Email Marketing Excellence

Merge will delve into the best practices of email marketing, as well as cover key statistics and the tips and tricks of the trade to maximize results for your company or organization.


Thank you all again for attending Merge’s Email Marketing Excellence webinar on November 3rd, 2010.  I’m Adam Landrum, president of Merge.

What we’ll have is about 30 minutes of presentation. And again we’ll have questions which you can use the question box throughout the webinar.

If I have an opportunity to answer that, I will. If not, I will save it for the end of the webinar and we’ll have about a 20 minute Q and A. So please jot down your questions as we go and/or ask them as we go, and we’ll address them.

So what we’re going to be doing today is that we’re going to look at the major elements and best practices that make up successful email marketing.

I just read a report from Econsultancy. I think there’s 149 page report on email marketing alone. I mean this subject can go so deep and so wide it can make your head spin.

And so we’re going to be touching on the really important aspects of email marketing today. But just you know that you can go so much deeper if you want to. And obviously we’d be happy to answer any questions outside of even what we talk about today.

But our hope is that you’re going to take what you learned from today and go back to your organization to get more results. And that’s what Merge is about. We’re about results and using tools and the web as a whole to generate results for our clients.

I hope that’s what you’re using the web for as well. But what I typically say in this is if you can get one big nugget, one nugget that you can take away and implement, and then that I think that would be a success. Obviously, I hope you get more. But that one nugget would be key.

So let’s go ahead and jump in to key elements of email marketing. The first element is that it all starts with your purpose and goal. And I think this is almost true in anything that we do, but again Merge takes its perspectives from a website in general even to your social media strategy and even to your email marketing strategy.

What is your purpose and goal for what you’re doing? There are different types of purposes and goals. You might have one of these, or you might have many of these.

So the first purpose regarding email marketing might be like, “Hey, I want to improve my image and from a brand new aspect. And so I’m going to email my audience just so they can have this renewed and improved image.”

It may be we need more awareness out in the marketplace. So that’s the purpose of why we’re doing email marketing. It could be educational. And educational might be we have a new product. We have a new service. Or what we do is so different that we have to over time slowly but surely educate the market and our prospects.

It’d be nice if there was lead generation. That might be your purpose and goal. But, hey, when I send out an email, I’m expecting to get leads to this email campaign that we’re doing.

And your goal maybe even be in dollars. It might be, “If we’re going to do email marketing, it has to generate X amount of dollars.” Your purpose and goal could be sales in and of itself.

So once you really identified an answer, “Hey why am I doing email marketing?” Because I think a lot of people may find they don’t know why exactly they’re doing email marketing. They just know they need to do it. It’s smart to do. It’s quote, unquote, ‘effective’. But really at the end of the day when you identify that purpose and goal, what is success? And what are you measuring?

But let’s say we do image and awareness. Our goal, or what we’re measuring in terms of success is, say, “I want to see that my subscriber base is increasing because that means I’m getting more awareness. But I also want to see an open rate,” and I’ll just pick a number arbitrarily, let’s say, 20 percent. “I want to see that either holding steady or increasing over time as well.”

Then I would know, “Hey, this is effective. My name is getting out there and because I’m growing my subscribers, awareness is happening.” So that would just be an example.

An easier example, of course, would be lead generation. Let’s say, I need five new leads out of every email I send out. Then that’s pretty easy to measure.

So, let’s look at another key element of email marketing, and that is your audience. First of all, you have to define your audience. And that can be pretty broad. Is your audience going to be everybody? Is it going to be your customers? Is it going to be your prospects, your vendors? Who are you going to email to? And who are you going to put into your database?

And the reason that this is key is because the broader the audience, the more generic your message is going to need to be. And the more generic your message is, the less effective. But if you decide that, hey, I am only emailing to prospects. Then obviously the message of your email marketing is going to be totally different than if you threw everybody else in there. So we need to definitely consider our audience.

And then also, how are we going to acquire email addresses? So are we going to do this to website sign-ups? Are we going to use our existing database or companies and say, “Hey, everyone’s database we need to start marketing to?”

Now you’re going to have some opt in issues that you’re going to want to consider there. But it’s a question of, if you haven’t started, where do I start it? How do I start building up a database? And the other thing is you could do some list buying.

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