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When run effectively, an email advertising campaign can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available to a company, regardless of its size or industry. Email is a more intimate medium than newspaper or television advertising, yet is capable of reaching an incredibly large audience.

However, email campaign management can be difficult, especially if the person running the campaign is not a marketing professional.

To help inexperienced marketers improve their methods, industry expert Wikus Engelbrecht recently shared several tips with Business News Daily. Most notably, he argued that email list cleansing and targeting are critical elements of any successful email campaign.

Email list cleansing

As Engelbrecht highlighted, good email marketers take steps to maximize their delivery rates. This means that they must work to ensure all of the email addresses on a given contact list are genuine and active. Sending messages to inactive email addresses will do nothing to improve the company’s business. In fact, it can actually hurt an email campaign.

“[Email list cleansing is] a sign of a ‘good’ sender, since spammers typically don’t trouble to update their lists. The higher the proportion of emails you send to ‘dead’ addresses, the more your sender reputation suffers,” said Engelbrecht.

If a company gains a reputation as spammer, the effectiveness of its email campaigns will be significantly hampered. Email service providers will begin to classify all messages sent from this company as spam and, consequently, will filter the messages out of recipients’ inboxes. And if a business’ marketing emails never reach the intended recipients, they cannot possibly generate new clients or retain existing ones.

Targeting

Another key element to a successful email marketing campaign, according to Engelbrecht, is targeting. Many businesses, particularly inexperienced ones, create and disseminate generic, one-size-fits-all emails to everyone on their contact lists. This, Engelbrecht noted, can have negative consequences.

“Sending irrelevant or generic emails can be risky, as these may provoke recipients to ignore your messages or mark them as spam,” he said.

Instead, he argued that businesses should strive to segment their contact lists into groups that share interests, and then craft multiple messages that appeal to those groups specifically.

This recommendation echoes advice recently provided by Clinton Lanier. Writing for the Las Cruces Sun-News, Lanier argued that simply sending out newsletters and other marketing messages to as many people as possible is unlikely to yield positive results. Instead, businesses should be selective, contacting only individuals whom the businesses believe may actually appreciate being contacted.