An interview with email marketing expert Karen Purves (Part 1)

20 11 2009

Today, readers, we are interviewing e-marketing expert Karen Purves. Karen is no stranger to Marketing or Social Media. In the 90’s, she pioneered a business networking model from which many businesses in South East England benefited. Now, after successfully setting up and selling one business, Karen is delighted to be working with small businesses so they can make the most of the world of e-marketing.

Furthermore, Karen developed the Marketing Iceberg System and MaxWeb Social Media Marketing Programme, which teaches Social Media Marketing through using social media tools. Karen uses both these systems herself, and shares with her clients what works and what doesn’t.

Some of the experience Karen already has under her belt includes;

–         Blogging for 3 years

–         Twitter and Facebook for 18 months

–         LinkedIn for 3 years

–         Created her own community for her clients using Groupsite

–         Along with various other niche sites

–         30 years of Marketing experience, 20 of which with small businesses

Karen is renowned for her expertise in this field, and is frequently asked to speak at events. Some of the events she has spoken for this year are the Eurocoach conference, Women in Business, FSB meetings in Sussex, and Business Networking events in South London. When Karen isn’t marketing or reading about the latest trends, she likes to walk her westies in the countryside, find good restaurants and learns to cook better!

So! Let’s get on with the interview!

Me: What would you say the advantages of email marketing are?

Karen: Email marketing is the glue that holds other forms of marketing together, because it’s the way that you can communicate easily and cost-efficiently. What I think is more important are the disadvantages of email marketing. For example, if one of your readers are sifting through their emails and hits spam, thinking that it will unsubscribe them, it won’t. In fact, it will majorly affect the deliverability of emails in the future. Email marketing is a great way to market to people because it’s opt-in, so you know they’re interested, but it is also a great way to spoil your credibility and reputation by misusing it. Because anyone can do it, a lot of people are and doing it badly.

Me: What tips would you give to the readers regarding subject lines?

Karen: If you think of when you send an email to a friend, it has a short, snappy subject line – that’s what works best. When small businesses first start email marketing, they’re only communicating with a small number of clients, so they write on a one-to-one basis. Once they start building their list, they are talking to maybe thousands at a time. If the business owner doesn’t know who he’s writing to, or their interests, then the whole idea of subject lines becomes troublesome. My tip would be to direct it to one person.

Me: What tips would you give to readers regarding open rates?

Karen: If you keep your subject line short, under 41 characters works best, then you should see an increase in your open rates. Personally, I don’t subscribe to using a person’s name in the subject line, unless the email is directly after they have signed up for something, or bought something. Also, to increase your open rates, keep the subject interesting; that comes back to knowing who your market is. One of the things I encourage my clients to do is to resend the email to anyone who didn’t open it with a different subject line. Also, split your list into many, depending on their interests.

Me: What are your tips for improving click-through rates?

Karen: Track them. The style that the email is being sent in is important as well. I know a lot of people who like to send emails with lots of images, which are then not downloaded by their email client. If you have images and your hyperlink is attached to these images, then that is a way to increase your click-through rates, but then it’s turned off because you have to download the images separately. So I think it follows on from open rates; it’s the same principles. It’s about creating something that’s consistent, in the way you set up your email. Always have your headers hyperlinked as well. If you’re consistent, and your headings are always linked out, then you’re training your readers to click them. Because they know the headings are hyperlinked, they won’t necessarily read the taster text; they will just think ‘Oh that heading sounds interesting, I’ll click that’. Those are some ways to improve your click-through rates, but make sure that your readers know they’re links.

Well, that’s it for part 1; part 2 will be following soon, so stay tuned!!

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4 responses

17 03 2010
An Interview With An Email Marketing Expert Part 2 | Email Marketing News Syndicated

[…] Hopefully you enjoyed Part 1, for those of you who haven’t read it, click here. […]

23 04 2010
An Interview With An Email Marketing Expert Part 2 | email marketing

[…] Hopefully you enjoyed Part 1, for those of you who haven’t read it, click here. […]

28 10 2010
An Interview With An Email Marketing Expert Part 2 | Email Campaign Software, Email Campaign Success

[…] Hopefully you enjoyed Part 1, for those of you who haven’t read it, click here. […]

27 11 2010
An Interview With An Email Marketing Expert Part 2 | Best Email Marketing Tools

[…] Hopefully you enjoyed Part 1, for those of you who haven’t read it, click here. […]

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