How to get up to speed before you’re ready to get serious using email …

and the importance of knowing the right answers to 7 questions before you send an email off!

There are many questions to answer before you embark on any marketing and advertising program or campaign. What contacts are receiving the message? Prospects? Customers? A recently purchased new list? Or a specific segment in your CRM?

Yes, there are many questions that must be answered way before the email delivery date. Some customers may respond to direct mail, others through social media, a website landing page or even email. Almost everyone has an email address or two.

Email has had its ups and downs. Have you recently used an email campaign? If you answered no, here’s a how to get rid of the dust and cobwebs on your email machine in seven easy steps.

  1. Why use email in your promotional mix?

Email has many different uses. It is used in project management, customer service, a delivery tool, and more. In a marketing and selling campaign it can mean lead generation, retention of clients, cross-selling, and even up-selling. Select one and match a list of contacts that are likely to respond. Caution: Don’t mix and match a marketing and selling campaign. There are different levels of interest.

  1. Is goal setting important in email usage?

If you are a small business, goal setting is easy to develop but difficult to measure. For example, when you use email with direct mail, the response of email emulates a form of two-way communication. If the communication is analyzed correctly, you are probably able to determine what the contact is looking for and what type of communication tool they prefer you use. Email service providers, such as Constant Contact, provide a lot of delivery data and even post your email to your list of social media you select.

  1. How many contacts do I need in my email list?

As with any good list, it is quality and not quantity. If the desired use of email is customer retention, that’s a relatively easy list to assemble. If the use is prospecting or lead generation, you need to capture permission or opt-in email addresses of all contacts you enter.

This takes time but there are many other channel opportunities, such as the use of direct mail, driving contacts to your website landing page, and content marketing.  These are all great tactical communication tools to grow an email list.

  1. Where do I value content in email usage?

How many times have you heard that copy is king? Email is no different, but you need to place its value a lot higher. Your email must engage the reader and move them to respond to an offer, for more information, such as a free sample or a white paper or a special industry report. Short subject lines should attract attention like a good headline in a direct marketing campaign.

Review your answers from question one.

  1. How do we not look like SPAM?

As we wrote above, your organizations contacts must opt-in or you have their permission to email to them. What we look for is called the “spam rule of fours.” Before any email is sent…

¨you have determined that your email is sent on a consistent schedule, such as monthly,

¨the email message is effective for your organization goals,

¨the information is timely and,

¨the message is relevant for the contact receiving it.

  1. What can we do to increase the number of opens and readability?

Who is the email from, creativity in the subject line, and the relevance of the message will help to increase the odds that the email is read. Not to be harsh, but customers are saying give me the right offer/content at the right time, or I am going to unsubscribe and move on.

  1. What type of ROI should we expect?

There are many variables associated with this question. If it’s customer retention, you should expect a better than your average return. In lead generation, it’s the offer and how precise the email was segmented. If the email sends them to a website for additional action, it is easy to look at the data provided by the email provider. The data from the email provider, analysis of click’s and requests from the contacts, enable more developed concise messages as you move forward in the campaign.

Note: Re-read goal setting above, number two.

If you and your team has analyzed the seven questions and put any changes into place, the next email program will be a lot smoother. If not, let us borrow a term from direct mail…

always be testing.

Even a slight change may mean better results or worse yet, poor results.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

There are many communication channels in the traditional and social media that have an impact on the customers in your database. Nothing in your communication options should be set in stone. Keep talking to your customers and respond to their needs. Listening is one of the greatest skills to hone with your marketing communications.

Let me know what you think.

There is an post on Quality and Quantity which will answer a question or two.

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Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 /


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About MarketingDoc 398 Articles
30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!

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