3 Ways to Get Your MBA in Link Usage
by Lindsey Weinig
Some E-marketers send email blasts with reckless abandon; blindly hoping that since they are sending email messages they will surely see the ROI that comes along with Email Marketing. Don’t be one of these E-marketers. While in some cases simply sharing information is a valuable practice, it should not start or end there.
M - Maintain Benchmarks
Define success for your email campaigns. Use your open rate, click rate and other data from previous sends to determine what is ‘average’ for your business. From there you can set your goals for improvement. Keep in mind that interest levels can be measured by the way your contacts interact with your message. Opens show your contact was intrigued by the subject line or initial impression, while clicks confirm your contacts have invested time into your message and offering and therefore are truly interested.
As with most marketing initiatives, increased sales are likely your biggest and most valuable goal. Determine how to measure this for each email campaign you send. Promotion codes are a great method for gathering this information. You can also have your sales team ask customers how they heard about your company or promotional offer for each sale. Any goal must be constrained by a timeframe to help ensure it is indeed a result of your e-marketing initiative.
B - Be Prepared
Once your benchmarks are created it’s time to figure out how to get there. Brainstorm creative ways to segment your list and better cater to your contacts preferences in order to show improvement in your reporting benchmarks. Important considerations for each email campaign are date and time to send, image vs. text ratio, subject line, personality of content (i.e. professional vs. casual), link placement and type (text vs. image), and the offer you’re communicating. For example, some contacts may be more interested in your services while others may be drawn to your products or a specific line of products. Consider sending two similar emails to separate groups and see how the reporting for each group compares. Which type of email garnered more success?
Just as important as preparation before sending is making a plan to follow up with your email campaign. This is the ideal scenario to utilize the Call List which can help you prioritize whom to follow up with first. With the Call List, you can reach out to the contacts that have shown the most interest in your email campaign and close sales quickly. Give your contacts a day or two to interact with your message before following up. After this grace period, follow up quickly so you don’t miss the opportunity.
A - Add Links
When designing your email blasts, deciding on the links to include is a crucial step. It may seem obvious, but links are vital to reaching your benchmarks as well as triggering your follow up strategy. What links will you use to help determine your contacts preferences within your email design? How will you know when a contact is truly interested in your offer?
How do I effectively use Links you ask? Your call to action, or main goal of your communication, should always have a link associated with it. The call to action is a valuable indicator of your recipients’ engagement in your message. Common calls to actions are Order Now, Register Today, Sign Up Now and Get More Info. Depending on your call to action you should include a link to learn more about your promotion, purchase now, or email your sales person from a link inside the email. Links are used to expand on secondary information within your template as well.
Link usage is about balance. Balance your content to link ratio to ensure that you’re not overwhelming your recipients with only links, but have enough links to reach your benchmarks. Balance your links between image links such as buttons and action-oriented images, and text links. Vary your link placement to ensure you can see a link when you first view your email and when you scroll to the bottom.
Not sure what to link to? Depending on your call to action, you can link to a related page on your website, a landing page created specifically for your email campaign, (may be created from a template inside Swiftpage emarketing ), or a PDF document to offer more information and details. Just make sure the linked information is relevant to the content in which it links from within your message.
Time to Graduate
Once you’ve sent your email make time to follow through with your plan and measure your success against your benchmarks to ensure you improve on future campaigns. A little focus and time in this process can go a long way!