With all the attention on social media marketing for your business these days, I started wondering if email marketing is becoming a thing of the past. Web users have evolved to accept that much of the email that comes through is spam or a waste of their time. But if done well, email marketing is still easily one of the most effective ways to communicate with your existing and prospective customers. To email market effectively in these times of social media explosion, increasing privacy issues and customer trust hurdles, one needs to be very careful about how they go about it. Here are some essential tips for effective email marketing today.
Work to Build Your Subscriber List
Encourage sign-ups every chance you get, without overdoing it of course. Offer an incentive, like a give-away or free something or other. The bigger the list the more productive it will be for you, period.
Give Good Value and Dont Over-Market
Content is king, for sure. First and foremost, people need to see value in the messages you send. Satisfy the readers first, then sell to them. Be sure not to spam your subscribers. If you go too far customers will start to leave you. Once or twice a month is my recommendation, maybe more frequently if you have a lot of good content. Keep the messages short and link to your website for more info. Readers can then scan your message quickly. People really like quickly.
I believe personality is very important in your customer communications. When theres so much interaction on the Web these days, people enjoy different and unique flavors. So give your message some flair, be careful and be respectful, but dont be afraid to put some of yourself in it. Leave the cold unhuman email newsletters to the big companies. Test. Test. Test! Make sure you know what the customer will get. Set up a test mailing list containing a few test email addresses. Try to make sure the emails are received using a few different common email applications: Outlook, Windows Mail, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. Yes, this is an important step. These different email applications will each show your message slightly differently, its important that you know it looks acceptable to everyone as best you can.
Use an Email Marketing Service
Sorry, but no. You cant use Microsoft Outlook and mass mail to your customer list. ISPs generally limit how many senders you can send to at once to a very low number, and most email applications today will spam filter these messages very often. For $15 a month you can use a reputable email marketing service and take care of all of your email marketing technical obstacles. All you need to do is write the copy, add the images and links. Here are the benefits…
- Ensures your messages get through to the reader.
- Makes your newsletter very professional looking.
- Gives you feedback about how your messages get read.
- Automates your newsletter sign-ups and manage your list(s).
- Lets you link to your old newsletters from your website.
- Allows you to automate message sending.
An email marketing service I have used with good satisfaction is Constant Contact. Theyve been around a long time and are one of the best.
Email marketing is a solid strategy. Its cheap and effective. Done with care using the tips above, your business will see a benefit for sure.