Direct marketing e-mail best practices

“Direct marketing e-mail is a powerful marketing tool and still one of the best ways to reach HR buyers,” according to Kevin Grossman at HRmarketer.

With extensive experience marketing directly to HR decision makers across the U.S., those at HRmarketer are some of the best in the business when it comes to e-mail marketing. Luckily for us, they’re happy to share some of their best practices for direct e-mail campaigns.

Fact: The open rate for “flat” print direct mail is on average 2.73%, and for e-mail it is 1.12%. Direct e-mails that offer a compelling content “offer” in the form of a free downloadable white paper or research report are significantly more likely to generate a response than promotional offers. Save the promotion offers for your print campaigns and for current customers.

The HRmarketers recommend seven key components to remember in your direct e-mail marketing campaigns:

  1. List size. Send to a list of at least 5,000 people once each quarter and expect to spend between $0.25 and $0.50 per e-mail.
  2. Compelling offer. You’ll have better response rates with direct e-mail when offering compelling content (i.e. free white paper or research report). “Save the promotional offers for your print campaigns and current customers.”
  3. Straightforward subject line. Keep it short, simple and straightforward. “Tell what’s inside, don’t sell what’s inside.” Do a few tests to see what works best for you.
  4. HTML content. The look of your e-mails should match the look and feel of your website. Offer a single call-to-action. Avoid “spammy” words like free, guarantee, opportunity, and order now. Don’t hide your text in an image, rather use rich text in the body of your e-mail. Attach tracking codes to links to track where visitors are coming from.
  5. Landing page. Create a landing page that matches the look of the e-mail and your website. Reinforce your call-to-action from the email and the value of the original offer. Take yourself through the customer experience to make sure everything is flowing correctly.
  6. Lead acquisition form. Collect at least the visitor’s name and email address. Asking for too much may have visitors abandoning your site.
  7. Lead follow-up. “The best time to follow-up on a Web lead is within 24 hours.” Be aware of the limited opportunity window and have your sales team prepared to capitalize on new prospects.

An addition to the list: Remember that the people you’re sending to are people. Talk to them like people and in words they understand. Listen to what your customers want and do your best to give it to them.


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