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To produce effective e-mail campaigns this year, it will require use of a CRM, diligence, and research. E-mail campaigns should be used like the superhero adage heard in movies. Use the power for good, not evil. E-mail campaigns should be used only if you have quality content to send. Unless you are one of the giants, like Amazon, then you shouldn’t be sending tons of e-mail campaigns. They will be ineffective, and they will alienate your customer base. You will see your unsubscribe numbers rise and open rates fall.

The use of a quality CRM will help identify and segment your targets. From there, you can divvy up the segmentation however you want. Segment them by need, want, location, age, product, industry, etc.

After you finish your segments, then the real work begins. Each targeted segment should be getting some unique content. The message should be tailored for that specific segment. Various things can be done such as personalization by first name or last name. Maybe you have a specific greeting that is in a separate field you want to us instead. Pick a study out there and you’ll see a different conclusion for each one. I think the best approach is to vary the personalization. This way you cover all your bases. However, you absolutely always want to have relevant and meaningful subject lines. It should go without saying that the content within the e-mail needs to be linked to the subject line. If it isn’t, then the integrity of your reputation is damaged by the reader. That is a major no-no.

The mobile market is huge. Almost everybody checks their e-mails on their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. That means that the e-mail campaigns that are sent should be optimized for all mobile platforms. If not, then you could lose out on a lot of business. According to Mark the Marketer, 69% of mobile users delete e-mails that aren’t optimized for whichever mobile device they’re using to check their e-mail.

This next portion is kind of hit and miss. Some people swear you have to send e-mails for industries at a certain time and day or else all is lost! Well, that’s just not true, folks. MailChimp’s Email Genome Project mined tons of data to try and figure out the best day and time to send out e-mail blasts. According to them, there isn’t a hands down best time or day to send one out. It will vary by industry. For instance, recreational activities are better sent during the weekend as that’s when people typically have free time. Typical businesses will want to focus on sending e-mail campaigns during the standard Monday through Friday work week. Generally, the optimal time would be to send the blast between 8-10AM for the customer’s local time zone. Thursday seems to be the best day by a very small percentage. All days within the standard work week had similar results. A CRM will certainly let you automate this process, so you don’t have to commit all of this to memory.

Essentially, the bottom line is to use that CRM to get your customers segmented, put a quality and personalized e-mail together for them, make sure it displays properly on mobile devices, and send it off.

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