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Without careful consideration, a new email marketing strategy might actually do more harm than good. Below are our email marketing tips for how to design a campaign that will meet your brief � whether it�s to attract new customers, keep in touch with existing clients or obtain repeat business.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is sending a commercial message online to a group. The purpose is usually to increase loyalty, brand awareness and/or sales to a target range of consumers.

Done without prior planning, email marketing might have the opposite effect, so read our internet marketing tips for building the right strategy for your company:

Start with the �why�

Why are you emailing in the first place? Is it to ask consumers to visit your site or is to build a new customer base, or just to give people news about what�s happening in your company? It may be all of these reasons and more, but generally it�s best to focus on one key message and concentrate on that. An email with too many messages may be overlooked.

Choose an audience

Make sure on all your sign-up materials, an email address is required from customers. A good approach is to ask them what they would like to see � whether it�s news, reviews, products or information�and obviously don�t forget your legal obligation to allow them to opt-out.

Develop a content strategy

Now you know what the focus of your emails will be, and who you�re sending them out to, it�s time to decide how often these will be sent out, the length of each email, the format and look of the email and stick to it. One of the best internet marketing tips is to ensure your emails reflect your brand, so if your company is, for example, a firm of financial analysts and you would like to update your clients with business news each week, writing in a whimsical font will probably not be what the recipients expect. Make every email consistent and sent at the same time (whether it�s weekly or monthly) so your clients can instantly recognise emails from your brand.

Make sure your email won�t be filtered out

Following on from the above, if customers can see that it�s an email from you straight away, they are less likely to delete it without reading it. However, it has got to get to them first. Schedule a check of customers� email addresses at least annually to ensure your emails will be delivered. The next hurdle is getting through the spam filter. Anything that talks a lot about money in very over the top language (usually with liberal uses of ����!� and �WHY PAY MORE????�), USING ALL CAPITALS or non-standard font colours and poorly written HTML code will give your email a high chance of being filtered out as spam. A professional, well-written email with a mix of pictures and text will not only look better, it is more likely to avoid spam filters and be read and appreciated by your customers.

Make it easy for your client to do what you want them to do

This is linked to the first point � once you know the focus of your email and you�ve honed the contents, what would you like your audience to do? A simple link to the product you�re looking increase sales of, or a Facebook �like this� button to increase your social media presence, or a telephone number to call for more details or to arrange an appointment etc will enable your customer to do more easily what your email is trying to accomplish, and is very easy to measure�which brings us neatly to the final point:

Evaluate your results

It is very easy to send out a carefully crafted email using the above tips, sit back and move on to the next task. However, analysing the results of your approach will enable you to measure the effectiveness of your new strategy and see what needs tweaking. It is also a useful tool to show how making a few simple changes can dramatically increase the efficiency of your communications. Regular analysis can also help you identify peaks and troughs which will help you determine what was and was not successful about each individual campaign.

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