In recent years, social media and mobile marketing have received a lot of attention. Even though email marketing may not seem as sexy, it still remains the cornerstone of digital marketing. In fact, with a strong content marketing approach, email is more powerful than ever.
Email marketing helps boost customer loyalty with your brand, drive business to your online (and offline) store, integrate multi-marketing channels, and fuel the growth of social networks. Here are some tips to get you started with email marketing.
A number of small businesses use gmail, hotmail or other free email accounts because, well, they’re free. But getting a branded email through a domain name can help you appear more professional and legitimate to prospective customers. Small businesses face a lot of challenges, so why not take lack of credibility off the list? In a recent Verisign survey, 90% of consumers agreed they are more comfortable becoming a customer of a small business that uses a branded email than one that doesn’t. The same survey found that consumers are almost twice as likely to believe a business is more credible if they use a branded email address.
Typically, the cost and effort for branded email is low. If you don’t yet have a domain name for your business, you’ll need to register one to set up branded email. The name you select for your business says a lot about your business, so take care to pick a domain extension that’s credible and widely recognized. Most domain registrars and hosting companies will have an FAQ on how to incorporate or forward your new email address into the most popular programs such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Yahoo etc., or will provide you a branded email service for only a couple of dollars a month. If you’re wedded to how your Gmail works, for $5/month Gmail supports integration with branded email through Google Apps for Business.
Building your list is probably the most important part of email marketing. It’s important to make sure everyone on your list has opted in to receive marketing emails. We recommend you follow these industry standards:
When determining the ESP you should choose, it’s important to have an idea of how many subscribers you have and in some cases how often you plan to email them. Most ESPs base their pricing plans on these factors.
There is a large selection of ESPs to choose – ranging from easy to use web-based solutions to robust on-premise providers. As a small business getting started you should consider a solution that will help you grow, cost you minimal, and don’t lock you into large contracts. Here are some suggestions:
When creating copy for your emails remember to keep it short and simple, but relevant. Ask yourself if your customers will find the content valuable and if it’s worth their time to read.
Here are some other tips:
Unfortunately there is no magic formula that works for every business. Sending two emails a month may be too often for some and not often enough for others. Testing is the best way to determine how often you should send, and what day or time of day will get you the highest engagement rate.