email marketing is extremely affordable and is a powerful tool consistently generating long term sales and contact with potential customers.