Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers, and it’s effective too. Well-written emails that give some value to the reader help to outline your expertise and credibility, and act as a trackable marketing channel. Organising, writing and managing this type of marketing is time-consuming, however, so when do you need to call on specialist email marketing help?
Email marketing management
When small businesses talk about using email as a channel, it’s common for them to think about the potential content of their emails, their frequency and what they will look like. There are a couple of crucial steps to take before you start writing or designing, however, which is where good quality email marketing support can be worth its weight in gold. That’s because the right support can take on the responsibility for managing the following – all of which are essential to a good campaign:
Research your target audience – the more you know about the person reading your emails, the more focused they can be and the more likely they are to have an impact. The first step in email marketing for small businesses is to get a good understanding of the target audience – what they are interested in; how much money they are likely to spend with you; their barriers to buying from you; the time of day they might be most likely to see and read your email – all of this and more is part of making your emails as focused as possible.
Build a list – there’s no point having an email marketing strategy if you don’t have anyone to send it to. That means you need to either have a list to begin with, or think about building one. And once you’ve started, you need to have a way to increase that list so you are reaching more people. For many businesses, this means a sign-up form on their website, but you can also build your list through offering free downloads or offers in return for a sign-up to the list, asking people to sign up when you are presenting at an event, or exhibiting at a show, and encouraging people to sign up via your business social media pages. If you are an online retailer, you are collecting that data as part of a sale, so you may also offer an opt-in to your email list at that point.
Comply with GDPR – you must only email people with marketing information if you are allowed to do so under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force in May 2018. There are various ways in which customers or potential customers can consent to you contacting them, and you have to comply with the law. One of the biggest benefits of using professional email marketing management services is that they understand the law and are able to advise you on how to work within it whilst also running successful campaigns.
Design a strategy – your email marketing campaign should support your general business strategy. So if you are promoting a particular product or service, want to upsell a range to existing customers or grow your business by increasing offers and promotions, your email campaign needs to be structured accordingly. Having a forward plan means you can see exactly how the campaign will work, and budget accordingly.
Write and design your emails – knowing your audience and having a strategy makes this part of your email campaign much easier. You’ll know what you’re writing about, what offers to add and what links you want to include. A good email marketing support service will also be able to help design you a template for your emails, so that readers see a consistent design every time. This helps to build your brand and your relationship with them, making it easy for them to find what they are looking for.
Finalise and send – the easiest way to manage your email campaigns is through email software. There are several different options, and many of them a free for small business users, so you can really benefit from choosing to do things this way. The software will also give you some useful statistics, so that you can see who has opened your email, who has followed the links and who has unsubscribed, for example.
Think you might need some help?
Email marketing is effective when it’s properly done. And, like everything associated with running a small business, it takes time. Getting in some email marketing help can release you to concentrate on the things you are best at, whilst knowing that this marketing channel is in safe hands. To find out more, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.