Many businesses communicate with their customers and suppliers primarily through email.Email marketing is therefore a powerful strategy for generating leads and enhancing sales.However, success does not come overnight. Email marketing is a long-term marketing strategy which requires sustained effort and good planning.
The following are great tips which would be useful for anyone getting started with email marketing.
1. Do your research
Many small business owners make the mistake of jumping into list building without doing any research first. Getting into email marketing without any overall plan is likely to result in a marred brand image.Before doing anything, you should first carry out some research to find out where your intended audience is spending their time online. Think of a message which will enhance their chances of joining your mailing list, and how you can merge your online and offline list building campaigns.
2. Select an email marketing service
An email marketing service enables you to gather and manage email contacts, send targeted messages, craft tailored email messages and monitor the results. Such services usually offer a dashboard which contains all these features. There are many email marketing services out there to choose from, all of them offering varying
features and prices. To find out which service suits you best, write a list of the features that are most essential for you. In addition, consider how much you are willing to spend on an email marketing service.
3. Build your mailing list
After doing your research and finding a suitable email marketing service, you can then begin building a well-structured mailing list. One of the best ways of getting people to sign up is by having an opt-in form on your site. Make sure the form is placed in a prominent position on your page where visitors can easily see it. If your site has an online shopping system or a contact form, you could also include a signup form in these pages. You could also consider using social media channels to drive traffic to your site
Finally, you need to ensure that the process of signing up is as fast and easy as possible. The more convenient it is, the faster your mailing list will grow.
4. Obey the rules
There are several etiquette rules you need to keep in mind before you start sending emails to your list:
- Don’t add any email address to your list without the owner’s consent
- Don’t spam your contacts
- Use clean and non-offensive language
- Check your messages for broken links and spelling mistakes
- Don’t share your email contacts with a third party
Besides the above etiquette rules, you should also get familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act. These are laws which were created to safeguard consumers from receiving unsolicited messages.
5. Guarantee privacy
When signing up for your list, make sure subscribers know exactly what they should expect to receive. It would also be advisable to inform them of how frequently they are likely to get emails from you. In addition, offer them a guarantee that their information will not be shared with anyone else and will only be used for the purpose mentioned.
6. Offer an incentive
Offering subscribers a free incentive is a very effective strategy for getting people to signup. You could offer a discount, voucher, free product or free report. Make sure people understand that by submitting their details to receive the free incentive, they are also joining your mailing list. However, you should always give people the option to unsubscribe whenever they wish.