Relevancy drives ROI in e-mail marketing

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Jupiter Research says e-mail open rate is 20 percent and the average click-through rate is maybe 9 percent. So, it is crucial to make e-mails more relevant to achieve greater results. In order to make e-mails more likely to be opened and converted into revenue, there is a four-step process to follow.

Know your audience. This is the step that many marketers overlook during the e-mail marketing process. Understanding each of our recipients is critical. The following questions will help you know your audience: What's important to the recipient? What profile characteristics do they have? What are their purchase tendencies or demographics? Successful marketers set up profiling Web pages and subscription management sites in order to ask their customers key questions. Better information means better campaigns yielding better results. Obtaining solid recipient data yields long-term benefits and is worth the investment.

Mail only relevant information. Once you have a valid database of information, and you truly know your audience, do not waste that knowledge by mailing a generic e-mail offer to everyone. As a marketer you must spend time to understand how the message can be segmented to the various recipients. For example, a clothing retail customer might segment based on customer preference, clothing size or type of apparel. A travel company might want to segment their list based on how frequently their customers travel, or on frequent flyer status, city and state, so as to leverage where the customer might potentially fly from or to, and more.

Design a strong wire frame template. Remember, if the message is not appealing enough to your audience with the call to action highlighted correctly, your message is going to be deleted. Here are a couple of important points to remember when designing an e-mail wire frame template:

Logo placement in the upper left is always a strong position, but note that the top 2 inches to 4 inches are prime reading space, so use them wisely.

Length of message - keep it short, and remember promotional messages should be readable in no more than two scroll downs.

Avoid many different colors and fonts. Make your call to action clear so that your audience knows what to do. The call to action should be easy to find within the first scroll.

Don't overload your audience. Remember that most consumers are being approached by dozens of other marketers every day. You want to make your brand and offer recognizable, unique and hopefully highly anticipated from your audience. One way to do this is to manage your frequency. Do not send your client base too much mail, or you run the risk of losing what is unique and highly anticipated about your offer. It is important to test, and to double-check that you know both what your client base wants and how often they want it.

Set the stage at the beginning of your campaign. If you have a weekly offer, set expectations and let your base know that this is a weekly offer and they can expect to get a message per week. You can even go so far as to communicate the day that the message will be delivered, if you have a preference.

Every marketer should be able to review these key components and have a strong program that has significant return.

When creating your e-mail strategy, ask yourself some key questions. Do I know my list segmentation? What are my objectives in list segmentation? How large is my list size? Am I capturing enough information about my client base? How often am I mailing to my client base? Is my message relevant to each individual recipient? Have I clearly communicated my call to action? Have I created a strong wire frame template?

Once you have created a relevant message, you will be amazed at the results you will achieve. Keep it simple, but relevant.

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