In the early days of internet consumption, people loved email. An incoming “You’ve got mail!” notification was a source of excitement. But now, with the rise of social media and the annoyance of inbox clutter, do people still like email? Should your business still use email marketing?
The short answer is yes. How many people do you know without an email address? Email is a huge part of our lives as individuals, companies, and consumers. Having a mailing list and a direct way to communicate with your audience in a place most people visit every day—their inbox—is essential. However, as with all online marketing tools, it comes down to how you use it.
Use the right email marketing platform
Whether you’re an expert or a newbie, email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact give you the tools and training to get started quickly. When you get stuck, there’s a software support team to help with your success.
In addition to providing an easy way to segment your mailing list, you have access to professionally-designed email templates that ensure your content looks polished when it hits a reader’s inbox. Templates can be easily customized with your logo and colours to match your brand.
Build & segment your email list
- Create signup and opt-in forms on your website. Whether in a pop-up box, sidebar, or in the footer, get potential customers subscribed to your content when they visit your site with strategically-placed signup forms. Or, if you already have forms on your website, include an opt-in checkbox to collect emails from visitors who are already interested in your business.
- Use social media. If you have a well-established social media following, use that resource to share your signup form and encourage email subscriptions. You can even add a tab to your business’ Facebook page that encourages newsletter sign-ups and links right to your MailChimp account.
- Host contests or offer discounts. People need to see value in signing up for your mailing list and this can be a way to get that first bite. Create an incentive, such as a prize for a new subscriber or purchase discounts, to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list.
- Old-fashioned signup sheet. If you’re at an event or physical location surrounded by people who are into what you do, give them the opportunity to sign up and learn more. Alternatively, if you have an iPad at your disposal, gather sign-ups the digital way so that information gets uploaded right away.
Once you’ve built your email list, it is a good idea to segment that list. Segmentation increases the personalization of your content. It involves dividing your subscriber list into different groups based on shared characteristics. For example, your mailing lists could be separated based on geographic location, demographics, subscribers’ interests, or subscribers’ desired frequency. Segmentation ensures your subscribers are getting the content they want to see, which can lead to lower unsubscribe rates.
Personalizing your message based on customer actions is a significant benefit of email marketing that other digital marketing tactics cannot provide.
Comply with anti-spam legislation
If your business is getting into email marketing, the last thing you want is to be slammed with is a pricey non-compliance penalty from Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Get the low-down on your obligations and consult with your business lawyer to ensure you can reach new and old customers and still be onside with CASL. If you’re engaging in email marketing outside of Canada, make sure you’re familiar with that country’s laws, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.
Adjust your e-newsletter frequency
You want your emails to be something that people look forward to opening. Not emailing enough can decrease brand awareness, but emailing too often can lead to customers tuning out or unsubscribing altogether.
Frequency will vary from industry to industry. For some business to business companies, quarterly emails are an excellent place to start. For others, monthly emails are more realistic. One frequency size may not fit all either. Frequency can be adjusted for different segmented groups, or by giving customers a choice on frequency. Using your email marketing tool, you can measure and analyze open and click rates within your different segments to get insight on ideal frequency.
Bottom line: emails need to add value to a recipient’s inbox, or they’re going to hit unsubscribe, no matter how frequently or infrequently you email them.
Start email marketing your business today
If you want to learn more about email marketing and how to effectively reach your mailing list with a digital marketing strategy, the experienced team at Bluetrain is here to help. Contact us today to get those inboxes flowing.