The Basics of Effective Email Marketing That Works!

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Posted on 04 May 2015 09:09 in Small Business Hacks

Email marketing is very important for all businesses especially for small businesses. It's a very cost effective way to reach out and communicate your prospective customers. It also can help you build a strong relation with your existing customers.



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In today’s blog post, we will discuss why you should start with email marketing. But before that most important thing to understand is that Email Marketing is different than spamming. 

When you send thousands of unsolicited emails, not only you risk your emails ids and domain to be get blocked but also the risk of damaging your small business brand. On other hand targeted and solicited email campaign can lead to great success may it for brand building or generating sales leads.

What is Email Marketing?

In simple words, every email you send to the prospective customer with the hopes of gaining or continuing their business. It can be newsletter marketing to sell your products or services through your daily/weekly/monthly newsletter. Or through auto responders to feedback and support emails your receive for cross selling or through reminder emails for renewal of expired license and services. Because every time you have reason to send out email it's an opportunity to communicate with customer or prospect about your product or services.

Why Should You be Doing Email Marketing?

Because communication leads to inquiries and inquiries leads to selling.

If you provide useful and relevant information to your targeted audience, they will start looking at you as a subject expert. If your audience could get benefits from the information that you provide, there are greater chances they will enquire about your product or services. Such inbound inquiries are much stronger than any blind calls.

But the key is targeting the correct audience and then feeding them relevant and useful information.

Email is a cost effective marketing tool for brand building and to remain in front of your prospective customers. Brand recall is very important when make new product or service announcements. 

How to do Email Marketing?

So how to do effective email marketing? Here is a ‘start-to-finish’ approach.

  • Building Your Email List
    The first and most important step is to build your email list. Having curated opt-in subscribers list is a gold mine. You must make mailing list sign-up process as easy as possible. Ideally mailing list sign up form should have only two fields, name and email address or even an only email address.  

    Example of ShimBi Labs Newsletter (Click image to see live)
     
  • Just ask for the most necessary information, which is just the email address to be honest. You really do not need anything else. On newsletter.shimbi.in, we ask for just an email address, and we’re getting over 1000 new subscribers every week.

    It is good idea to add a link near submit button on form describing how you handle user data and privacy. People are concerned about privacy, and they don't want get 1000s of SPAM emails.

    Next to keeping it simple, Show your sign-up form when people are engaged on your website. Recently, we’ve done this by adding subscribe button at the end of all new blogs.

    You can also add newsletter subscription option on your checkout page. This way you can build an email list for people who are actually buying your products. You can later keep them updated about your new products.

    Of course, there are a lot of other things you could try, such as a sign-up in your sidebar, a social campaign on Facebook and Twitter for your email list.  Just take care don’t annoy people with your sign-up forms every time they visit your website.
     
  • Keep Your Email’s Content Engaging
    Ok now that you have an email list to send newsletters, next is contents for your newsletters. Contents should be useful, relevant and engaging. Your subscribers should want to read your newsletters or other emails. You must keep a healthy balance between promotional and informational content. This can be a fine line to walk, but it’s well worth the effort. 



    Here are some tips to keep your readers engaged:
    • Keeping a personal tone while writing newsletter or emails. It tends to resonate more with your following and seems to increase click ratios as well.
    • Interact with your newsletter subscribers by asking for feedback, giving special discounts or saying thanks. 
    • Send announcements about your new product or service. You can send something noteworthy within your line of work. We recently highlighted Google Mobile-Friendly search algorithm change in our newsletter. Keeping your subscribers up to date and sharing newsworthy items helps increase their engagement.
    • Share your knowledge, this is probably the most important one to do. Sharing is caring.  If your subscriber are well informed, trust in your brand will increase.
       
  • Ensure Email Deliverability
    Once your email list starts growing and you start sending newsletters, you should start thinking about email deliverability. What is email deliverability? It means how many percentage of emails that are actually getting into the inbox of your subscribers in your email list. Simply sending your newsletter from is not enough. You have a good chance your emails are actually ending up in people’s spam folders. And that’s a real waste of time and resources because people won’t even know you sent an email!

    If your are using MailChimp, then it has a simple checkbox to authenticate your campaign to increase your email deliverability. So make sure you use such email service that provide this feature. It doesn’t have to be MailChimp, as long as you’re sure to check for such deliverability options.

Quick Note: CMS Budo provides inbuilt newsletter module that handles subscription, newsletter design, email delivery and reports. 

  • Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly
    60% of people now surf the net on different mobile devices. Almost 50% of all newsletters being opened on mobile. So if you are considering of sending newsletter, it should be mobile friendly. A lot of the mailing services offer default templates that are mobile friendly. 
     
  • A/B Testing Your Emails
    It's good idea to check same newsletter with different subject lines and see which get more email open rate. Similarly, you can also test effective time to send the newsletter by sending it at different time of the day. Do some A/B testing for different email layout design to test click through rate.
     
  • Reports
    Measuring effectiveness of an activity is most important. Well-designed reports can provide you all necessary number to measure your effectiveness of the newsletter. It is necessary to know how many people opened the email and at what time. Click through rate for detailed understanding on which link in email people are clicking. The email bounced rate will help you keep mailing list clean. Unsubscription rate will tell you relevance and engagement with your newsletter content and if they wish to receive email from you or not. All this number are important to know what type of traffic and sales came from your newsletters, and all this boils down to Return on Investment (ROI). 

To Conclude

Email marketing is very important for all businesses especially for small businesses. It's a very cost effective way to reach out and communicate your prospective customers. It also can help you build a strong relation with your existing customers. But you must be very careful to send the newsletter to only those people who subscribe with you. Sending unsolicited spam emails can lead to damaging your brand and risking your domain get blocked.

Hope this blog post will help you start sending your newsletter.  Tell us what do you think? Let us know in the comments!



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