Emails seem so easy, don’t they? Type a few words, press send and you’re done. No sorting out envelopes and traipsing to the post office required.
But… hang on a second. How often have you pressed send and then regretted it? How often have you sent out a marketing email with little to no reply?
Hastily written messages are easy, but sending out good emails that will grow your business is a lot harder.
You also need to do your bit legally. Don’t be intimidated by this, it just means:
- Customers must actively opt-in to getting more information from you (eg from a tick-box on a sign-up form).
- You also need permission if you plan to share their info with third parties.
- They need an easy way to opt-out (such as an unsubscribe link on every email) if they want to stop further communications.
- Don’t reveal their email addresses to other people – this means you have to use BCC when you’re sending out emails to a group.
- It must be clear who you are and that you’re selling something.
In short, be honest about who you are, what you’re doing and let people say no to getting your emails.
To build your email list, think about the different ways you reach customers. One is surely when you are actively engaging and working with your clientele. Give them the chance to sign-up while agreeing a deal with you. At this stage most customers should be interested in what else you might have to say.
You could also have a form on your website for signing up to emails. The tricky thing here is that you have to make it sound like an attractive proposition. No one wants spam (and you mustn’t send it anyway). Offer genuine reasons to sign up – customers will get special offers or free information, for example – and your list should naturally increase in size over time.
Ask for enough data to be useful, but not so much that it might put people off signing up altogether. Some information you can gather later, such as spending habits.
Here, you might ask why you need data at all. Isn’t an email address enough?
Not in the long run – no! An email address doesn’t really tell you anything, and once you have a decent list, you might want to start sending targeted emails to specific segments of your readership. For example, if you’re a gardener you might have some customers interested in maintenance and some in landscaping. If you’re sending out a lot of emails about everything you do, they might start to feel bombarded. But if you work out what they’re particularly interested in, you can send emails that are more targeted – eg ones about landscaping to the landscaping crew. As a result your response rate will shoot up.
Have a look at whether you need to use email marketing software and research the current options out there. Tools like Mailchimp make it easy to send out emails, manage your database, offer templates and also provide analytics so you can find out what emails are working for you and which aren’t.
Content is important. In an ideal world, everything you send out should be useful or interesting to the recipient. What do you have to say? Have you written a timeline or planner or even a simple list of all the topics you could cover and when emails should be sent out? Do you know what tone you’re going to write them in? What’s right for an accountancy firm might not be the same as for a children’s nursery. Are you a good proof-reader and writer, or do you need to hire one? Think about your subject line – how is it going to grab your audience without sounding like spam?
Think about the design, too. You might want to start off with simple text emails, but html can work wonders to catch the eye. We will cover email design in a future blog, but drop us a line at 155 Creative if you have any questions in the meantime!
Assuming you’re sending out well-written emails that are relevant to your audience, this is when the responses should start rolling in. Hurrah!
Now you’ve just got to make sure you can reply to them all in good time. Easy peasy, right?
To speak to us today regarding a free consultation or to find out how we can help your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 275626. We look forward to hearing from you.