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The “Four Ts” for effective email campaigns

For many companies, email marketing remains a central component of their communications arsenal.  And yet, it’s amazing how many forget the more basic elements of successful campaigns.  

Outsell, Ltd., a sales automation firm, characterizes these basics as the “Four Ts”:   

  • Tailoring means creating content that’s readable, relevant and easy to act upon.  A good subject line can make the difference between your e-mail being opened or trashed.  Persuasive copy strikes the right tone and cuts out the hype.  If you can segment your database by geography or behavioral characteristics with differentiated messages that are thoughtfully determined, you’ll find even more ways to pique your recipients’ interest.
  • Testing and authentication means evaluating your e-mail campaign in different providers such as Yahoo!, Outlook, Blackberry® and Windows® Mobile to pinpoint content and delivery issues and test against spam filters.  If you test one variable at a time, you’ll you can isolate the effect each change has on the test results. 
  • Timing means deploying your e-mail campaigns when they will be most likely to be opened and read.  While there’s no cardinal rule as to the optimal time to deploy an e-mail, B-to-B marketers are wise to avoid sending e-mails on Mondays or weekends.  Beginning or end-of-day deployments also risk getting lost in the shuffle, whereas just around the lunch hour tends to be better for catching recipients when they’re more receptive to opening e-mail correspondence.  Capture historical open-and-clickthrough data from past campaigns and try to identify any key patterns.
  • Tracking means analyzing the results of your e-mail campaign to help you judge its overall success, using a variety of metrics such as clickthrough behaviors and bounced messages.

If all of this seems daunting, remember that there are now robust marketing automation tools available to personalize emails with relevant content and messaging.  Likewise, testing and tracking can be automated and simplified to remove the exhausting trial-and-error processes that were the norm just a few years back.  Apply these principles, and you’ll find they fit your email campaigns to a “T”.

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