The basics and fundamentals of successful email marketing is no longer about mass messaging, its about providing information that is relevant, specific and directed to a clearly defined audience. The accuracy of targeting is dependent on how well you know your audience. This will depend on, how good your CRM system is and how effectively you have segmented prospects, clients and outlined the personas of perspective new contacts. Here I provide you with the basic elements that will get your email marketing off on the right footing.
Why Is Email Marketing Important To Your Business?
- It encourages relationship development, brand engagement and audience participation.
- It is completely scaleable and enables continuity.
- Results can be measured before and after a campaign.
- Email encourages direct response, enabling immediate action.
- It is a fairly cost effective method of marketing.
Let’s Start At The Beginning! – Choose Appropriate Software
There is a wealth of software available to enable you to not only send emails but also monitor their success. Some also act as a CRM system, such as Active Campaign, Infusionsoft and HubSpot where you can manage contacts and use sophisticated segmenting and campaign management in order to provide more specific marketing and recording. The cost varies, MailChimp’s basic package for example is free, but in general the cost usual reflects the amount of sophistication, with most software offering a variety of plans to choose from. Therefore before signing up, carefully examine which system best meets your needs and budget.
Have A Clear Strategy – Clearly Identify Aims and Goals
Think about what you want to achieve? Do you want to find new prospects, re-market or just to keep current client contacts informed and in the loop so to speak. A good strategy will clearly define aims and goals and should take the following into consideration:
Have a clear reason for sending emails. For example it could be to schedule one off regular mails, or have an automated string of emails that are used to nurture prospects through the sales funnel.
Emails can be used for:
Company newsletters that are sent on a regular basis
Announcements and important company information
Product promotions and offers
Blog posts and notifications of information relevant to the recipient
Have some clearly defined achievable targets to work towards. It could be to obtain X amount of new contacts per week, a specific number of sales per week/month, or generate a certain number of enquiries and interest.
Think about the structure of the campaign with the following in mind:
Frequency – In the case of an automation decide on the amount of emails to send, and the flow of content.
Interval – What is the time limit between emails? It could be one per week, one per month, this will all be dependent on the nature of the correspondence.
Content Engagement – if building up contacts through engagement, think about how you are going to encourage engagement.
Emails don’t always work in isolation, especially when trying to attract new prospects and build a prospect list. Create a strategy where email, direct mail, social media, SEO and other marketing activities work together.
With GDPR it is imperative that when obtaining new contacts, permission is sought before any communication can be sent. The use of forms with a double opt-in is the most foolproof method, together with clear opt-in options before submission will keep you on the right side of the law and make sure that those already on your list have provided explicit consent.
Even if someone has opted-in to receive emails on a linked form, the opportunity to unsubscribe should also be available on every email sent, even if prior consent has been given.
Finally a few tips for good email practice
- Always personalise emails, this breaks down barriers and is less faceless than coming from a generic company address.
- Personalisation is more acceptable and less likely to be sent to the spam folder, so try to refrain from using info@ addresses which is a sure way to increase your spam score. Software providers monitor spam scores and have been known to block accounts if it goes too high.
- Don’t confuse people with over-elaborate, ambiguous, and cluttered emails with lots of links, unnecessary text, and too many images. Be interesting, keep to the point and keep in mind most people are busy and will not waste time on too much waffle.
- Have a compelling headline/title that attracts interest and encourages people to click into the email. The title is the first thing along with your address that recipients will see, so it needs to be good.
If you have any questions that I haven’t covered here, then please get in touch we have a dedicated team who are always available to offer advice.