This document provides an overview of established best practices and the newest strategies for improving email response rates. Don’t waste your marketing dollars—or your credibility—on email campaigns that don’t produce results. Instead, improve your list-building techniques and email marketing process in ways that generate the greatest ROI.
1. Use targeted lists – Start by creating lists that segment your audience into target groups. Use criteria such as locale, company, industry or size, job titles, past purchases, and demographic information. If you can’t segment your leads and customers along those lines today, start by creating custom fields on the lead and account records to come up with these or other meaningful segments.
2. Target your content – You’ll want to send out a lot of emails—but not the same email to everyone. You’ll get the best results by tailoring your message and content to appeal to each audience by following these tips:
· Don’t send out generic emails – Use short, personalized messages without graphics, sent by the sales person or lead owner.
· Include a call to action – For example, provide a link to an article, whitepaper, or recording. You want to get the prospect to your Web site by providing something that’s valuable to them.
· Use industry-specific key words – Speak to the audience in their language.
· Experiment with rich text HTML and plain text formats – See which gets the best response.
3. Alert sales – Whenever you execute a campaign, alert sales so they’re ready to respond quickly and appropriately to the resulting leads.
4. Integrate with your Web site - Use Web-to-lead forms to capture prospect information from visitors to your site. And check out the Marketing Apps on the AppExchange to discover other ways to shorten the time between an inquiry and response. For example, Eloqua makes it possible to score prospect activity and send hot leads to sales through Salesforce CRM.
5. Develop a social media strategy – Use social media to increase visibility, reinforce your brand, educate prospects, and establish yourself as a trusted advisor and expert. Encourage prospects to participate in your social media channels and use those channels to drive opt-ins for your email database.
6. Drive traffic to your social media channels – Use the networks you use every day to share messages with friends and your larger network. Ask members of your communities to participate in groups and discussions.
· Engage with prospects through LinkedIn groups.
· Facebook groups are becoming widely used for business marketing. Consider starting a group for your company.
· Use Tiny URLs on Twitter to redirect prospects to a micro-site or landing page.
· Start a blog. It’s one of the best things you can do to help search engines find you. Then use that blog to generate leads and activities for sales. Include links in your emails to drive prospects to your blog.
7. Don’t spam – Respect your prospects. Your goal is to have a conversation over time—a single email is not a conversation. And pay attention to local laws. For example, the United States has the CAN-SPAM Act, which sets the rules for commercial messages and gives recipients the right to opt out. Every country has its own laws banning email spam.
8. Track results – To keep refining your tactics for increasingly results, you must measure how users respond. Think about what you want to measure and then identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track. Common metrics for evaluating email campaigns include unique open rates, unique click-through rates, delivery success rates, lead conversions, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. Please note that, although you can get insight into lead conversion rates via standard reports, many companies work with AppExchange partners such as Birst and Omniture for more advanced ROI analytics.
9. Nurture campaigns – Lead nurturing can have a dramatic effect on your sales pipeline. Of course, it’s important to alert your reps to follow up on leads being nurtured. One method to use is lead scoring, which assigns every lead a score, depending on activities such as opening an email, going to your site, or responding to calls to action (CTAs). For more information about lead scoring, see the Best Practice
Be sure to share high-scoring prospects with your reps. Or simply track such activities and then notify the reps when someone responds after receiving an email; for example by downloading a whitepaper.
For specific steps on how to create and manage Campaigns, check out this link: Managing Campaigns