Creating successful email marketing campaigns

To most eCommerce businesses and eTailers, email marketing today is one of the most cost-effective and efficient methods to sell products to prospective or existing customers, to generate repeat sales or simply to stay in touch with Internet users from all over the world.

Contrary to spam or unwanted (and UNWELCOMED) emails, targeted email marketing, often times called permission-based email marketing can be a strong addition for online marketers, on the condition that it is used appropriately.

For most email marketing campaigns, overall startup costs are so low that almost any eTailer can successfully integrate a smartly-designed campaign for his or her eCommerce Web site in a relatively short time.

With only a few rules of engagement, chances are good that it will make a reasonable ROI (return on investment) very quickly. In many cases, the results can be almost immediate.

Additionally, professional email marketing isn't just a way to get your brand or products in front of people, it's also a new opportunity to establish engagement, make new contacts and increase communications with new or existing customers.

If you're serious about e-mail marketing, we've made available a small list of important things to remember and do:

Number 1 - Whatever you do, DO NOT SPAM! Don't waste your time or other's sending emails to recipients who never asked your email, don't need what you sell, don't want your products or services and don't wish to know nothing about you! It is strongly recommended that you use "opt-in" e-mail lists to greatly optimize your marketing efforts. Don't use an address list of so-called hot prospects ready to buy. You can encourage individuals to visit your Web site with special offers to those who already opted-in. Banner ads can also drive people who have some interest in what you have to offer. Of course, marketing materials of any kind should include your company name, along with a link to your Web site. Once there, make it easy for Internet users to act upon your offer. One great way to accomplish this is with the use of carefully crafted landing pages. Marketing experts agree that a good landing page can make a big difference in the overall success of an email marketing campaign.


Number 2 - Marketing research done exclusively for the Internet shows that prospective buyers act on offers of value more than anything else. If you're having a sale on a specific or unique product, previous customers that have already bought that product are the perfect people to buy similar products when they go on sale on your site. Create value for them. Make them come back. The most successful email marketing programs track this data and use it intelligently. Try to think like a potential customer and answer the question: "Is my email address worth parting with?" In the age of the Internet, it's the equivalent of asking for a phone number that is privately listed, ie: not available in phone books!

Number 3 - Remember that your email message MUST be integrated with both content and various feedback methods in the form of product up-sells or cross-sells that will leverage your customer data to meet your specific needs. Overall, surveys that allow your customers in providing data that can be used to better service and connect with the consumer can be of immense help to any of your marketing campaigns.

Number 4 - Use the information that is provided to you from Number 3 to selectively keep them well informed. Your message needs to be relevant and concise. If you are a sporting goods store, and one of your previous customers bought fishing equipment for her husband last year, your e-mail message can remind this person of say Father's Day and provide selective information about new fishing gear that just arrived that could be perfect for that up-and-coming anniversary. Your imagination can play a big role here. This will place you in a strong position of providing relevant information that is needed and welcomed. Most of all, it is time-sensitive information and it provides new product information based upon the customer's past behaviour.

In conclusion, regardless of size, it's also important to note that any eTailer or eCommerce business can afford almost any email marketing program. Additionally, small businesses can get in the game for a relatively small investment.

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