As in my earlier post, email marketing continues to drive the highest return on investment of any form of online marketing. Doesn’t that make you sit up and take notice! Yet according to the August 2012 Sensis e-Business Report, while 52% of medium-sized businesses are using email marketing to promote their business, small business is lagging some way behind at only 30%. If you’re not yet using email marketing, here are the main points for getting started.
How to get started on Email Marketing
1. Use an email marketing provider, such as MailChimp. Not only do they make it easy to setup and send good-looking emails, and manage your subscriber lists, they automatically include all the requirements such as Unsubscribe processes and anti-spam methods so that your emails don’t end up in junkmail folders.
2. Put a subscribe box on your website. Make sure you explain what it is they’re subscribing to and what value they’ll get from signing up. eg. “Get our monthly newsletter with valuable tips and email-only offers.” You may also put an opt-in at the point of checkout or account registration.
3. Add a signup link on your Facebook page, if possible. Most of the bigger email marketing providers will be able to supply this. Every so often you can add a Facebook post that mentions what’s in your upcoming newsletter and encourage more signups.
4. Draw up a schedule for sending your emails, with ideas for content that will keep people engaged. Consider tie-ins with global/national/local events, celebratory holidays like Easter and Christmas, and your own business anniversary. If your subscribers provide their birthday (even just the month they were born) you can send a birthday email, perhaps with a personal discount.
This detailed infographic offers 11 tips on sending email marketing campaigns. Click on it to see the full source.
What to include in emails to keep readers interested?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- An email “digest” – a summary of other items you’ve published since the last email, such as your blog posts, FB shares, new clients
- Helpful articles such as “how to…”
- Special offer coupons, exclusive to your subscribers
- Product reviews and testimonials
- Industry news and links to associated articles
- Add a survey (eg. via a link to a SurveyMonkey form) to provide a feedback channel (which can be anonymous).
And what NOT to do with email marketing:
- 5 email marketing mistakes to avoid – this article on Hubspot has a few suggestions. I’d say some are subjective but some are hard-and-fast rules.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to get started with email marketing, contact Right Hand Design. We can help you choose a provider, create a customised email template, and work on content and marketing ideas with you.