5 rules for killer email campaigns- JAN 25, 2015 | BY AMY MCILWAIN

If you think email’s dead, you’re dead wrong. A well-targeted email is one of the best lead-generation tools there is.

In the wake of the social-media revolution, you may be thinking that email prospecting is dead. But according to an Atlantic article entitled “Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet,” “email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built.”

With that in mind, here are five rules for your next innovative email campaign:

Know your customer. An excellent method for understanding your target audience is to create “personas” for each client group you serve. A persona should include characteristics such as job title, industry, interests and goals. Once you’ve grouped clients and prospects by persona, you can customize your emails to fit each group. By segmenting your customer base this way, you can avoid generic, one-size-fits-all messages.

Collect individualized information. A huge list of email addresses is a great start, but you can do a lot more with that intelligence. For example, use lead-capture forms to learn prospects’ complete names, their businesses, their Twitter handles and the best time to call. Then integrate your lead-management system with your marketing software so you can log phone and email contacts as well as track which content prospects have downloaded from your website.

Use the right language. Your tone of voice and the wording you use in your emails are as important as the careful segmentation of your customer database. Be sure to use language and content aligned with the persona you’re targeting. For example, if you’re emailing a group of prospects grappling with their kids’ college education costs, speak to the benefits of a 529 plan.

Track your success. Use your lead-management system to track the success of your email campaign and coordinate with staff to avoid email duplication. By keeping track of your firm’s email history, you can determine which types of content (webinars, for example) are most appealing to a given persona.

Grow your email list. In a recent poll by digital marketer Robbie Richards, more than 60 online marketing experts were asked which tools they use to grow their email lists. The winners were:

LeadPages. Creates attractive and actionable landing pages.

SumoMe. Shows how well your pages are converting.

MailChimp. Lets you create, send and track emails.

Don’t let your enthusiasm for social media distract you from the important opportunities presented by email. With the right approach, this lead-generation tool can help turn your prospect list into a client list.

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