By Alice Cripps
When carried out correctly, email marketing has proved itself to be a highly effective method of communicating with clients. In fact, over 87% of retailers utilise email marketing to share content, improve sales and increase brand awareness. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as hitting ‘send.’ Powerful email marketing requires care and planning to really achieve these benefits.
Are you considering starting an email marketing campaign or newsletter for your business? If you want to make the most of email marketing, read on for my 5 top tips to consider when getting started.
1. Consistency is key
Before you dive into the world of email marketing, ask yourself whether this new-found enthusiasm will languish, or whether you’re in it for the long haul. Email marketing is often not an overnight sensation, so consistency is key to ensure the success of your campaign. Some companies give up on email marketing when they don’t see immediate results. Don’t be like them!
Consider whether it is plausible for your business to send regular emails. You don’t need to have email content planned for the next quarter, but you need to know that you have the resources to stay consistent. A persistent stream of emails helps you to increase engagement and see long-term results.
2. Stay relevant
Have you ever read a cold email that seemed to have nothing to do with the content you had signed up for?
People sign up to receive email content with a specific expectation in mind, and it is important that you don’t mislead clients by straying too far from this expectation.
What’s more, if subscribers aren’t happy with the content they are receiving, they will unsubscribe. If your email marketing campaign causes too many people to unsubscribe, your emails may end up in the junk folder, permanently damaging your company’s reputation. In short, make sure that receivers are reading what they opted in for.
3. Maintain a healthy mailing list
When starting any email marketing campaign, you need to be sure that you can depend on your mailing list. There are two steps to this process.
Firstly, you need to be sure that you are not sending content to old or invalid email addresses. These false contacts detract from a healthy mailing list, and can result in your emails ending up in the junk folder. Before you hit send, run your mailing list through a secure email checker to weed out any void contacts.
The last thing you want is for your contacts to report your emails as spam. Make sure that you remove anyone that never engages with your content every few months to protect your sending reputation.
4. Choose the right ESP
Once you’ve made the commitment to email marketing and filtered your mailing list, it is essential to select the right email service provider (ESP) for the job.
The best way to do this is to research a range of ESPs to find the one which is the best fit. Look into the kind of companies which are using the service. If these companies look a lot like yours in terms of size and structure, this could indicate that the ESP is a good match.
Different platforms offer different features which could be vital, or useless, for your company’s purpose. While certain providers put emphasis on deliverability and scope, others favour automation. Reading reviews of the ESPs helps to determine their best and worst features.
Don’t forget to make the most of the free trials these service providers offer before committing to just one!
5. Follow best practice
You can follow all 4 tips above, but if your cold emails are unlawful, your email marketing campaign will not be a success. Best practice will become instinctive after some time in the email marketing game, but it’s helpful to use a checklist when starting out:
Do you have consent from everyone on your mailing list?
Are you transparent with your identity when signing off emails?
Are you using an email address which people can reply to, unless you have specified otherwise?
Does your email template include an ‘Unsubscribe’ link?
Are you following the laws of the countries that your clients reside in?
Email marketing is a key component of an effective marketing strategy for small businesses. It’s one of the best ways to flaunt your service to customers, whilst remaining authentic.
By going to the effort of publishing consistent and relevant content, choosing the right provider, streamlining your mailing list and following best practice, your company can reap the benefits of email marketing.
Alice Cripps is a graduate in French and English Literature from the University of Birmingham. She is currently working as an English teacher at a university in Toulouse, but has plans to enter into the publishing industry. In her spare time, she loves reading, travelling and trying out new brunch spots.