Getting people to register with your website to receive additional information and periodic updates about your products and services as well as other related information is a great way to build a community of interest around your business, and a valuable marketing tool.
Once you've got an email list, the trick to getting the best response from your email marketing campaigns is to ensure you're sending-out content that gives people good reason to respond. Too often marketers and businesses lose valuable (and hard won) list members by applying a scatter-gun approach to their email list marketing.
Being selective about what you market through your email list is vitally important. The messages being sent to the list need to fit with the reasons people became members/subscribers in the first place. And staying true to the theme of the list greatly increases open rates and conversions.
For instance, if you're a member of a fashion magazine and have signed-up for new email product updates, then you mightn't mind receiving an email promotion from Revlon or Levis. But if you start receiving email promotions for Tiffany toasters via a fashion email list there's every chance you'll ignore it, bin it or block the email list all together.
You usually only get one shot at engaging your email list members in a campaign, so testing your message is essential. Develop two emails that approach your proposition from completely different angles. The idea is to use trial and error to hone-in on the most effective strategy.
Where this approach usually fails is when business owners assume they know how the list members will respond, and so they craft two messages that are different-yet-similar. Then when they get poor results from their campaign they pronounce the uselessness of email marketing and return to their old cost-and-time-intensive approaches.
So be aware that often what you think is the most logical or obvious approach will not be what the email list responds to, so try to craft two very distinct emails and let the list decide what works.
Once you've sent the two versions off to a small sample of your email list and have identified the best response, then you can further test your message. Modify the headline, the image, the offer - but only one thing at a time. Send out these variations and see which gets the best response. Once you have the winner, send it to the balance of the email list.
When considering email list marketing, most business owners first want to know what the average response rate is for email marketing in general and for their industry specifically. Unfortunately, when you're dealing with the vagaries of large groups of people, there's no typical situation.
Some knowns are that a big brand-name is usually going to achieve a better open rate than an unknown brand. Also, as with most products and marketing initiatives, timing, price and value are major factors. So in the absence of a magic bullet, the best way to approach email marketing is to work out what percentage you need to break even, and what percentage you need to consider the campaign a success. If the success figure is below 5% (preferably closer to 1%) then you're in with a chance.
If you've yet to establish an email list of your own then you can buy or hire one. Here's how it works:
Firstly, there's usually a set-up fee. Then the charges are per 1,000 records, with some email list brokers demanding a minimum spend amount. Prices range depending on whether you're renting the list or want ownership of the records. Renting the list can start from $20 or $40 per thousand and outright ownership can be as much at $1.00 per record.
Ultimately, deciding which email list marketing solution to go with will come down to either access (can you generate your own list) or price versus list quality. If you're unsure which email list methods best suit your needs, budget and business then consult a professional to help you fully reap the benefits of email marketing.