Effective Email Blasts

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How many emails does your inbox collect on a given day? No doubt it’s a lot. Email is the third largest form of direct marketing that businesses use to connect with customers and generate leads, according to MarketingSherpa. Email is cost-effective (no postage), easy to measure (data collection) and flexible—you control the content until the moment you press send.

It’s a great tool, but are you using it to its full potential? You can improve your e-blast campaigns by keeping in mind the following:

  • Strategies to improve the open rate—the average, according to MarketingSherpa, is between 15% and 18%
  • The CAN-SPAM Act and privacy regulations
  • Database/e-mail list quality—are you contacting qualified leads?
  • E-blast frequency and the value of multiple touches

Confirm Database Quality

Who’s in your email database? Your email blast should reach an audience of qualified prospects—an audience of dental professionals that has been vetted, and opted in to receive communications. This is especially important because of the CAN-SPAM Act. (Read on and we’ll explain.)

If your company chooses to invest in a commercial list—a database that is protected and highly controlled—you and other recipients will never see that list. That protects those on the list, and can make the database more valuable to you as a resource for directing communications to a quality audience.

What we’re saying is, don’t just acquire a “list” and blast out emails. Invest in a protected list of quality addresses that will deliver better e-blast campaign results. Still, according to HubSpot, the best way to get results from your e-blast (and we’re talking open rate, here) is to grow an opt-in list of your own. This isn’t as hard as you might think as you can get a qualified lead to “trade” their email for information you provide in the form of a webinar, an eBook or other premium content on your website or via other online channels. Work toward cultivating a rich opt-in list of targeted audience members who want information from you, and you’ll see that open rate climb.

Move the Metrics

So, about that open rate: How many recipients of your e-blast are opening the messages you send? We know that multi-touch campaigns are more effective than a single email blast (read on for details) after some Dentalcompare clients experienced 3 times the open rate with this strategy. And, MarketingSherpa says you can boost numbers 15% to 18% with these pointers:

  • Write a compelling subject line that tells what’s inside. Don’t leave your audience guessing—they want to see the value and won’t bother to open an email unless they are sure it contains information they want to read.
  • Avoid spam filters and keep subject heads simple and to-the-point. No all-caps (THAT’S YELLING) and stay away from using too many exclamation points (alarmist!!!!!!).
  • Monitor bounce-back records to be sure the email is effective. Too many “hard bounces” could indicate spam filters, or even a typo in the subject line.
  • Include your company name in the “from” line so recipients can verify that the e-blast is coming from a trusted source before they open it. Otherwise, they might send it directly to trash.

Obtaining metrics, and understanding them, is critical to an ongoing e-blast campaign. Numbers will tell you exactly how your email efforts are doing, and you can tweak your campaign to boost results. Consider partnering with an industry-specific marketing firm that truly understands your dental business and can deliver the numbers as it pertains directly to your target audience of dental professionals.

Understand CAN-SPAM

This law sets rules for commercial email and gives recipients the right to tell you, “Stop sending.” There are tough penalties if you ignore this law, including fines up to $16,000. Non-compliance is costly. You can adhere to the requirements by accurately identifying yourself in the “from” line, avoiding deceptive subject lines, including your location in the email and giving recipients a way to opt out. You must honor those opt-outs promptly, and if you hire a marketing company you should be overseeing their activity. You’re still legally responsible for the emails that go out with your name on them.

For all of these reasons, hiring a marketing partner you can trust is critical for executing an effective email campaign. Talk to your provider about what CAN-SPAM means, find out how they obtain email addresses, and how they treat opt-out requests.

Power Up Your Email Marketing

Email blasts are one component of a dynamic integrated marketing initiative. Make yours count by touching recipients multiple times, reaching out to qualified leads, following CAN-SPAM regulations, and maximizing your open rate with some basic content-smart strategies.

Reach Out and Touch Them—Again and Again

At Dentalcompare, we learned exactly how important multiple contact points are in driving an effective email campaign. That’s why we launched our Multi-touch Drip Email Program to increase engagement and success of email campaigns. Clients who have embraced this new offering have tripled their open rates and CTRs vs. sending a single blast.

Want more details on Dentalcompare’s email services or fresh ideas for ways to effectively communicate with an audience of dental professionals? Contact us any time at [email protected]