Whenever you send out an email campaign you should have a clear objective in mind for it. So, ask yourself what you need to achieve with it: are you looking to get repeat business from existing customers, or perhaps you want to nurture leads. Once you have established this, set some more precise goals. If you’ve exhibited at a trade show and have collected contact details from new prospects, you could be sending them follow-up information, with the goal being that they request more specific details.
An important thing to remember is to concentrate on one thing at a time and have a clear ‘call to action’ for the recipient to follow. For example, you may have a restaurant and want to run an offer to fill tables on a Wednesday night. Your email would simply be just about that, clearly stating what the offer is and when it is for. Including a distinct ‘Click here to book your table’ button gives your customers no doubt as to what they need to do. This also helps you to measure how successful your campaign is. Reports from your email marketing system will be able to tell you:
- How many people the email was sent to
- The number of recipients that opened it (Open Rate)
- How many people clicked on the button (Click-Through Rate)
Not everyone is going to open every email you send, and not everyone is going to click on links that it contains. Your Open Rates and Click-Through Rates will be expressed as percentages of the number of people the email was sent to. Different business sectors can expect different rates. Systems like MailChimp ask their users what sector they are in, allowing them to build up profiles of each area. When you send a campaign you’ll be shown your own Open & Click-Through Rates compared to the industry average on their platform. This allows you to see how your communications perform compared to others in the same sector.
Using the restaurant example again, ultimately, the success of your campaign will be measured by how many tables you fill on Wednesday night on the back of it. If you had a good Open Rate but a poor Click-Through Rate and not many tables being filled, do you need to rethink your offer, or was the message in the email clear enough?
In the next article about email marketing, we’ll look at how you can tweak your campaigns over time to improve their performance.