The Power of Email Marketing

Aug 11, 2014
Finance concept arrows in Email target on wall background

maxkabakov, iStock, Thinkstock

If you aren’t currently including email marketing in your digital outreach efforts, you’re missing out. Think about email marketing in the same way you think about tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and your website. It’s another digital platform that allows you to reach your customers and achieve your goals.

Email marketing can be used in different ways, depending on your communications goals. You can build brand awareness. You can drive action from your subscribers to complete a task on your website. You can even encourage them to become an advocate of your organization by sharing your content with their networks. Let’s walk through three areas to keep in mind when executing a successful email marketing strategy.

Measuring Success

In any digital effort, it’s important to define what success looks like. There are countless studies on the Web that refer to email marketing and industry standards of success. The problem with those metrics is they normally don’t apply to the work we’re doing in the public sector. Identify key metrics by aligning them with your organizational and email marketing goals.

  • What do you want your email subscribers to do?
  • How would you measure those ideal actions?

Set a baseline for your own email marketing efforts. How many people are opening your emails now? How many people are clicking through to your content? How is email impacting your Web presence and social media presence? Let your goals drive your success metrics and you’ll be on the right track.

A/B Testing

Optimizing your email marketing efforts for your particular audience is important, and testing is a key part of email marketing optimization. The best approach to testing is to develop a hypothesis based on insights you’ve gathered from your email marketing metrics and create a test that would prove whether that hypothesis was right or not. Let’s use email titles as an example. Do long titles work? Do questions work better than statements? Does putting all words or specific words in CAPS work? Testing these theories will help you learn what works best to engage your email subscribers. Here are some elements to consider testing:

  • Email title
  • Email by line
  • Date/time of email

Listen To Your Customers

It’s important on any platform to listen to your customers’ feedback and use it to improve your strategy and tactics. That means using metrics to dictate how you change. Whether you’re using A/B testing, reviewing metrics, or collecting feedback in a survey, it’s important to listen to your customers’ insights to improve your email efforts.

The Power of a Well-Written Note

Imagine the feeling you had the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail. It means something to you, and it’s personalized. The power of a handwritten note can go a long way. I encourage you to treat your email marketing efforts the same way. Just as a handwritten note in the mail has the power to move a person, so does the next email you send. Email can drive change, and ultimately help you achieve your mission.

Nicholas Garlow is a Public Affairs Specialist, in the Digital Communications Division, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Interested in learning more about how to get results with email marketing? Sign up for the August 13, DigitalGov University’s webinar.