Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It wasn’t that long ago when the only option for businesses to market to customers was by mailing promotional materials.
The cost of printing and postage for promotional mailings is very expensive so many organizations now use email as a tool to inform, educate, and promote products/services to customers.
Prior to the use of computers, many businesses kept customer contact information on rotary card files.
Remember the old Rolodex card files?
This is how businesses store customer contact information. I’m sure many businesses still use this paper tracking system.
The World Has Changed
The world has changed since then, and how businesses communicate with their customers has changed.
Today, organizations use technology to store, retrieve, and print customer contact information.
You may use technology to send mass mailings to customers to promote a new product or service.
Many organizations now develop an email marketing strategy because technology can save precious time and valuable resources that would otherwise be spent on paper and postage.
Email technology is changing how we communicate with our customers. More and more businesses are asking you for your email address.
When was the last time you checked out at a store and you weren’t asked for your email address?
Businesses know that collecting email addresses is the new way to communicate sales, promotions, or simple customer messages.
Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing
Determine What You Are Trying To Achieve
Gather your team and brainstorm specific goals for your email marketing campaign. Make sure these are SMART goals that are specific and can be measured.
For instance, if you want to grow your subscriber list, determine a number for that growth. If you have 1,000 subscribers, you may want to double that to 2,000 subscribers within a reasonable period of time.
Grow Your Email List
In today’s environment of ever-changing Google algorithms, it is imperative to have a solid email list.
Begin growing this list through your marketing campaign and segment the list based on demographics, customer behaviors, or preferences to send more targeted content.
Great Content Is King
Invest the time and money into creating helpful content for your audience. Personalize emails with the recipient’s name to get their attention and use creative subject lines to entice them to learn more.
Create content that adds value for your customers so they will return for more.
Optimize For Mobile
More and more people are now accessing content on mobile devices. Be aware of this and ensure your emails are mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
Remember to test your emails on different devices and email carriers to ensure they go through. For instance, you might want to test a Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook address to see how the email displays.
Make It Personal
Improve engagement by personalizing emails. Consider prior behaviors of purchasing or browser preferences to ensure a personal touch.
Determine The Best Send Time
Most email marketing vendors can show you the best time to send emails to your particular audience.
Consider the various time zones and how many emails you send.
There are different schools of thought on this. Some would recommend high numbers of emails for engagement. Others recommend fewer yet more in-depth emails. Consider your audience and the best approach.
Make Sure They Hit The InBox
Technology is constantly upping the game to keep spam out of inboxes.
Monitor your email list to keep it clean and above board. Keep your email list clean by removing invalid or bounced addresses.
Study The Analytics
Pay attention to key analytic metrics for your email campaign. For instance, you will want to monitor conversion, open, and clickthrough rates.
Learn from this data to strategize more in-depth approaches to your email campaign.
Utilize Automation Technology
Most email vendors offer automation for your emails that can trigger emails based on customer actions.
For instance, when someone signs up for your email list, this automation may send them a welcome email.
Know the CAN-Spam Act
Just a few short years ago, businesses were sending emails to anyone with an email address.
This caused many of us to get annoyed by the spam, and Washington responded in 2009 with the Can-Spam Act.
This law has very specific guidelines for how businesses collect email addresses and send promotional material via email.
If you are unfamiliar with the CAN-Spam Act be sure to get familiar so that you don’t violate the law.
Use an Email Marketing Service Provider
Businesses can only send out an email campaign if there are email subscribers – and subscribers must be permitted to be put on your email marketing list.
So, how do businesses collect email addresses the legal way?
With the advent of email marketing strategies, some companies help you to automate the process.
These service providers take responsibility for your email list and ensure you have permission to send emails, offer the option for a subscriber to unsubscribe, and clean email addresses to keep them from bouncing.
Many email marketing service companies are available, but I use MailChimp to manage my newsletter campaigns and automate my email marketing efforts.
I can set it and forget it by linking my blog to MailChimp. Whenever I publish a new article, it automatically goes into a campaign queue with preset times for delivery to my subscribers.
There is a good chance you saw this article by receiving it through our email campaign!
I can manage my subscribers by seeing the total list, who subscribed, who unsubscribed, and how often the email was opened. The data that is available helps plan email campaigns.
Use List Building Technology and Opt-In Tools
Businesses now realize the value of an email list and often struggle with legitimate ways to add customers.
They understand that the more people on the list, the more customers it can reach with promotional materials.
I discovered a tool that provides visitors to your website more opportunities to opt into your email subscribers list by prompting them to subscribe while visiting the site.
The tool I use is called the Sumo List Builder. I can’t tell you how valuable this tool has been for our business.
We were able to increase our subscribers substantially simply by using this tool.
We have grown our email subscriber list by using this technology to prompt readers to subscribe.
And yes, there is a free option for this tool!
This is simply one of many tools on the market that you can research and try.
Business Marketing Is Constantly Changing
The way businesses market to customers is constantly changing.
And in this ever-changing world of technology, many businesses have discovered that email is an efficient way to market products and services to their customers.
Now might be a good time to embrace technology to manage your email list, but don’t forget to comply with the law, provide valuable promotions and content to your customers, and watch your list of prospects grow!
How does your business use email marketing?