Even though social media gets a lot of attention these days, e-mail marketing remains a strong and proven performer in the industrial space. But to continue getting results and a return on your investment from e-mail marketing, you must keep up with changes in your audience’s behavior and advances in technology. Here are five ways to improve e-mail marketing in 2010.
1. Segment your list
If you’re like most companies, your e-mail list contains a variety of audience types with different interests. If you’ve been broadcasting the same e-mails to your entire list, you’ve probably lost the attention of a portion of your audience. You can avoid this by segmenting your list and sending relevant content for each group.
Depending on what type of data you have on your subscribers, you can segment them by product type, industry, or other key factors. If you don’t have enough information on your subscribers, you can get it by asking them.
2. Get interactive with your audience
If you’re in the same old e-mail newsletter rut, it’s time to break out and get more interactive. Integrating e-mails with social media tools is one way to interact with your audience. You can also try conducting online surveys or polls. A simple poll question allows subscribers to quickly engage with you—and you might be able to collect valuable data. Longer surveys are especially useful for conducting market research or measuring customer satisfaction.
You could also consider tactics like posting a video and asking subscribers to rate it. Or present them with two photos of a product (for example, different angles or details) and ask which one is more useful for showing how the product works. Use your imagination to get your audience involved.
3. Integrate with social media applications
There’s a reason social media gets a lot of attention: it’s a growing phenomenon, even in the industrial sector. Consider integrating your marketing e-mails with social media to expand your reach and grow your e-mail list. Here are some ways:
- Include sharing options in your marketing e-mails, such as the ‘Forward to a Friend’ feature.
- Add sign-up forms for your e-mail list on social media pages such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Include ‘Follow Us’ icons for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in your marketing e-mails. You can see how GlobalSpec does this in the Marketing Maven e-mail.
- When you post a new blog entry, send it to your e-mail list.
4. Test for other reading devices
According to the Direct Marketing Association, 20% of all recipients view e-mails on smart phones or other handheld devices. Make sure you test how your e-mails render on different devices to ensure your audience has a positive reading experience. While almost every e-mail marketing service will automatically create a text version of your HTML e-mail, you should carefully review the text version before sending. Make sure the headlines are obvious and the content is divided into easy-to-read chunks.
5. Reach new audiences with e-newsletter advertisements
If you want to connect with a specialized or hard to reach audience, try advertising in third-party e-newsletters. Choose e-newsletters that target the audience you want to reach. Ask if the publisher provides timely and useful reporting data on the results of your ad (such as views and clicks). GlobalSpec offers more than 60 targeted e-newsletters that reach specific, opt-in audiences. You can check them out here.
Another advantage of advertising in e-newsletters is that the publisher does all the work of list management, e-mail production, and sending. All you typically have to do is provide the creative. Don’t forget to build a landing page on your Web site specifically for people that click on your e-newsletter advertisement.