Reaching out to your customers and clients has never been easier than in this day and age – but when it comes to email marketing, are you making the most of what’s on offer in the digisphere?
With the New Year rolling around, there couldn’t be a better time to reach out to your client base. The holidays are a great excuse to send some good wishes, while the unspoken rule is that the New Year heralds a new start after the Christmas slump (it happens to the best of us).
So how do you get started with email marketing if you’ve never created or sent a newsletter before? The steps are simpler than you think, with many online newsletter service providers now offering free services and templates to create your own personalised email.
Kate Robarts, Marketing Executive at Opus Energy, has summarised the key things to know if you’re a small business planning on starting email marketing from scratch…
1. Low cost, high return
“Email marketing costs little compared to other forms of marketing, and often has the highest ROI (return on investment),” Kate explains.
So don’t think that just because you’ve always done print advertising, for example, that’s what you should keep doing. Many small businesses find that newer, online methods are actually more effective in terms of increasing custom or sales.
“There are many good email marketing programs out there which you can use to send emails out to a lot of people at once, and often these are free to use.” We like MailChimp, which has a free level of service, or if you’re looking at starting on a larger scale and happy to pay, Pure360 offers a host of emailing marketing services from scratch.
2. No spamming
“To get maximum engagement from your emails you need to ensure the content you’re sending isn’t classed as spam – either by your recipient or their email spam filter.”
Make sure that you have permission before adding anyone to an email list. If you aren’t sure what sort of permission is required, you can find all of the rules in this guide by the DMA.
Try putting your email through a spam detector online, such as this Email Spam Test, which will tell you if your email will get caught in spam filters and therefore not reach your customer.
Another way to make sure you’re reaching the right person, who wants to receive your email, is by segmenting your list of email addresses. Kate suggests: “Perhaps break your contacts down into frequent and infrequent customers, or target those who have shown interest in a particular product.”
3. Quality over quantity
“Whatever your email is, [newsletter, special offer, event invitation, etc.] make sure the content is engaging to your audience,” Kate recommends. Unnecessary or dull content will be instantly deleted or forgotten about.
Even worse, your email may not even be opened: “Make sure your email subject line is short, descriptive and eye-catching. Keep it to less than 50 characters and avoid generic words such as ‘free’ which can trigger spam filters.”
4. It’s who you know
One of the main expenses people experience for email marketing is paying for obtaining email addresses.
“To save money, consider compiling your own email list,” Kate suggests. “For example, perhaps you could run a competition which requires leaving an email address, or if you’re a pub or restaurant you could ask customers to leave their business cards.”
5. Stats, stats, stats
Finally – don’t let all your good efforts go to waste. Make sure you know if and how your marketing is working.
“When you send out any email make sure you measure your open and response rates and use these to inform your next campaign,” says Kate.
With these simple guidelines, business email marketing is simple but, most importantly, effective – try it out in 2015 and watch your connections grow.