Social Media Comes Second – Optimize E-mail First
A recent article in Fast Company has likened e-mail to the “original social media.” The author even went so far as to query: “Ask yourself how many times a day you check your email account. Now compare that to the number of times you check your Facebook page and Twitter account.” This author is not far off. With every company finding their social media strategy at Facebook, Twitter, and the latest concept, Google Buzz, many can forget that electronic messaging can be just as an effective tool as attracting fans and followers. Now, that’s not to say that social media is not an important part of today’s business marketing, but before you build up your social strategy, consider optimizing your e-mail marketing plan first.
Optimizing E-mail According to the DMA, e-mail marketing still has a higher ROI over other marketing channels – that means that e-mail’s potential conversion rate for sales leads, purchasing, and calls to action is still a best bet. But how can you bring your e-mail efficiency up to 100% to maximize your responses?
Stand Out from the Crowd: Be sure that your company name is stated clearly within the e-mail domain and/or the subject line of the e-mail. Also, subject lines must convey your message clearly and state the call to action of your e-mail.
Customize Your Message: Integration between your CRM database and your customer mailing lists allows you to send specific messaging that connects to your customers. This data allows you to personalize the content and promotional offers based on customer information that you’ve previously captured.
Set Your Schedule: One of the benefits of e-mail is that it can be sent immediately or scheduled for a later date. Use that to your advantage by planning your e-mail campaign to coincide with an event, such as the debut of a new product/service or even a customer’s birthday.
Maintain Mailing Lists: When mailing to prospects, choose a list that matches your demographic criteria. And be sure to maintain your current customer lists, either manually or through CRM, to keep them up-to-date.
Follow CAN-SPAM Regulations: Give your e-mail recipients clear instructions for unsubscribing to your mailings to prevent your e-mail marketing from quickly being labeled as spam or junk mail. Additionally, research the CAN-SPAM policies to prevent any violations.
Take Optimization to the Next Level Once your e-mail has been optimized, follow through on maximizing the effectiveness of your other direct/integrated marketing strategy – direct mail campaigns, your website, PR, paid search and more. Once you have mastered your current set of marketing tools, social media can become an additional medium for promoting your products and services and your brand.