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Email marketing best practice

Giving away data is something we all take for granted, whether it’s filling out a form with a name and address or signing up for a newsletter list, but what many of us don’t realise is that our data has a value. This value isn’t immediately obvious if you’re giving the data away but if you’re collecting it there are plenty of ways in which it can be used to generate revenue – as long as it’s of sufficient quality. Take a look at our email marketing best practice guide and see how you can improve yours.

Businesses are gathering information about potential customers through their sites all the time but many just let it passively collect without using it. All data collected has a value which increases the larger the quantities and the more targeted it is. However quality data is more about how targeted it is, with a small number of subscribers who are invested in your product or service being more valuable than a large number of subscribers who signed up by mistake.

The Value of Data

In 2012, the sale of the website moneysavingexpert.com for £87m demonstrated how valuable email subscribers can be. Although there were four key ways in which it generated value from its 39m unique visitors each month a big part of the way it generated income was through its email list. With around 7m subscribers in 2012, and about 10m today, this number of subscribers represents a significant portion of the website’s visitors who all received a weekly email containing articles and tips culled from its forums.

This list is valuable not just because of its size but because it is very targeted. Everyone receiving the weekly email has signed up for one thing, money saving tips and deals, and although frugally minded will ultimately be reading the email with an intent to make a purchase.

Are you using your data effectively?

While moneysavingexpert.com is an exceptional example of a successful website it’s the perfect one of data being used effectively. The site has a clear purpose, which is shared each week through email campaigns, and an audience who wants to buy. Although moneysavingexpert.com has no product to sell it makes its money through affiliate links, where commission is generated when someone clicks on a link and makes a purchase.

The lessons to learn from moneysavingexpert.com are to send out email campaigns on a regular basis and to offer valuable content to your subscribers which will lead them to make a purchase. You don’t need to schedule campaigns every week, they could be fortnightly or monthly, but the important thing is you pencil in at least one date each month when you’re going to send one out. This content could be things which have already been posted on your site (again, another example of something moneysavingexpert.com does really well) or it could take the form of a special offer or a discount on one of your products.

Goals for ROI

Understanding why your data is valuable and how you should be using it are just the first two steps to increasing your revenues. The third is setting up goals to measure the success of your campaigns and develop new ones based on the results of this analysis.

This analysis will be based on measurements such as open rates, click-through rates, and subscribe rates. All these factors will be calculated by the software being used to send your email campaigns and will give you an indication of how well your campaigns are doing. With services such as Mailchimp it’s possible to integrate Google Analytics tracking into your campaigns for even more insightful information that can tell you how many of your subscribers are being turned into customers by your campaigns.

So before clicking the send button on your next campaign ask yourself what your goal is. Is it to grow your subscribers, is it to convert subscribers into customers, or maybe just to send traffic to your website.

If you’ve been collecting quality data and not using it you have been losing out. If you have any questions about how you could be using your data more effectively, or about setting up systems for collecting it, get in touch with one of our email marketing experts here at Vu. We can help you to create lists of quality subscribers, reach them through engaging email marketing campaigns, and measure your success through detailed analytics.

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