Despite the rise in social media sites, email is still the most popular. As such, email marketing is a key tool, not to be missed. It can be a cost-effective way of reaching your audience, build and maintain customer relations, promote new business ventures and inform people. Here are some tips for successful email marketing:
Good database management
Keeping an organised database of clients/contacts is extremely important. A database is a place to store information about your contacts, which can be used to send mass emails (or even target more specific groups of people). As well as the task of creating a database, it is crucial to keep it updated over time. When people decide to unsubscribe from your emails or emails do not deliver, delete and amend your database to ensure that you respect their wishes do not harm customer relations. Ensure customer confidentiality and ask for permission from people before you add them to your mailing list. When using classic emailing (as opposed to an email management system), add contacts to the BCC field, so that others will not see the email addresses. I have played around with many methods and tools to manage my email lists, my recommendation is to use Aweber.
Once you have your mailing list ready, do not bombard them with emails too often. Make your emails specific. The best way to do this is to target particular events. Plan your email campaign thoroughly before clicking send, which means deciding what the purpose of the email is, who to target and how to monitor the success. Send a test before the real thing.
For smaller mailing lists or small budgets, using an email package such as Outlook is fine for email marketing. However, it does not allow certain opportunities for graphics and can make monitoring success or allowing people to unsubscribe quickly, a little restrictive. If you are able to invest some money in to the campaign, get an email marketing software package. This helps with the email design and mail-out and can work on a monthly or annual subscription basis. It also allows you to check statistics about the success of your campaign and download data.
The number of people checking their emails on their mobile phone is huge and ever-increasing. As such, it is important to adapt the email visuals and formatting to be easily readable on a mobile phone. This usually means to limit the number of images and to keep it simple.
Measure your success
It is helpful to have a way of measuring the success of your email marketing campaign, either to justify time spent on it for your boss or to define whether or not to continue in future if you own your own business. An email marketing package has a number of tools in which to see how successfully the campaign met its objectives. It can indicate how many of the emails were received and how many were opened, for example.
Emailing your message to your customers, old and new, is a quick, simple and relatively cheap way in which to communicate and market what you do. Don’t forget to remind customers to add your email address to their contacts list (to avoid them ending up in the spam queue) and always listen to feedback. Over time, you will be able to determine how often to send emails and which are the most effective.