Sending an email that gets a click to ‘open’ rather than a click to ‘trash’ takes a little more thought today than it did when the @ symbol first denoted sending messages between computers in 1972.
However, innovation, eye-catching design and a targeted approach, has seen email campaigns overtake direct mailings in terms of volume and cost effectiveness.
Offering a managed service, we can oversee all aspects of an email campaign from initial design and build, to setup, sending and analytics, either using client preferred email tools or through our recommendation based on the specific needs. Equally, we often work together with other marketing professionals to deliver selected elements of successful email campaigns.
With our in-house expertise, planning your email campaign could not be simpler to ensure the outcome is tried and tested, relevant and strong with measurable results that can be built upon and maximised. The power of email is rarely seen in a single one-off message. Leveraging a regular and acceptable level of communication is typically the key to long term positive results.
Top level factors that need to be considered when creating effective creative email campaigns are:
Poorly executed email marketing campaigns are not just ineffective but are also annoying to the recipient, not to mention potentially illegal. At Fourleaf, we focus on creative email campaigns that are targeted, ethical and effective.
However, the individual effectiveness of an email campaign will vary widely according to the specifics of the subject and audience. For example, an inventive email campaign to existing customers in a niche Hobbyist area such as model planes, could deliver an open rate of between 25% and 35%, while a consultancy services company might only achieve between 15% and 20%. The click through rate will also be quite different with around 4% to 10% for niche hobbyists while only 1.5% to 5% for consultancy services. Therefore, it is wise to not focus on the norms of email marketing as a whole.
We do however recommend that clients always set ambitious but reachable targets with a series of KPI’s such as open rates, click through rates, unsubscribes and sign-ups. By having a measurable set of targets we can ensure that our campaigns stay on track and deliver good returns.
What makes good quality creative email campaigns stand out from other marketing forms such as direct mail, is the tracking capabilities. When a direct mail is sent in the post, you have no way of knowing what happened to it, whether it was read or thrown away. With email marketing, tracking can provide an in depth analysis of who opened your email, how many times they opened it, whether they clicked on any links or if they forwarded the email. This kind of insight is invaluable as a marketer. Using the data from analytics to inform decisions will also significantly help you generate returns.
Once setup, the tracking of email campaigns is completely automated and works via simple unnoticeable image downloads within the email. When a download is triggered, it reports back to your email analytics that an “event” has taken place and this can be seen in your analytics dashboard.
We are often asked what is “the best” solution but in reality there is not a straightforward answer. At Fourleaf we do not recommend a one size fits all for which email platform or software you should use. Over the years we have used many different systems which all have their own benefits. While we do have our favourites, we recommend software providers on a case by case basis depending on client requirements. This can be based on:
We combine all these factors to make our recommendation on which is “the best” email marketing service or software for your specific needs. The most valuable thing you can do is to carefully think about and document all of the requirements you have. Selecting the right solution for the right reasons from the outset is imperative as changing platforms later can be extremely time consuming.
Marketing via email is not that much different to other forms of marketing. To ensure you comply with the law, you must still adhere to sensible rules. However, the laws surrounding email marketing are a lot more complex than many marketers realise. It is also important to note that B2C and B2B email marketing laws vary.
In either case, you must provide users with a simple way to unsubscribe or opt out of further emails. Usually this is handled automatically via an unsubscribe link or a simple reply email but it can be via other methods if needed. As long as their email address is removed from your list within 30 days of opting out, you have complied with your obligations.
You must also be clear and honest as to who you are, the fact that you are selling something if that is the intention of the email and the details of any promotions, offers or conditions.
If you are sending to a business in England and Wales (which can either be a Limited company, PLC, LLP, school, hospital or government department), you are allowed to send speculative, non-opted in emails as long as they are relevant and in a business context.
If you are sending to B2C emails, you can only send email marketing or campaigns to people that have given you permission to do so, also known as “opted in”. This opt in process usually happens at the point of signup to an email list, at the time of a purchase or at the attendance of an event etc. Just because someone is or has been a customer, does not give you the automatic right to email them in a marketing campaign.
The main point to learn is that email marketing law is not straightforward. You should either do your homework or make sure you use a professional creative email campaign service provider like Fourleaf.
Additionally, while there are legal aspects you must make sure you adhere to, we always advise our clients to also adhere to best practice guidelines. Although not mandatory, legal requirements best practice rules are there for a good reason. They hold you in people’s minds for the right reasons, rather than the wrong ones.