March 11, 2016

Tips for Sustaining a Successful AEC Email Marketing Campaign

This month Cosential was thrilled to announce Email Marketing 2.0, our most recent push towards greater diversification of our clients’ marketing strategy. For those of you who have never used an email marketing campaign, we highly recommend getting on board.

Email marketing is an easy-to-use, inexpensive and effective way to communicate with your clients. It’s a tool that can target specific information for certain audiences, and communicate with your clients in real time.

There’s no more waiting for the mailman to finally deliver that important, time sensitive information to your clients—now it’s just a few clicks and voilà, your entire base has your message in their inbox.

While it’s an extraordinary tool for communicating exciting things happening in your company, there are certain strategies you should take (and certain behaviors to avoid). As I’m sure we’ve all noticed practically every website you go on these days immediately interrupts your search to have you sign up for their newsletter, so we know this method is widely used, which means people are more prone to unsubscribe if their inbox is unnecessarily cluttered.

Let’s get them to never hit that dreaded “unsubscribe” button. Here are some strategies for maintaining a long-lived and successful email marketing campaign:

Think the Long Game

This is a general suggestion, but something I think you should always store in the back of your mind. Overall, I’d recommend that you always consider the audience first and what they want to read as opposed to your company getting a sale that day. If your emails always seem to be promoting your services without any new information, or not giving something away that the client would be interested in, or not teaching them something new, then why should they continue subscribing? Your first goal with email marketing is: keep them interested. If they’re interested in you, and then they are in need of services that you provide, they will reach out to you.

Target Specific Audiences

Now, whether you think sending a personalized email (i.e, “Dear Sam,”) is creepy and weird, or sweet and charming, is up to you, but you should certainly send the correct email to the right group of people. For instance, if your firm is bi-coastal, make sure you don’t send Los Angeles Construction News to New Yorkers, and vice-versa.

Make sure it’s always tailored to the right group. The more they have a stake in the content, whether they are currently looking for service or not, the less likely they are to unsubscribe.

Always Offer Useful Information (or Free Stuff)

This suggestion is all about the content. Now, if you have a blog, this would be a great opportunity to create a symbiotic relationship between it and your email marketing campaign. Your blog publishes useful and insightful content, and your emails can promote it, thus bringing your prospective or current clients to your site.

Another strategy is to give away free stuff (it doesn’t need to be money, don’t worry). It could be a “free consultation,” or to announce a “free event” that people can go to where they can speak to you about their services. And hey, who doesn’t still get excited about a free t-shirt or tote bag?

Send Your Email at Night

Recent research has shown that sending your email at night is more effective. It’s a few hours after your audience has been out of work, but also, they’ve moved on from their “happy hour” mode. Your nighttime email also doesn’t have to compete with the hundreds of other in-house emails your clients receive during the day. This strategy though, varies from business to business, so make sure to check your hit rates and see if this is working for you.

Make Sure It’s Mobile-Friendly

More than half of today’s emails are opened on smartphones, so always double check that it’s properly formatted for viewing on all kinds of devices: iOS, Android, etc. I would pay special attention to the formatting of your infographics, and ensure you’re maintaining the professionalism of your company.

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