8 Simple Steps to Email Marketing Loveliness

8 Simple Steps to Email Marketing Loveliness

Some of you might be wondering why I’m writing about email marketing today – it’s old hat isn’t it? With all this new social media buzz, there is surely no place in the world for email marketing is there? Well I believe there is and I intend to tell you why and how you can use it to grow your client base today.

Let’s settle one thing quickly – if you’re reading this, thinking about buying a database from someone on a street corner (or even  a more reputable source) then this article probably isn’t for you. I’m focusing today on using your own valuable data, built up over years possibly.

I want to start with a story. About a year ago a guy approached Optix having met me 6 years ago at a networking event. I’d agreed with him to receive the Optix newsletter and we both went our separate ways. Optix kept in touch with him by way of our monthly newsletter and recently he became one of our largest clients. He’d watched the business grow and liked what he’d seen.

Here are a few sure fire ways to use email marketing to help your business grow:

1). All about the data – A good email marketing campaign revolves around good data. Make sure yours is clean or you’ll just be throwing money away.

2). Build your data – what can you give away to build a database of leads/contacts/prospects? This year we launched our free social media policy generator: http://www.optixsolutions.co.uk/free-social-media-policy-generator/ – A tool of real value which also helps us build leads – true ‘Inbound Marketing’.

3). Split Test your email subject lines – A good email marketing system will split test campaigns for you. It will take 50% of your database and send two different subject lines, content variants or from names and then track the most successful delivery rate, then send the winner to the other 50% – using this will give you better open and click through rates.

4). Spam & Client Testing – Emails show up differently in different email clients. Now email is consumed more and more on mobile devices you need to make sure your email is designed and developed for all these variants. This again is something a good system should be able to do for you. If not, make sure you ask your designers to consider this.

5). Deal with bounces – If an email bounces (doesn’t reach its destination) it can be for a couple of reasons. A soft bounce may infer a problem with the routing of an email to someones email box/server and is likely to be ok next time round. A hard bounce means that email doesn’t exist any longer and should be cleaned from the database – no point spending money on people that won’t ever answer!

6). Use Autoresponders – When you signup to something on a site have you ever received an email a few days later which follows it up…and then again a week or so after that? You’re part of an autoresponder system. Clever marketers know that it takes a few ‘touches’ to get to a sale but tracking and sending emails to everyone that signs up with your site manually would be far too inefficient to deal with so autoresponders help to do this for you. Used cleverly, these are extremely powerful tools

7). Segment your data – If you’re blasting everyone in your database in one go you’re probably not getting the most from it. Segment your data into interests/purchases made if you’re running an ecommerce shop or even simple things like male/female if this makes a difference to your customer. For example, I’m not hugely interested in the latest dresses from Reiss (a favourite shop of mine) but they don’t send me that because I’m segmented in their database.

8). Tie into your Social Profiles – If you have a fantastic Facebook page and a tremendous Twitter presence then make the most of them. Ask people to sign up for your updates – if you don’t ask you don’t get after all. Don’t bombard them but a few calls to action every now and again is fine.

It’s time to get clever with your email marketing – it’s still one of the most powerful tools in the online marketing toolbox.

Oh and if you’re looking for a provider, we have our own that you can find out more about over at http://www.envirosend.co.uk

Image courtesy Ramberg Media Images

Now Your Thoughts

  • What’s worked or not worked for you when you’ve marketed by email?
  • Got any tips for the other readers?

Have a Break, Have a Creative Moment…or two..

Have a Break, Have a Creative Moment…or two..

I’ve just returned from a skiing holiday in France (client has a chalet there conveniently). It was a wonderful trip, one I look forward to every year as my Dad and I take his oldschool Porsche 911, stick the skis and board on the roof-rack and drive out to the Alps. It’s a great opportunity for us to spend some time together (very important in itself) and also for me to get away from work. This year was the first time in years that I put an autoresponder on my email and didn’t look at it until I got back to the UK. Bar a few calls to the office to check it was still there I almost managed to switch off completely!

Why am I telling you this? Because I realised just how important this was for me and I know that many of you will be in exactly the same position as I am.

It’s extremely easy to let your business consume you. You work all the hours under the sun and the days, weeks, months and even years pass by very quickly. You get caught up in the day to day fire-fighting, the challenges that arise which appear to be really important and ‘must’ get your attention immediately – of course, these can never wait ;)

Taking time out of the business has allowed the part of my brain which deals with these daily tasks to have a rest. Other parts of my brain then seem to have kicked in – especially the more creative ones. I reckon I came up with more new ideas in that short time away than I have in the whole of the last year. I have a notepad with lists of them and I really don’t believe they would have come to me if I hadn’t been ‘off duty’.

Do you take time off from your business? Do you feel you can’t? Do you have a team that can take the reigns while you’re away? Maybe you need to build one. I also recognised this year, that my business was in very safe hands while I was away. I am lucky to have a very good business partner anyway, but this year, I really felt that the team we have at Optix is absolutely top notch, all pulling together to wow and delight customers at every opportunity. A great bunch, I feel very proud to have working with me.

So my message to you business owners is this – Can it wait? Can someone else do it for you? Honestly? I bet it/they can….and if so, take some time, re-group and relax and see what happens. I hope you’ll find the same that I did and I’ll look forward to hearing all about it from you.

Now Your Thoughts

  • What sort of importance do you place on time off?
  • Can you switch off completely or are you tied to your phone?