I was helping one of our Insider Programme members last week with setting up a new email marketing programme, and it was a joy to be working with a company which is so open to new ideas and which wants to know what’s working at the moment (it made me do some homework!). I’ve tried to find an article for you all which summarises – and backs up – the advice I’ve given them, and here it is.
“Purchasing email lists is NEVER a good idea. Ever.” on BeRelevant! gives the following advice: email lists you can buy and use yourself should be avoided at all costs; email lists you “rent” (i.e the owner keeps the list private but sends your email out for you) are good for specific campaigns; but nothing beats building and maintaining your own list. In my discussions with the client last week we reviewed ways of building customer and prospect email lists, and settled on a couple of initiatives which I’m quite excited about. If you’re not putting in the effort to build your own email marketing list, you really should be.
And don’t ever think “it’s too late, I should have done this years ago”, like many companies do. As much as 30% of an email list can “turn over” (become redundant) in a year …so you could quite quickly build up a list as big as any competitor, if they’re not actively managing their own – and many aren’t.
For the many people who became readers of this blog in the past few days, I should point out that my daily ramblings aren’t usually anything like the length of those you saw last week. Normally I point to another article about online marketing, selected from hundreds of bloggers and authors I read regularly. Today I’d like to draw your attention to an article on the BeRelevant! site which summarises a recent research report on email subject lines.
According to the report discussed in Subject Line Research Reveals Content is as Important as Length, when you’re sending out emails, the first 38 to 47 characters of the subject line are the important ones, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your subject lines to 38 to 47 characters – you just need to get the good stuff in the first few words. And don’t forget – no matter how great your message, no matter how good the offer, anyone who finds the subject line too boring will never read what you have to say.
Hands up who’s doing PPC (pay per click) advertising? You know, Google AdWords and the like? Hmm, that’s quite a lot of you. And I see a few of you, even at fairly small companies, spending as much as you ever did on print advertising – and the monthly expenditure is rising too. So perhaps we need to take stock of where we are.
In 7 Signs Your PPC Campaigns Needs Optimization on the Marketing Optimization Blog the author contends that you’re probably not doing AdWords as efficiently as you might, and I’m sure you’ll be big enough to admit that’s probably the case.
The thing about AdWords is that whilst it can be used simply to drive traffic to your website (and that’s all many people are using it for), it can also be quite an expensive way of doing that. Those fifty-pence clicks add up if you’re just sending people to your website and not taking them so a highly-targeted page, with a great call to action, that you’re measuring accurately.
On the other hand, for specific campaigns (like distributing certain catalogues and data sheets, or sending out invitations, or even generating sales calls), the combination of an AdWords campaign and a targeted landing page is dynamite. We have a number of new products coming out here at Business Marketing Online in the new year, and one of them will be just perfect for those of you who are spending money on AdWords but want to see it generate real sales leads. To find out more, send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll make sure you’re one of the group who get an advanced look at what we’re doing in the spring.
Thanks to BeRelevant for pointing out that a nice little e-book called The Practical Guide to Email Marketing is available for free download – go get your copy now while it’s still available. If you do any sort of promotional emailing for your company, I’m pretty certain you’ll find some good tips inside.
I mentioned not neglecting “snail mail” the other day, and in Direct Mail Versus E-mail: You Decide on the BeRelevant! blog, the strengths and weaknesses of the two methods are discussed. Of course, in the end, it all comes down to return on investment. You do know the return on investment figures for recent mailing campaigns in your business, don’t you? Of course you do.