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The Email Marketing Cycle
The best email marketing strategies involve a dedicated regiment geared toward ensuring you are properly targeting your subscribers.

Email marketing has already shown you how effective it is; you already know that the return on investment is paramount. But are you getting the most out of your email marketing service? As a business owner, getting the most out of your email marketing will place you above the competition. In a depressed economy, those who stay positive by putting in that extra effort are the ones who stay on top! The way to get the best results is to develop a planned cycle of sending out and analyzing the metrics from your campaigns.

Step one of the cycle is to get your subscribers signed-up. This is a simple enough task, as the most reputable services provide you with a free web sign up box, meaning that anyone who visits your site will have the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter. The way to capture the most email addresses from your site visitors is to have some kind of promotion that sends people to your website to sign up, or have a promotion on the website itself telling people to sign up. This incentive will bring a higher volume of people to sign up.

If you don’t yet have a web site (although you should get one!), you can collect email addresses at the cash register of your store location, if this is how your business is run, or upon first or last contact with your customers.

In both cases, it is important to entice your customers to sign up by providing them with a promotion or similar incentive (e.g. access to early peeks at new products and services, the promise of future promotions and discounts, etc).

Step two of the email marketing cycle is designing a campaign. Email marketing service providers have made it so easy to make a professional-looking campaign. These services have easy-to-use templates that require a very small learning curve, allowing you to upload digital images, and cut and paste your text content. If you encounter any difficulties, the best companies provide technical support in the form of email, telephone and/or live chat.

Make sure that your design includes some links to the products and services that you offer on your website. This will be crucial, as you will see in step four.

Step three of the email marketing cycle is sending out the campaign, then waiting for the results. Give your campaign about 48 hours before starting step four. This will give your subscribers a chance to visit and revisit the email you’ve sent, therefore setting you up properly for step four.

Step four requires some analysis of the metrics that have come in. You will be able to review which subscribers have opened the email, which ones have clicked on the links that you’ve provided, who has forwarded the email, and which of your email addresses have bounced, or were invalid. This step will help you better understand your subscribers. You will now know in more specific detail what their wants and needs are. I don’t have to tell you how invaluable this information towards bigger and better sales.

Step five in the email marketing cycle is redesigning your campaigns to suit the various needs or your subscribers. This means using the details you’ve gathered in step four to better target your audiences through new email marketing campaigns.

Once you’ve resent the campaigns you can start the cycle again. Using this method requires a bit more work, but will earn you better sales numbers, better exposure to your customers in a targeted way, and deeper understanding of your clients. The email marketing cycle will generate even better results than you previously anticipated. In tough economic times, getting the most out of your email service will put you ahead of the crowd!

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