Getting your email marketing strategy right can be one of the best ways of converting interest in your products and services into real business.
It seems more and more small businesses are switching onto the fact that keeping in touch with their contacts list, as well as providing them with a heads up on any special offers, news and promotions is the way forward to winning over customers. And with larger companies increasing their digital marketing spend by as much as 9% in 2013, with the knowledge that email marketing really works, we’re sure that smaller businesses are starting to see the sense in following the trend.
As with our last blog post on Adwords vs SEO, where we touched on a popular topic, we frequently get asked the question: how do you make your email marketing successful?
We’ve put together some email marketing tips, which we believe are a good basis for raising, as well as maintaining, awareness of your company. Successful email marketing campaigns can be built on the following principles:
Maintaining and building your contact list
If you’re looking to start using email marketing as a tool in your business, you first of all need to build a list of customers and potential customers. Keeping a list of everyone you meet is a start, as well as never missing an opportunity to collect contact information. This will all go into compiling your customer database.
The quality of your list is what determines how successful your email marketing campaigns will be. In other words, how complete is the data you’ve collated on an interested potential customer? Do you have their right address, postcode, email address? And is it up to date?
So the message is:
- Don’t miss an opportunity to sign someone up to receive an email from your business, whether it’s through a signup form on your website or on your social media pages, or by filling in a card in your offices/showroom.
- Make the signing up process as simple as possible and reassure contacts they can unsubscribe at any time.
- Collect business cards wherever you can but ask permission to add them to your mailing list.
- Try and ensure that the information on your contacts is entered correctly into your database. This avoids possible email bounce-backs (the system rejecting the email address as it is wrong) and you losing out on maintaining contact with that customer.
Providing great content that is relevant
In the last few years, we’ve seen the world of marketing go topsy-turvy with the rise of social media. How businesses sell their products now is all about giving ‘value’ to the customer; such as delivering great customer service, sharing tips and photos on Facebook, encouraging customers to enter a competition via Twitter and much much more. So the company that provides the most value, is the one most likely to win the business.
Emails to your contact database then should be pithy, provide relevant information to the recipient and so encourage them to find out more. Things to remember are:
- Your email marketing campaigns can include hints and tips as well as information on new products or events – all of which your contacts can easily use and then share.
- Building the relationship with your customers is key so it’s all about establishing the rapport – once you’re engaged in a conversation with them, don’t stop the momentum!
- It may seem obvious but always read and then re-read your emails before sending then out. You wouldn’t want to press send, only to discover a typo or a hyperlink that doesn’t work.
Make sure your email gets to the right inbox
You’ve invested some time in compiling your contact list, and you’ve put together a great-looking email which you know will be of interest to those on your database – you’re nearly ready to send it out into the ether, but before you do, here are some potential pitfalls which could stop the email reaching the person it’s intended for:
- Ensure the ‘from’ name is a recognisable email address from your company domain. Contacts are far more likely to open an email if they know who it’s from.
- Devise a ‘subject’ line that will appeal to people and make them want to open it – something not too long but at the same time giving a call to action. And try and avoid exclamation marks and too many capital letters as they are classic spam triggers.
- Most email marketing software, such as MailChimp or iContact, have online guides to help you make the most of your email campaigns, as well as offering you the chance to test out a subject line or send a test email before you press the button. A really handy tool!
So those were our email marketing tips and best practices for giving you a helping hand in planning and implementing a successful email marketing strategy – good luck!
For more information on the website and digital marketing services we provide to clients, contact us!