The growth of the internet and advances in digital technology have made things that were traditionally the domain of experts accessible to the average person.
For example, once upon a time musicians relied on a professional recording studio to record and mix songs of broadcast quality. Today, with the right software and equipment, bands can produce studio-quality albums in a suburban lounge room. They can set up CD covers with professional quality graphics software and then market their product online via streaming services and social media platforms.
Similarly, authors can now self-publish and market their books, setting up a professional finished print product, while controlling its marketing and distribution internationally to traditional “brick and mortar” bookshops as well as online distributors like Amazon.
Setting up your email and marketing management
All of the tools and the software necessary to set-up and run a digital or online marketing campaign is similarly now in the reach of business owners.
Regardless of the size or the scale of a commercial concern, business owners now have the capacity to run professional marketing campaigns with the right knowledge and tools.
A provider such as rocketseed.com can supply email management software to ensure a professional-looking campaign.
Let’s investigate some of the steps to success for the first campaign.
Build a prospects list
A vital first step is the establishment of a list of prospects (also called a ‘subscriber list’) to market the campaign to. Established businesses may already have an existing database of past customers and prospective clients.
A range of online strategies should be considered to enhance and further build upon this database of email contacts:
- Use the business website and social media pages to encourage interaction with guests and visitors.
- Develop a regular newsletter to maintain a connection with visitors.
- Offer freebies, competitions, and giveaways
- Encourage site visitors and customers to participate in surveys.
Treat your prospects list as a continual ‘work in progress’ and keep adding to this database, as this will form the basis for your online marketing campaign.
Decide on an objective
As simple as it sounds, spending some time to set down the desired goal or objective of the proposed marketing campaign is critical to its overall success.
This is the rudder for the ship, and knowing what the desired objective is will set the path for the tone and content of the marketing material, which will be sent to recipients on the prospects list.
Typical objectives of an online marketing campaign will include:
- Increasing traffic to the business website or social media page
- Increasing sales of products and services
- Gaining an increased following
- Following up on previous expressions of interest and/or converting previous inquiries into sales
- Encouraging repeat business
- Asking for referrals
Understand who your target audience is
Imagine being asked to provide background music for a dinner function. What would be the best music to play? The simple answer to this question is: The background music would largely depend upon the audience to whom it will be played – their age group, gender, general interests (if known), and the type of function (formal or informal).
In exactly the same way, the successful email marketing manager will need to be equipped with some ‘market intelligence’ with respect to the target audience for the campaign. This will set the tone for the kind of language, style, and content used in the outgoing emails.
The campaign material should:
- Attract the attention of the target audience
- Hold the reader’s interest
- Be relevant to the recipient, and
- Provide value
Ensure that your message is clear
Having decided upon who the marketing message is to be sent to and the kind of tone and style that message will have, the next step is to ensure that the message is clear and concise.
The fact is, people are bombarded with emails daily. Much of that email traffic is spam or unsolicited messaging.
The difference with the professional marketing campaign is that if the aforementioned steps have been followed, the message being sent will be of interest and as relevant to the person receiving it as possible.
A clear and concise message will further ensure that the marketing message is read by the recipient after it is opened.
Remember that people move quickly in the digital world, and they will move on quickly if they sense that someone is using a line on them or wasting their time.
- Do be honest – don’t pretend that your ad is about one thing and then do something else
- Don’t be vague – come to the marketing point as quickly as possible
Set a clear ‘call to action’
Returning to the dinner function analogy – the dinner guests are all seated, the style of background music fits the occasion perfectly, and now it is time to ask the guests to rise and go to the buffet table to be served.
A successful email marketing campaign must include a clear call to action to direct the reader to do something. This connects back to the overall objective or goal of the campaign.
Use clear directions, and don’t be vague. A typical call to action may be something along the following line:
- Visit our site and check out our new product range
- Place an order today and get a 10% discount
- Purchase online this month and receive a second one free
- Receive a 20% discount with your next purchase
Monitor and measure your campaign success
No marketing campaign can be considered complete without some form of recording of response or success. This may be as basic as recording the number of sales from a specific mail-out, or monitoring the increase in website traffic.
Perhaps a campaign was more successful in a particular season (summer or winter), a particular month or day of the week. Perhaps there was a better response from a certain age group or location.
This step should be considered as an important part of developing marketing intelligence that can further refine and shape future campaigns.
With current technology, setting up and managing a successful email marketing campaign is within the reach and capability of the average business owner. By following a few basic steps and ground rules, marketing campaigns can be developed and built upon at a relatively low cost.
Supporting software and marketing tools are available to assist the marketing manager further to grow into more sophisticated campaigns.