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Automated Email Marketing Saves Time and Gets Results

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Email newsletter marketing tips

An automated email marketing campaign is one of the best email marketing tactics for a small business or any digital operation with limited resources.

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 time, and that’s one of the best reasons to do it. All email marketing tactics have a return on investment. They are a balance of the benefits versus the cost, with the cost usually consisting of money and labor (in other words, time).

Done right, automated email marketing 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

Setting 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 distributes the emails on a regular basis without any manual intervention. The software also allows users to subscribe and unsubscribe on their own.

Let’s assume that the content for the email is coming from a website. The distribution mechanism is an RSS feed. It 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 in chronological order.

The feed should display only the headline and the first paragraph of the article. It should not have 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 website to view the entire article.

Email software is usually available in a site’s content management system or from 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 that maximizes 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

email marketing

Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

The 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. It also should have 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 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

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

When the email arrives, does the subject line still 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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