An excellent way to keep in touch with your customers and stay front-of-mind is through email marketing. It provides one of the highest returns on investment for marketers, and is 40 times more effective than mediums such as Facebook or Twitter (source). Though, like anything in life, there’s the right way to do it, and the wrong way to do it.
Below are 5 things you should start doing right now to capitalise on this customer-catching-cauldron of cash-building awesomeness:
Manage your database
– if you don’t have a subscribe form on your website, if you don’t collect your customer’s email addresses, and if you aren’t keeping track of your email leads then do it now. Use a spreadsheet to neatly organise your customers’ information – you can be as detailed as you like and include their purchases, location, date of initial contact and much more – whatever is useful to you. Most email programs let you have multiple lists so you can organise your database into easy to navigate groups; from past customers to potential ones, you can tailor each message to the right audience. Read more about why it’s important to capture and grow your email database
Grow your database – if you already have an email database but new subscribers are waning, there are a number of ways you boost your numbers legally* and without annoying your database. Start with an incentive – run a competition on Facebook and get people to fill out a form capturing their details (Bonus: you can increase your Facebook Likes here too), and encourage people to share the competition with friends. Another incentive is offering a discount or voucher for new subscribers, or you could give away some useful content like a checklist or guide. You can also make it a little more obvious to your website visitors by adding a popup to the website, or the subtle tick box at the bottom of an enquiry form. *Speaking of legalities, make sure you are collecting your emails ethically. More on that below!
Don’t forget about mobile
– most of us use our phones for just about anything internet-related, and the list of things is long; from Google searches and GPS, to Facebook browsing and online shopping. Well checking email is at the top of that list too – in fact, 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices, (source
) so you might want to check how your email newsletters are looking on a smart phone. We’ve all made our websites responsive for mobile
and tablet. (If you haven’t you need to. Speak to us about how we can help). Email newsletters are no different, they need to be mobile friendly. If your email newsletter template isn’t mobile friendly already, talk to us
and we can help you put together a solution.
Be compliant – Australia has some fairly strict Anti-Spam legislation in place which means you need to extra careful about your email marketing and database collection practises. Don’t ever buy a list of contacts, or, unethically obtain or use your customer’s personal information. It’s illegal to send an ‘unsolicited commercial electronic message’, but by following these three main requirements you can be sure to be compliant:
- Consent – you must have the consent of the recipient before you can send an email marketing message. Consent can be inferred based on your relationship with them – check the Anti-Spam website for more information
- Identity – any email marketing sent out in Australia must contain easily identifiable information on who solicited the email – i.e. the sender, including their contact information.
- Unsubscribe – your email marketing templates must include an ‘unsubscribe’ link or instructions on how to unsubscribe, and any requests to unsubscribe must be fulfilled within 5 working days.
- Learn more: http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Marketers/Anti-Spam
Spice it up and experiment
– one rule of email marketing
you should remember is that there are no rules; that is, when it comes to things like subject lines or time of email. There are certainly plenty of tips out there that recommend these particular words and this particular day of the week, and that may well have been the case in their experiments, but the truth is you won’t really know what works best for your business and your audience without doing your own testing. Try different days of the week and different times of the day, experiment with your subject lines and layouts, include more or less text, and customise your message depending on who you are sending to. A/B testing is an excellent way to test your campaigns and is something we highly recommend. You never know, the results of your own experiments might surprise you!
If you need advice about email marketing or would like to create a newsletter template, get in touch with the team at e-CBD.