Email marketing is an important part of your business strategy. It helps your clients keep up to date with your news and offers, but more than that, it is the only piece of data regarding your clients that you “own”. Sure, you may have contacts through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. but you could lose all of them overnight if the “Powers That Be” decide to close your accounts. Only if people have signed up to receive your correspondence can you actually reach out to them on a regular basis.
There are some that say email marketing is dead, but last year alone, 100 billion business emails were sent/received EVERY DAY! That’s doesn’t look like it’s dying to me. So, how can your business tap into this marketing strategy? It’s simple, really.
- Collect email addresses.
One way to collect email addresses is to offer something in return. The most common offering is a free download – e-book, worksheet, coupon etc. It is not a good idea to simply add people to your email list just because you have their business card. Ask them first. I’m sure the majority of them would be more than happy to receive your news.
- Offer content of value.
Valuable content is what people want to read and receive. It can be as simple as a discount code, or as long as a blog post – try not to ramble on, remember, it’s VALUE they are looking for. If your subscribers don’t consider your content valuable they could unsubscribe, or worse, class you as spam. And remember to make sure all your links are working so people can click through for more information etc.
- Don’t buy or sell email addresses.
Email addresses are the private property of the owner. Remember how much you hate getting unsolicited mail before you commit the same mistake. It might take a while, but building your list organically, the old-fashioned way is best. Plus, if you buy or sell email addresses you could be blacklisted yourself. It’s a risk you shouldn’t take.
- Plan your campaign.
What message do you want to send to your subscribers? It might be a good idea to have exclusive content or discounts just for them. That way they have more reason to stay on your mailing list. Make them know how much you appreciate them. Personalise the emails (add their name – all email software can automatically do this for you if you set the field right) and make sure they are easily read on mobile devices. Send your emails on a Monday (or Sunday night so that they’re in the inbox on Monday morning) as that will be the first thing they open when they get to work.
- Make your message stand out.
If 100 billion business emails are being sent every day, and on average we each receive approximately 121 of those then make sure you stand out. We’re all very busy, so sifting through tons and tons of emails has to be done quickly. Catchy titles sometimes work, but people are very wary of click bait now. Ensure your name is on the sender part – if they recognise your name, they are more likely to open the email. Test the email on yourself first – would you open it? Does the subject line stand out and make you want to click?
There are many email software providers out there, so find the one that best meets your needs. Some are free until you reach a certain amount of subscribers or campaigns, like MailChimp, and others charge from the start. Look at your business, look at your needs, but most importantly look at how simple the platform is for you to use and personalise with your own brand. You don’t want to be struggling every week to get your email out. Create your welcome email and communicate with your subscribers in a real, honest way. They will appreciate getting an insight into your life and work.