Friday, 22 October 2010

Top tips for delivering an effective email campaign

1.       Data – Mass emails are by nature generic and the recipients know it. Good data allows for all sorts of simple changes that could make all the difference between someone hitting delete or open.
To begin with we should be looking to cleanse bad data and make sure we have names for the recipients. ‘Hello Jane’ is much better than ‘hello friend’!
Data should always be on the agenda and we should be logging how people respond and what actions they make. Our goal should be to respond to people with short seemingly bespoke emails. E.g. if person x donates to a Pakistan fund they should be sent an email thanking them for their generosity and the latest story from the frontline. This can be done by creating triggered emails.

2.       Title – There’s a lot in the title of an email. People receiving lots of emails often decide whether or not to look at a particular email by its title. If it’s too cold or generic expect it to be put in the trash. Email titles should quickly and easily explain how it fits into someone’s space and what it can do for them. It needs to convince them that there is something worth reading, a legacy of quality is not enough to ensure that the email is opened. Even the brands to who I feel most loyal need to convince me that each email is worth reading.

3.       Timing – Firstly, holding off for a few hours can be better than making a deadline. Emails that are sent last thing will be seen first thing the next morning at the same time other, ‘more important’, emails. We don’t want to be competing for attention.
 Once your email is completed and ready to go consider who the recipients are and when the best time to send it would be. We have to ensure that our email hits the inboxes when people are most likely going to open them. Do you want your recipients to be reading your email at work, or at home? If it’s a personal email consider early mornings, evenings or weekends when people have some free time.
Top tip: The best time to send an email to busy professionals would be late morning or early afternoon just after lunch. These tend to be the times when people have fewer meetings and are working a little slower.

4.       White Listing – Ensure that the email server used is white listed. White listing ensures that the emails are delivered to inboxes rather than the trash, junk or not at all.

5.       Email Content – Opening an email is the equivalent to picking up a magazine. We can’t assume that all opened emails are read. We need snappy headlines that appeal to the audience. Ask questions that you know people are asking or link the article to people’s lives – ask yourself how is your content relevant?