The 5 Essential Components for Email-Marketing Success

Organizations are realizing now more than ever how important leveraging the email-marketing channel is. In fact, email marketing was reported by 39.5% of Fortune 500 executives as the strongest performer among all advertising channels in a recent Datran Media survey. Why? A major reason is the great return on investment achieved with email marketing. According to the Direct Marketing Association, for example, email marketing delivered nearly $44 for every dollar spent in 2009. In this month’s feature, I highlight what I consider the 5 “essential components” of successful email-marketing campaigns.

  1. Measure everything.
    Email marketing is all about measuring. At FulcrumTech, we’ve developed a sophisticated email-marketing model to help our clients quantify the potential financial impact of multiple improvements including the following areas:

    • The size of your list
    • The numbers of active and inactive subscribers
    • Open rates
    • Click-through rates
    • Conversion rates
    • Revenue
    • Profit
    • Return-on-investment.

    Once these analytics are completed, we determine strategies to make improvements in the areas that will deliver the best results for your organization. For more information about FulcrumTech’s email-marketing model, contact us today.

    List Size and ROI

    Measure the growth of your list size compared to revenue and you’ll see what a huge impact even a small improvement can make.

  2. Build a powerful list.
    Building a high-quality, permission-based (or opt-in) email list is an ongoing effort that requires time and attention. Typically, you can expect a 25% attrition rate annually from your email list, thanks to unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints. Plus, you should also take into consideration the number of inactive subscribers – people who haven’t opened your emails for a certain period of time, such as 6 months or more.To keep your list growing and healthy, you need to implement list-building strategies throughout the year. Check out my article “18 Ways to Build a Bigger, Better List” for specific advice on how to nurture your email list.

    Impact of Inactive Users on List Growth

    Make sure the additions to your email list exceed the attrition rate.

  3. Drive up the open rate.
    Getting subscribers to open your emails is the first essential step in getting them to take the action you want. The following are the primary drivers of open rates:

    • From and address lines – If you’ve built a relationship with your subscribers – consistently providing relevant and valuable content – they’ll be more likely to open emails associated with your organization.
    • Subject line – This gives subscribers the first impression of the content or value proposition of your email. It’s got to catch the eye and make them think they may be missing something if they don’t open your email. For subject line advice, read my article, “5 Tips for Writing Winning Subject Lines.”
    • Preview pane – Typically located in the top inch or two of your email, this gives recipients a good idea of what your email is all about. The more effective and enticing the description of your promotion, the better your open rates. And, if you have images, don’t forget to use alt tags to describe them.
      Email Preview Pane

      Be sure your preview pane lets subscribers know what your email is all about.

    • Past value – Have subscribers found your content and promotions to be of value? By working to keep the answer to that question “yes,” you’ll help keep subscribers opening your emails.
  4. Optimize your click-through rates.
    Once subscribers have opened your email, the next vital step is getting them to click through to your promotion. Although there are many factors that can impact click-through rates, here are some top pointers:

    • Keep the content relevant and personal
    • Provide an incentive with your offer
    • Focus on communicating clearly what you want recipients to do, rather than being persuasive
    • Avoid having too much copy
    • Make it clear why recipients should choose you over the competitors
    • Don’t use reverse text in the design.
      Be the Winner

    For additional ways to help motivate more click-throughs in your email campaigns, be sure to read my article “18 Tips for Maximizing Your Click-Through Rates.”

  5. Develop and implement test plans.
    Testing is an essential part of email-marketing strategy. It keeps you from flying blind. A small tweak in your email campaigns can result in significant increases in open, click-through, and conversion rates. The following are examples of areas to test in your email-marketing campaigns:

    • Subject lines
    • Headings
    • The use of testimonials
    • The location and content of calls to action
    • Email list sources.
      Don't be blind with email strategy

      Test various areas of your email campaigns so you don’t have a blind approach to email-marketing strategy.

    What are your email-marketing goals? How will improvements impact your results? These are questions you need to answer as you model the metrics and financials of your testing program.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to incorporate these 5 “essential components” into your email-marketing programs, the experts at FulcrumTech can help. Contact us or give us a call today at 215-489-9336. We can show you the best ways to leverage the latest email-marketing technologies to optimize your overall results.

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