It's no secret that 2009 will be a challenging year for business owners. As the line between success and failure shrinks, it pays to make the most of your marketing efforts. E-mail marketing, when done well, is a highly effective tool to drive sales and to build customer loyalty.
As the head of marketing at Campaigner.com, an e-mail marketing solutions provider based in Canada, Luc Vezina knows a thing or two about e-mail marketing. Vezina sent us his top five suggestions on how to improve the results you get in your 2009 e-mail marketing campaigns.
1. Clean Your E-mail List
Maintaining a clean list is a challenge for businesses of all sizes, especially small business owners who often dont have dedicated staff to handle such tasks. Start fresh by scrubbing your list before sending your first campaign of the New Year. Youll improve your e-mail marketing performance, your reputation and your deliverability rates. The first step is make sure your unsubscribe requests are up-to-date.
2. Review What Worked and What Didnt
Take a close look at your 2008 e-mail marketing successes and failures so you can repeat the winning campaigns and cut the under-performers. Refresh your 2009 campaigns by combining elements of your most successful e-mail marketing tactics to get even better results.
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3. Make a 2009 E-mail Marketing Plan
We all work so hard and run so fast that many of us leave e-mail marketing campaigns to the last minute. A great way to improve e-mail marketing effectiveness is to look at the calendar through your customers eyes.
Ask yourself what business and seasonal cycles are most relevant to your target audiences, and then create an e-mail marketing campaign calendar mapped to those cycles. Planning your top campaigns for the year will ensure that your e-mail marketing campaigns are timely and relevant something customers always appreciate.
4. Use Customer Data
Many small businesses use CRM and lead-generation systems that are filled with rich customer data that you can integrate with your e-mail marketing service to dramatically improve campaign results. You can also build more targeted, segmented lists based on customer data.
Even if you dont use a CRM system, you can still segment your lists based on purchasing data. You can also conduct a quick poll through your e-mail marketing service to gather more information from your customers that will help you improve the targeting, relevance and timeliness of your campaigns.
5. Try Something New
Challenge yourself in 2009 by trying something new in your e-mail marketing campaigns. Embed a video file or podcast to make your campaigns more interactive and engaging. If you havent used A/B testing to gauge response to your campaigns, give it a whirl in 2009. Youll be amazed at what you learn about your customers, and how you can use that information to improve results and drive sales.Automated trigger campaigns can also improve the timeliness and relevance of your e-mail marketing campaigns. It might sound too complicated or time intensive, but a good e-mail marketing service should have the tools and technologies to make it easy for you.
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