The Importance of Email Marketing (and how to do it well)
Owning a business and being a parent have a lot in common. Effectively communicating with your children and your clients is essential to maintaining good relationships in both areas. Unfortunately, regular meaningful conversation is often the first casualty when we get busy. An email newsletter is one way to communicate with clients and still get your work done. [Note: We do not recommend sending an email newsletter to your kids]
An email newsletter can be a great addition to your client communication and marketing strategy, provided you follow a few simple guidelines.
- Less is more. Resist the temptation to include a bunch of pictures and links in the same email. The purpose of the communication is to inform, so make it obvious what you want them to know. Our experience suggests much higher response rates from emails containing fewer topics.
- Professional Design. Unless you are a graphic designer, resist the urge to do design the template yourself. You might think a rainbow of color and images looks good, it doesn’t. Have someone help you, please.
- Keep it short. If you need to include more than a paragraph of information, write it on your website and link the email newsletter to your website. Most people will not read large blocks of text, and unless you are a superior headline writer (if you aren’t an accomplished copywriter, you probably aren’t a superior headline writer) they may not even do that. Make it easy for them to read.
Now that you have some guidelines, there are a number of other benefits that come from using an email marketing service like Workshed’s Pegmail or Mailchimp rather than a mass email from Outlook.
- List management. There are laws that govern who you are allowed to send things to, most email newsletter programs make sure you stay compliant and allow recipients to opt out.
- Scheduling. You may not know it, but there are some days and times that get higher response rates than others. Scheduling the delivery time allows you to take advantage of this phenomenon without having to be available when they occur.
- Testing. Ever wonder what subject line will get a better response? A/B testing allows you to test your subject lines (and more) by sending multiple versions of the same email to different groups.
- Data. Trust your instincts, but verify them with data. Mass emails don’t tell you who opened your email or what they clicked on. Email marketing services do. By studying what works and what doesn’t you help your business immensely.
To summarize: Use a well designed email template (we can help with that) to communicate a concise message about one or two topics. Test for best response and schedule it to send at an optimum time. Review the data and use it to improve your next message.
Rinse and repeat.
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