Get The Most From Email Campaigns
Developing a strong list and effective content requires careful strategy
Derek Van Volkom
Email marketing is a highly effective touch point in the customer nurturing or acquisition cycle. But how do you maximize your individual effort with increasingly full inboxes for your target customer or prospect?
The first step is to get back to basics. Ensure that your customer email list is current, clean, and up to date. For dental laboratories looking to maintain consistent dialogue with their customers, this could mean a member of your team calling dental offices to verify the information you have on file is correct. Because business relationships already exist with these practices, often they will have no problem communicating the most applicable email address to use in campaigns. It could also be a great time to see if their staff has expanded, and potentially broaden your email list. I would recommend this effort occur at least once if not twice per year.
Building Your List
If you are looking to build your email database, it might be worth investing in available lists of dental offices surrounding your laboratory in a 50- to 75-mile radius. It is likely that you will be amazed at how many there are, especially if your laboratory is located near a major city. You only need to acquire a few customers from a potential list of hundreds to validate the purchase. You may also look to rent a more qualified list from a leading dental publication source. In this instance, provide your target preference, agree to a blast date, and supply your creative content. Again, the acquisition of new contacts who agree to communicate with you in the future, or new customers, will validate the publication partnership.
Crafting Effective Content
The next step is to determine the most compelling email content, or the reason for the communication in the first place. Be mindful of your subject line. A quick Google search will provide a broad list of terms that trigger a spam filter, but always try to avoid the words “Free” and “Reminder” at the very least. If your laboratory has a new service or invested in new technology that has been well-branded by the manufacturer, you can lean on this borrowed equity and use it in the subject line (ensuring you include all registered trademarks). Your customers or prospects likely will have heard of it, too, and an instant connection benefiting you as the email sender has been made.
Next, ensure that the body of the email has your most important points of communication in the top one-third of the message. We live in a society that has become used to skimming items, and most people only read on if what they see initially is compelling. Don’t wait until later in the email to communicate your main points. State them up front, noticeably and effectively. Text and imagery both should be used to instantly grab your reader’s attention. Try to avoid text-only emails if possible. This top-one-third approach also conforms to the reading-pane viewing that most email providers utilize and many users prefer. Use the remainder of the email communication to delve further into the subject matter for targets who choose to learn more. Bullet points are effective in this regard. Should you need assistance in building an email, several resources are available, such as MailChimp (mailchimp.com), that offer great guidance and best practices.
Call to Action
As in any marketing communication, a strong call to action is vital. Embedded call-out links that simply say “Click Here” are effective tools and easily prompt your target to take an additional step. Use more than one link in different areas of the email if you can. This link could lead to a section of your website that describes in more detail the essence of your email communication. Make this link stand out in large text, or within a color frame. Try to avoid sending an email with a particular subject matter that then leads directly to your laboratory’s home page. If you have been successful in getting your target to click through, it’s best to not make them search for the information they now seek. Send them directly to it. The creation of a simple landing page that includes a form is the best way to “close the loop” on your email communication. These pages can be added to the back ends of most existing websites, and should include an easily accessible link to click through to your main site. Should the prospect fill out the form, you can then communicate with them more directly via phone, and potentially engage in a transaction specific to the email subject matter.
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Text and imagery both should be used to instantly grab your reader's attention. Try to avoid text-only emails.
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