Simple Ways to Start Email Marketing

In today’s digital marketing environment, companies can engage and communicate with their target audiences in multiple ways. You can promote your business through your website, a blog, in social media networks, or on a person’s mobile device. Because it has become the norm for people to spend several hours each day online, brands take advantage of this opportunity to push their presence as much as possible to ensure that they get the public’s attention.

This, however, can cause people to tune out all the digital noise when they become constantly bombarded with ads and other kinds of promotional material. The challenge for businesses today is to find a way to communicate with people in a quieter, more effective way — and to accomplish this, an older marketing technology has been found to be suitable for the job.

Emails may be considered old school, but there’s no denying their positive impact on a company’s marketing objectives — so you should have a solid email marketing campaign in place if your goal is to help your business flourish.

Here are some simple ways to get started on your own email marketing initiatives.

Determine the best ways to get your target consumers’ email addresses

The first thing you need to do is to build your list — to obtain email addresses from the market you aim to focus on. When a person gives you their email address, they are essentially allowing you to drop by their online doorstep: their email inbox. Once you are welcomed inside, you can then share content that promotes your products and services.

Of course, obtaining email addresses is no easy feat. Consumers are wary about businesses seeking to ply them with countless emails that offer little to no value — they don’t want just anyone cluttering their inbox, so they become selective about whom to share their address with.

So you need to offer something that people are interested in and will want to see in their inbox. Offer something of value that they can benefit from, like special offers or a series of free e-books, downloads, and updates on issues relevant to your industry and the recipient’s lives. And with these, you can integrate a form of registration to secure their subscription.

Play the most effective follow-up game

You need to clearly introduce your brand, as well as inform your new subscribers of what they can expect to receive from you, and when or how often. You must be consistent with your pitch and to send only the offers and content that are relevant to their unique needs, behaviours and preferences.

One of the best tools that you can use to generate the personalised content that you will be sending out to each subscriber is the autoresponder. It is a sequence of email marketing messages that are automatically sent out to the people on your list according to a specific order and frequency.

You can choose to use any of these recommended autoresponders depending on your business requirements and preferences:

  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • InfusionSoft
  • GetResponse
  • Wired Marketing

Measure results with analytics

Finally, when it comes to email analytics, there are three elements you must look out for: open rate, clickthrough rate, and unsubscribes. These factors help you understand what actions your subscribers perform after receiving your emails. Understanding analytics helps you decide on what to do to improve your campaign — that could mean enhancing your copy, modifying your call to action, providing more value, or managing expectations, among others.

Email marketing is crucial to your strategy of engaging consumers and building their relationships with your brand, so doing it right — by getting expert help from marketing specialists — is your only option.

And a final word about the new buzz-word acronyms “GDPR” which are really important for businesses and organisations to take note of now, before it starts. This is a EU Parliament produced regulation and is the “General Data Protection Regulation”. Agreed in April 2016, it will take effect from 25th May 2018 – so now’s the time to start thinking about how you store and use your own, and your clients’ data. The directive has been setup to “protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.” Which for us, sounds like a great thing!

The CANSPAM act from 2003, really doesn’t cover the technological world we now live in 24/7. This is maybe a brand new topic for another blog, but to bring the focus back to your email marketing, the key element of the GDPR will be the harder rules on consent. Which, if you’ve ever been signed upto someone’s newsletter list, just because you’ve connected with them on LinkedIn, will come as refreshing news. You *must* offer an opt-in not an opt-out process *hurrah* and it will be common polite practice to run a double opt-in services for your newsletters.

Hopefully GDPR will make businesses think twice before “just adding your email to our list” as there will be penalties of 4% of your income should you be found in breach of this new directive. So please teams, make sure you’re ethical with your clients and contacts emails!

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