7 Golden Rules for Email Marketing

As email has evolved as a channel, so has the role of the Email Marketer.  You now need to integrate your email campaign with your social strategy, check how your email is going to perform when viewed on a mobile device, remove recipients who haven’t opened in the last 6 months – the list goes on and on. 

With so much to think about it is often easy to forget the basic principles that lead to successful emails campaigns;

Rule 1:- Promote Sign Up
Adding new people to your mailing list is one of the email marketing “quick wins” so make sure you have time to check and review the sign up process and that you promote subscription wherever possible.

Rule 2:- Set and Meet Recipient Expectations

When recipient’s sign up for your email communications make sure you accurately set their expectations about what they can expect to receive.  Then all you need to do is ensure your emails meet their expectations.

Rule 3:- Maintain and Refresh Data
Ensuring that the data you hold on each recipient is up to date is vital to sending them relevant communications.  Utilise Preference Managers within your email campaigns so that recipients can update their personal information and tell you about changes in their preferences.

Rule 4:- Build a Relationship
Due to the cost effective nature of email, it is possible to talk very frequently to your prospects and customers.  Use these frequent communications as a tool to build a relationship and encourage the recipient to purchase rather than simply trying to sell to them at each stage.

Rule 5:- Deliver Valuable Emails
Developing messages that recipient’s value is an important element of building a successful email program.  Reminding recipients they have left a product in their shopping basket, highlighting complimentary products in an order confirmation email and welcoming a new subscriber are all important elements of a successful email program.  These valuable emails not only improve the customer experience (and drive additional revenue) but they enhance your email brand value.

Rule 6:- Utilise Results and Data
One of the really great things about email is that you learn something about your audience and campaigns every time you press send.  Make sure you utilise the valuable information you are gaining to improve future campaign performance.

Rule 7:- Add Email to the Customer Journey
Email can be used to save cost within your business, so make sure you take the time to add it to your customer journey.  Automated emails to remind the recipient about a booked appointment or confirm when a service is about to run out can save the cost of more traditional marketing messages.

So next time you are focusing on the finer details of a campaign, make sure you take the time to think about the basic principles of email marketing.  Often the biggest returns will come from getting the basics right.

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James Bunting

About James Bunting

James has worked at leading email & mobile marketing provider Communicator since its incorporation in 2003, now driving the organisation forward as Managing Director. He is an advocate of email marketing and works closely with the Direct Marketing Association to move the email marketing industry forward, now sitting as the Vice President of DMA UK Email Council. Sending email marketing campaigns since the late 90’s, James has developed a wide range of knowledge and experience, working with a range of Communicator clients including The Co-operative Group, Matalan, Adidas and John Smedley to deliver email marketing strategy delivering genuine return on investment. Having taught on the IDM’s Award in Email Marketing for a number of years now, James has a genuine passion for email and loves helping people learn more about the channel, seeing how their knowledge and results can develop over time.