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How to improve the success of your email marketing

We use this scheme when designing emails for our clients and recommend it as an essential tool in any marketer's kitbag.

C - for Creative. This is where we assess the creative and design elements of our email. Does the layout work? Are the colours harmonious, the images appropriate?

R - for Relevant. Is it meaningful for the recipients? Does it answer their questions and address their issues?

I - for Incentive. You don't have to offer an iPad but there has to be something to gain for the recipient. It could be tips or industry information but always ask yourself "what's in it for them?"

T - for Targeting and Timing. Targeting is a crucial element that many people overlook. Is a single message sent to your entire database or are you segmenting and tailoring your messages to different audiences? Have you tested certain types of content with different segments? Then think about the actual timing of the email. When will they receive the mail? Does it relate to a particular event? Have you tested response rates at certain times of day? Certain days of the week?

I - for Integration. Is the email campaign harmonious and consistent with the rest of your marketing communications? Does it support your brand? Does it reinforce and support your offline efforts?

C - for Copy. Make sure to check for spelling and grammar. Is the tone of voice appropriate? Does it make sense? Does it get your point across quickly?

A - for Attributes. This where we make sure that the email works. Send as many tests as you need. Does it resolve correctly? Is the Subject line and the From field appropriate? Do you have both HTML and text versions available?

L - for Landing page. Once the recipient clicks through you need to make sure that he gets what he expects. Offer the information requested immediately and make forms easy to complete. If there are further actions to take make this is as seamless as possible.

There are a lot of elements that lead to a successful email marketing campaign and this list is by no means exhaustive but if you take the time to consider these 8 factors you'll avoid any major catastrophes.

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