Keys to successful email marketing

WHEN you're heading into an email marketing campaign, make sure you have a plan.

ENSURE you are working to a larger plan than simply the email you are about to send. Have a complete digital marketing strategy in place, and ensure each email is well thought out part of that overall plan. If you rush into email marketing without a plan, you could be doing more harm than good.

Don't turn up invited

UNLESS you have been given permission to send an email, do not do so. Sending unsolicited emails is the digital equivalent of those annoying telemarketing calls - and nobody likes those. Also ensure your emails have an "unsubscribe" feature so people can opt out.

Include links and easy ways to action

ENSURE that your email includes links to the appropriate page or pages in your website and an easy way for the recipient to act on your call to action. The easier it is for the recipient to connect back to you, the more likely you will get a response.

Less is more

KEEP it short and sweet. Don't try and include every detail of your company or you risk your message being lost. Work out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it and make sure your copy is catchy and to the point.

Use images

TEXT-only emails will not generate as much interest as images that feature a combination of text, images and if possible video. While you must be mindful not to overload your email with unnecessary elements, it still needs to be engaging and appealing or it will go straight into the trash.

Test it first

SENDING an email with links or functions that do not work properly will only make the recipient lose faith in your business. Do a test run within the business each and every time you send an e-newsletter or marketing email.

Be prepared for a response

IF YOU send a marketing email with a call to action, be sure you are prepared to respond and that you can deliver on any promises or guarantees made in the email.

Track your campaign

ONCE you have hit send, there is still plenty of work to be done. Measure your results: keep track of how many emails you sent, how many bounced back, how many recipients responded to the call to action, how many unsubscribed. Use this information to help inform your strategies in the future.

online spending on the rise

According to National Australia Bank's (NAB) latest report*, online retail experienced very strong growth in February, with sales growing 1.7% compared to January (0.3%). This growth is much faster than that recorded in February 2014 (0.2%) and the NAB estimates online sales are now 8.7% higher compared to a year ago.

*Source: NAB Online Retail Sales Index, April.\