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Automated Email Marketing Saves Time and Gets Results

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Email MarketingOne of the best email marketing tips for a small business or any digital operation with limited resources is an automated email marketing campaign.

I can hear an expert claiming, “But that’s just silly. You won’t get good results.”

Ah, but that depends on the email.

Experts will look down on automated email marketing because it is simplistic and limited in what it can do.

Then again, it saves times, and that’s one of the best reasons to do it.

Done right, they can get results. It is entirely possible to get campaigns with open rates above 20 percent and click rates also above 20 percent.

How to Automate

S

etting up an automated campaign is almost as easy as maintaining one. Tracking the results can be automated as well.

All you need is the content, the means of sending the content to the email software and of course software that can distribute the emails on a regular basis without any manual intervention.

Let’s assume that the content for the email is coming from a Web site. The distribution mechanism is an RSS feed, which will grab the content on demand and display it as an XML page.

New content appears automatically on the feed. Old content drops off if the feed is set to display X number of items.

The feed should display only the headline and the first paragraph of the article to be distributed — and NOT the entire body of the article.

The reason why is that we want the email to contain a link within the headline that sends the subscriber to the Web site to view the entire article.

The email software can be either on the site or provided by an email marketing company such as iContact, MailChimp or Constant Contact.

In the email account, create a template that will display the content of the RSS feed in the email.

Set up the campaign in the software and establish a publishing schedule. It can be daily, weekly, monthly or some other timetable that is best suited for the site and maximizing open rates, click rates and retention rates.

The software will reach out to the RSS feed on that schedule and distribute the content to the subscribers.

Maximizing Results

T

he email subject line, quality of the content and the email template are three of the biggest factors in determining results.

The email subject line should be dynamic and not static. In other words, it should refer to the most interesting item in the newsletter, contain today’s date or use some other means of making the subject line unique every time the email is distributed.

“The quality of the content comes from the subject, the headline and the effectiveness of the abstract that is being distributed.”

The quality of the content comes from the subject, the headline and the effectiveness of the abstract that is being distributed.

They should be creative, unique, humorous or informative. The more specific the better.

The email template should display multiple links above the fold. If the viewers see only one link, or a few boring links, the odds that they will scroll down are limited.

You Are the Most Important Subscriber

B

e sure to include yourself on the subscriber list. No subscriber is more important than you.

When the email arrives, does the subject line interest you even though it may come from an article that you wrote?

When you open the email, are the best and most interesting links above the fold?

Trying to look at the email objectively is the best way to develop a critical approach focused on continuous improvement — and better results.

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