The death of email marketing has been a hot topic over the past few years, but recent reports have suggested that not only is that not true, but in fact email marketing is on the rise.

Researchers found that 51% of marketers rate email marketing as their most effective channel, followed closely by SEO (45%) and Adwords (34%). This isn’t surprising when you consider how much cheaper, more measurable and better targeted email can be than any other marketing tactic.

So if you have decided you would like to do some email marketing and grow your business using this fantastic tool, there are a few key things to consider and decide before you get started.

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Email marketing systems

If you are serious about email marketing, you have got to have the right system in place. If you are emailing one or two people, you can always use your Gmail account or Hotmail account but when it comes to mass mailing, you have to have the right tools at your disposal.

There are many options available on the market, which cater for varying requirements and budgets, most of which have a number of key features that are essential for good email campaign management.

Look for a system that incorporates CRM, email marketing and sales automation because those 3 functions work best when interlinked. Preferably you want all the features that you need under the same umbrella, rather than having separate systems with different functionalities that don’t speak to each other. InTouch CRM is a software that offers a lot of great features in one place.

Once you have found a system that matches your needs and fits within your budget, trial it! I cannot stress how important this is. The last thing that you want is committing yourself to a software that doesn’t quite do what you want it to.

The database

One of the first considerations when considering any email marketing campaign is the database. Who are you going to send the emails to? Customers? Prospective customers? Suppliers? Business partners? There are two main options here; you can create your own list (e.g. of existing customers) and develop and expand this over time or you can purchase a database.

Your data will be the driving force behind your email efforts, so make sure to grow it organically, keep it clean and up-to-date and actually use it in your decision making.

Most companies have their own email lists which they build up over time. These usually comprise of existing customers and/or previous prospects/leads that have inquired about their services etc.

You can build your list easily by adding new customers that have agreed to receive your emails or you may even consider adding an option to your website where prospects can sign up for emails. Remember to make sure your contacts have agreed to receive your promotional emails though.

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The Content

Once you’ve got your system and database in place, you are ready to create the content for your campaign!

As you may have heard, an email campaign is only as good as its content. What is the point of working hard to grow your email list if you’re just going to send your subscribers emails that suck? So in order for your email marketing efforts to work, your content needs to be brilliant.

Think about what people want to hear about, try not to sound too ‘salesy’. Think about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be informative (tips, industry news, useful information) and only 20% should be promotional, about your company and what you sell.

If you fail at this, and you send too much ‘salesy’ content, you will soon find your email stats going south and people will be unsubscribing from your emails faster than you can say ‘spam’.

Here is a useful article to help you get some ideas about content:

These are the fundamentals that you need to have a firm grasp on before you dive into the world of email marketing. Hopefully these tips and links to useful content have helped you make the first steps towards email marketing success.

About the author

Didi Zheleva is Content and Digital Marketing Executive at InTouch CRM – a web based sales and marketing software provider. I am committed to helping small businesses grow and passionate about all things digital. Good marketing doesn’t need to be too costly or too complicated!

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