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    How to increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns

    by James Holloway Partnership Director

    We’ve established that email campaigns really can be a useful marketing tool, but it’s also true that simply having an email campaign or newsletter isn’t a surefire route to sales going through the roof. You still have to do it right, otherwise you’re expending a lot of energy and resources for a negligible return. Here’s how to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

    Measure, measure, and measure again

    The first question you need to ask yourself is: how do I know my campaigns are successful? You might start an email campaign and six weeks later notice an uptick in sales, but unless you’re measuring, it’s impossible to know if it’s the campaign or some other factor that’s behind the surge. Indeed, your uplift might even be being held back by your campaign.

    We’ve already written about measuring the effectiveness of newsletters, and the key metrics you need to be measuring. Without knowing where your start point is, you can’t know if your reach is improving or deteriorating. It’s always worth gathering a few weeks’ worth of data, or several campaigns if you’re not sending out regular communications.

    Look at average performance over the period you’re considering, and use that to gauge future success. If you measure based on an exceptionally successful campaign – or even a flop – your stats into the future won’t reflect reality. You’re trying to identify trends and to attribute causes to them.

    Act on the results

    Creating leads and making sales is a process, not a single action. It’s often called a funnel, as you’re meant to be creating large numbers of people who are aware of you, which filters down to smaller and smaller groups as they research you, decide whether they’re interested, make enquiries and finally make that sale.

    If you’ve ever used an actual funnel, the analogy falls apart though as every drop of water ends up going through!

    Your measurements will start to show distinct places where potential customers jump off the conveyor belt. For example, you might see that 90% of your emails aren’t even opened. That’s not a good sign, especially if there are excellent campaigns hidden inside them. You can now start to work out how to improve that number.

    Are you sending the email out at midnight? Or during the rush hour? It’s likely that users will be too busy to read anything that looks remotely salesy. Is the subject line too pushy, or not compelling enough?

    Again, that’s something you can act on, with the help of a copywriter and further analysis.

    Perhaps recipients are indeed showing interest in the emails and are reading them and clicking the links to your landing pages, and then disappearing in a puff of smoke.

    That can be down to several factors too. Your website might be slow loading, for example, or just not looking very professional. That’s where professional web developers can help. Maybe the offer on the email isn’t the same as the one on the website, or just not a very good deal for the customer. That’ll be down to your sales and marketing operation.

    Do more research into your market, and make sure your email marketing people, your sales team and your web team are all working as one – and never launch a campaign unless it has been signed off by all parties.

    All of the above can only be ascertained by measuring your campaigns carefully and in great detail. We can help make your emails look fantastic on any device, and ensure your tracking tags on the email and on your site are all capturing the relevant information to let you go through a process of continual improvement. You’ll always have the odd campaign failure, but by using a methodical approach, your averages will start to rise as more email recipients become customers.