For those who are new to email marketing, sending out the first campaign can be tricky. No one is an instant expert, no matter how much research or training that you have had. For this reason, it is important to not expect too much from the experience initially. Realize upfront that there is more to the whole process than just designing an attractive email. Let’s look at some tips for launching your first email marketing campaign that can help make it a bigger success.

Plan Your Email Campaign in Advance (Well in Advance)

One of the biggest problems with beginning email marketers is that the campaigns they launch are not planned out thoroughly – and a haphazard attempt to get a good response rate will never work. Give yourself adequate time to plan the campaign by answering these questions:

Who is my target audience? Clarify and identify the target audience and niche market that you will be addressing in order to market more effectively to members of that audience.

What are my objectives? Determine the main goal of your email campaign – whether it is raising awareness of your services and products, generating sales leads or improving customer loyalty – having a goal in mind will help you in the execution of your campaign.

 What is my budget? Settle on a budget and don’t deviate from it to prevent escalating cost that will undermine your campaign.

 Market Segmentation and Personalization

Based on the information that you have gathered regarding the needs and wants of your target niche and target market audience, you can segment your customer list and develop specific offers or email messages for particular groups within your audience. The more personalized your marketing messages are, the more successful your campaign will be.

 Create a Catchy Subject Line

Maximize your response rate and email opening rate by creating a catchy subject line for your marketing emails. The reason that this is so important is because the subject line is your first line of communication with your prospects – and they decide in most cases whether or not they will open an email based on the subject line. Avoid the use of spam triggers in your subject line – such as “free” or “discount”.

 Design a Strong Email Campaign Creative

The email campaign creative that you use for your email marketing efforts can literally make or break your entire campaign. The following helpful hints will help you during the design process:

 Have the option of HTML and text version of the marketing email – not all recipients will use one or the other.

The top two to four inches of your email are the prime reading space – make the most of this space.

Keep your message short and to the point in order to prevent unnecessary scrolling and distraction of the recipient.

 Use the same font throughout the email, and avoid using excessive colors.

State a clear call to action so that the recipient has no doubt about what they should do next.

Create content that can be scanned easily with the eye because most recipients will not read every single word of your email message.

Avoid flash presentations – they are slow to load in many systems and may be removed before the reader opens the email by many antivirus programs.

 Don’t forget to include a link for the recipient to easily unsubscribe from future emails if they determine that they don’t wish to receive anything else from you.

 Design a Specific Landing Page for the Email Campaign

If the recipient of your marketing email messages have gone so far as to open your email – your next step is to keep their interest in order to have them click on your website. Ideally, each email campaign should have its own landing page on your website that contains information relevant to the offer or other element of your business you are highlighting in the campaign. Make sure that the landing page is similar to the email headline copy so that responding recipients will be able to easily move from one to the other. The recipient should be able to click on the call to action; for example, a link that says, “Sign up Now” or something to that effect.

 Testing Your Email First

Testing your email marketing messages is important – you want to see up close and personal what the email looks like in the inbox and what it looks like when its opened. You also want to test the links in the email. You also will be making sure that your email is not flagged as spam by your email program, and that the unsubscribe link that you have created works. To test your email, set up some free email accounts with the most popular email services, including Google or Gmail, Yahoo, Apple, MSN, Hotmail, and Outlook.