Most of us use email as our primary form of communication and I strongly suspect that most people will have dabbled in email marketing – using a service such as MailChimp to carry out a sales-based marketing campaign. We help loads of businesses and organisations with getting the most from their email marketing so we thought we’d do a short series on what we consider to be best practice. We hope you find this really useful.

When it comes to making the most from email marketing, there are three core things to bear in mind: research, values and consistency.

If you are trying to target a specific sector (care homes, schools, retail for example) then do as much research on that sector as you can so you can make the message as relevant as possible. The less generic and ‘salesy’ you can make it, the better. The more personal and interesting the email is, the greater the chance you have of the email not being deleted or people clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button. Email marketing works at its best when you have an existing relationship with the prospect.

The email should go out to a real person… Dear John… not Dear Business Owner. Get your data right. You don’t want to end up spamming potential clients. Ensure you have their permission to send them emails. On the email (usually in the footer) it’s good to say why they are getting the email… “You are receiving this email because you have signed up via our website” for example. Recently I got an email from a company that has a service we are seeking to invest in. However, this email clearly came through unsolicited and felt like the email equivalent of cold-calling. I read the email, unsubscribed and deleted it.

If you are going to send a one-off sales campaign ensure that the call to action directs them to a specific web-page with more info on it. If you have done your homework and tailored the content of the email correctly then the last thing you want to do is send them to the home page or a generic page on your site. Create a landing page with specific content and a strong call to action. Hopefully prospects will turn into clients.

Word of Warning: while there is a place for one-off sales campaigns, the chances are that most people will do what I did with the email I mentioned earlier. Next time I’ll be talking about the heart of good email marketing – values.

Until then, take care.