The business landscape has changed forever thanks to information technology. There are 3.6 billion internet users. That accounts for about 40 percent of the population of earth. While the marketing platforms of print media, radio and television were the standard bearers of the past, all of them are quickly being eclipsed by internet advertising.

There are many different ways to market your goods and services over the internet. Perhaps the most basic yet effective is email. However, email marketing is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. How deeply most people hate email “spam” is a certain testament to that. With that in mind, here is some advice on how a small to medium sized business can utilize email marketing drip campaigns to their advantage while avoiding some of the common pitfalls.

Solicited E-Mail Is Always Superior to Unsolicited E-Mail

As previously mentioned, the accusation of being spam is the bane of email marketing. Spam makes up 45 percent of all e-mail. 74 trillion emails are sent every year. That’s a lot of spam. However, despite how common spam is, it is absolutely despised by consumers.

Many companies have never adequately learned this lesson. Not only are their e-mails never read, they are reported as spam to email clients. Those companies often are added to email filters and blocked as a default by many email services. The possibility of producing conversions then becomes impossible because the e-mails are never actually received in the first place.

Instead, a great tactic is using action by the consumer to solicit the sending of e-mail. This often involves an incentive of some kind. For example, you may advertise on your website that people added to the e-mail list will receive coupons. That way, the consumer feels like they are actually receiving value in exchange for agreeing to allow the company to market to them via email. This strategy is always more successful than sending email out to addresses obtained through some means other than the consumer’s own action.

Consider the Format and Content of Your E-Mail

What’s inside the email also of course matters a great deal. There are many different types of emails. However, it’s best to keep it simple. People who read e-mail don’t have a lot of time. They skim over the content at best in most cases. So keep it short and to the point. State the most important message you want to convey in your email in the first sentence or first two sentences at maximum. No one is going to bother reading several paragraphs in an email advertisement. Keep it punchy.

Second, also be conservative about the images and other media contained within your email. Email attachments are generally a mistake because they will be flagged as possibly malicious by many email services. You also need to keep the images used in the email rather basic. Don’t go overboard with too many images or images in exotic formats like Adobe Flash.

Track Your E-Mail Campaigns

Lastly, a very important element of any successful email advertising strategy is the use of email campaign management software. This software can help you compose marketing email and time its release to people on your mailing lists. It can also allow you to track the success of your e-mail campaigns as well. It can produce different data points to track such as the number of click-throughs on links enclosed within the e-mail as well as the number of conversions produced from people that clicked on those links.

Email may be one of the first digital marketing strategies employed by companies. However, despite its reputation, it is still one of the most effective means of reaching consumers on the net. If you wish to employ email marketing, make sure you do so in a thoughtful and strategic manner so your campaign is successful.

 

By:  Kevin Faber