Working and studying in marketing for the past 12 years, I could probably admit to being a bit of a marketing geek. Personally, I actually enjoy putting marketing foundations in place that you know has made a huge positive difference to a business, by generating more enquiries, sales and ultimately money. The way we can track the success of our campaigns enables us to critically analyse what works and what doesn’t. Email marketing is one of the best forms of this, and it can be used in so many different cool ways.
The most well known usage of Email Marketing are email newsletters. These can be a mix of recent blogs, a latest product range, a special offer, promoting a specific event etc. (I could go on…). E-Newsletters allow you to communicate directly to your audience on a regular basis and track individuals to see if, and how, they interacted with your newsletter. Well known companies such as Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp are the leading providers in software to facilitate your databases and newsletters. I’m still yet to find anything that comes close.
“I get E-mail newsletters all the time and I find them so annoying.” I hear you cry. I absolutely agree, only because they’re done so badly, so often. This unfortunately taints the general opinion of email marketing as “spammy emails”. The reality, is that targeted emails with interesting content that your mailing list will actually find interesting not only keep people aware of your brand but actually drives sales. If you keep the information about your products/services relevant and your list is likely to be interested in the first place, people will read, click and engage with your business.
This graphic from Moz sums it up perfectly, although it’s about blogging, the principles are still the same…
Another useful way of using email marketing is automation. You can automate emails to individuals based on parameters usually based on specific dates. Check out the below, taken from Campaign Monitor at the time of writing this blog (it’s always changing and updating) –
This gives you an idea of the level of automation that you can get your teeth into. Celebrate a birthday by offering a unique discount code or ensure your subscribers get blogs posts as soon as they go live. You can really look after your customers and ease them through complicated processes, or use it as an incentive to write some positive reviews. Take a look at the graphic below, which sums it up quite nicely.
Mailing lists and Segmenting
You could have the best content in the world, but if it’s going out to people who don’t give a monkeys then it’s pointless. Would you send out a young women’s clothing promo emails to people who love classic cars? No. Don’t buy lists. Never succumb to the sales executive promising loads of “quality” email addresses for £300, it’ll never work. Thing is, a list of 50 people who have shown an interest in your products/services is better than 50,000 who haven’t. It’s better to grow your list in organic ways as it’ll always remain targeted and planned, which is the best way. When collecting data, often offering incentives to people will help with sign ups. Sell clothes online? Give a discount code. Offer services to businesses? Offer a free whitepaper or special guide.
Here’s another example of how to do this on CM –
The more you can find out about each person in your mailing list, the better. For example, if you know the age, sex, interests of a person, you can then send out specific emails based on these parameters. A little pointless if you’ve only got a few hundred, but if your list has been naturally built up to the 10,000s mark then these will help you speak out to your audiences on a more personal level. Better targeting = more sales. Simple as that!
Overall email marketing is one of my favourite marketing tools, as you can create some really nice looking, targeted and personalised emails that can go a really long way to engaging your audiences and, ultimately, increasing your bottom line. That’s why it’s awesome!
It’s cheap to do, but time intensive. Don’t be put off by spam emails, and really focus on the positives of having this unique direct form of communication with your contacts. If you’re struggling, you can always drop us a line!