At Original Ginger, we think everyone secretly loves email. Why? Because it allows us all to quickly and economically communicate with family, friends, and clients no matter where THEY are; or where WE are. Large utility companies like Telus, Bell, and Hydro are now sending bills electronically via email and more people are subscribing to online news reporting, delivered straight to their inbox. But how does this affect you as a business owner? Well, if you’re not already using email marketing — you need to get started! This is the first of a series of articles we’re writing covering simple points to help business owners like yourself understand the relevance of this tool, and how you can engage subscribers to open, click, and take action.
Let’s start with WHY your business should use email marketing
- Email is cost effective
- Email reaches a direct audience of subscribers who have expressed an interest in your product/service
- Email helps maintain relationships with existing customers
- Email helps build relationships with new customers
- Email is quick
- Email is measurable — you can determine who opens, clicks, and takes action as a result of a specific campaign
- Email is easily shared — current subscribers can share your information with people they think might be interested
- Email is convenient to your customers — they stay on top of the latest product promotions/services
Before you embark into the realm of email marketing consider taking the following steps:
1) Find a professional Email Service Provider (ESP) who manages commercial emails.
Make sure your ESP provides comprehensive reporting. You’ll want to see number of opens, links clicked on, and date and time of day subscribers are reading your campaign. You want to collect as much information about subscriber preferences as possible. Based on those details you will be able to determine what information is of most interest, segment your subscriber lists, and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
2) Find a professional designer to create branded email marketing templates for you.
Not everyone uses the same email client as you do. Your email marketing campaign may look great when you open it in your Outlook account but that doesn’t mean it looks the same for someone using GMail. Different Email clients process email campaigns differently. A professional designer will be aware of coding standards and best practices so that your campaigns display well in all the major email clients. Your email service provider (ESP) should allow you to test the design before sending. Including a link to a web version of your campaign is also smart.
3) Have a well placed ‘subscriber capture’ system.
In order to capture targeted subscribers to your email campaigns you need to consider how to encourage people to sign up. This may involve adding widgets to a branded Facebook Landing Page, your website, or links within your Tweets on Twitter. Do you want to use double opt-in where they subscriber must verify sign up from a link that goes to their inbox or do you plan to use single opt-in? Regardless, this will require some thought.
4) Develop an Email Marketing Strategy
Writing a plan takes time and energy but it’s critical for both short and long term success. It should include research on your competitors, audience, insight to your unique product offerings, relevant campaign ideas, an implementation schedule, measurable goals, strategic timeline, and budget.
5) Consider hiring someone who specializes in email marketing to assist you.
Most entrepeneurs are multi talented and multi tasking in their business. This is one of those areas of expertise where you have to ask yourself, “Do I have the time and energy to take on email marketing in a meaningful way, or do I consider hiring a specialist to do it while I focus my time on what I do best?”
Email Marketing can be quite complex and this article only scratches the surface. There are many variables involved to achieve success but at Original Ginger it’s part of what we do. We’re happy to provide Email Marketing Services for you. Give us a call at 778.800.9667.
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Original Ginger is a Digital Agency located in the heart of historic Fort Langley, a hip and artistic suburb of Vancouver BC.