Program Your E-mail Marketing
Most recipients of business-to-business messages read their e-mail at work. Avoid sending e-mails over the weekend or in the evening—it's easy to be overlooked on a hectic morning. Lunchtime or around noon works well, because some people catch up with their mail during the lunch hour.
If you are sending business-to-consumer e-mails to personal accounts, nights and weekends work best, since consumers generally read these at home.
Consistent creative and layout make your communications recognizable and navigational. It allows readers to instantly determine what they're receiving and whether they want to read further.
Begin by building a template to create an easily recognizable look—it'll save the effort of recreating graphics each time you send a campaign. Also, develop features that appear in every issue. This will increase click-throughs by making navigation easier for recipients.
The best data come from your house list. These people are warm leads because they've previously expressed interest in your company and are likely to be receptive of your message. Build your house list by collecting e-mail addresses from customers and prospects at every touch point.
Renting lists is an option for companies with small or non-existent house lists, and may work for acquisition purposes, but it's not a practical long term strategy. Response rates from rented lists are significantly lower than house lists.
Above all, when e-mailing to rented lists or house lists, be sure to ask permission!
It's possible to judge the success of your message and strategy seconds after launching an e-mail campaign by tracking open rates and click-through rates. Start by testing the most important aspects of your campaign, such as timing and frequency. Determine which day of the week and what time of day results in the highest open rates for your message. Test only one factor at a time so you know what really impacted your results.