The Email Marketing Channel

42% of emails are viewed on mobile devices.Email continues to be a strong marketing channel.

Email remains a powerful communication opportunity since most of us are constantly checking our email - on our computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. 42% of email is now opened on a mobile device (Litmus Email Analytics Jan 2013). This means you can be sending emails at any time with a good chance that they will be opened by some of your recipients. Email broadcast software makes it easy and affordable to build a graphic email using a selection of templates. Constant Contact is one of the most popular options, but there are many others including Emma, Vertical Response, and MailChimp.

Create emails that will get open, read and generate a response.

I hope that you are keeping a good, up-to-date email list of your clients, contacts, associates, and friends. Include an email list sign-up on your website and in your store, and ask people that you meet for permission to add them to your list. Your list is a highly valuable marketing asset. When sending email, you are taking advantage of your relationship with the recipients to get your email opened, so make sure it is immediately obvious that your emails are coming from your company. Here are some ideas and tips for creating your emails.

Provide Useful Content
• latest news
• share ideas
• new products/services
• information/how-to
• special offers
• promote product/service for immediate purchase

Quality Writing and Graphics are Essential 
• style and look that matches the tone of your business
• good punctuation and grammar
• address your audience needs
• develop a call to action
• design your email for visual impact and readability
• use high quality graphics and images

Craft a Compelling Subject Line
• you have 3 seconds or less
• keep it short and simple
• 30-40 characters including spacing (5-8 words)
• less than 40 characters = better chance of being opened
• the from address should be recognizable:

Make it Easy to Respond
• link to your website
• link to a landing page
• link to the product on ecommerce site (buy now)
• provide phone number to call
• include directions/time
• offer a usable reply link (avoid "do not reply")

Track your email data to improve your messaging.
Your email broadcast software will give you the stats on how your emails are doing. Use this information to track and compare what type of content your recipients respond to. An open rate is calculated by dividing the number of email messages opened by the number of email messages delivered. This number is then expressed as a percentage. A recent survey by Epsilon provides a look at email open rates.
Average Email List Performance
Super Stars: 24% opened or clicked emails within last 3 months
Nappers: 22% opened or clicked emails more than 3 months prior
Dormant: 43% inactive for the previous 12 months

Create a plan to stay on track.
A good email plan will include a variety of messaging from your company, from industry news to current offers. Create a 6-12 month schedule and determine your email content over that time frame. You can build your emails ahead of time so they are ready to broadcast.
• decide how often to send: daily, weekly, monthly
• consider what day/time: test to see what gives you the best results
• review your email stats for future planning

Stevens 470 provides online marketing services, including email marketing programs. Please give us a call if you have any questions at 413.568.2660 or contact us here.

A version of this article also appeared in the NAMTA (International Art Materials Retailers) eNewsletter.

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