Email marketing: what it is and how to do it

Email marketing email newsletters newsletters

Let’s face it, an all singing, all dancing direct mail campaign is expensive and takes time to put together. Most small business owners just don’t have the budget or time to do one.

A cost effective and productive alternative is email marketing. It’s a great tool to communicate with your target audience and an ideal way to generate enquiries, make  sales, boost traffic to your website and increase profitability.

And it can work regardless of what your business does.  It’s all about communication, starting a conversation and creating a good relationship with people.

So what are the nuts and bolts of an email marketing campaign?

Email marketing can either be done as a regular newsletter or  a one-off email promotion.

The benefit of sending a regular newsletter, whether it’s monthly or quarterly, is that most subscribers will come to expect your newsletter and (probably!) look forward to hearing what you’ve been up to. It encourages two-way communication and brings you closer to your customers, helping you understand what they want and need.

Email promotions, however, are mainly one-off communications designed to achieve a short term goal. They include calls to action like “sign up today” or “subscribe now and get a 50% discount!”

Even when your newsletter lands in your subscribers inbox, they may still need to be persuaded to open it which is where writing an attention grabbing subject line is important.

And once they’ve opened your email, it needs to look good to get people to read the content. Here’s how:-

  • keep your sentences concise
  • include bullet points
  • use simple language to get your message across quickly and easily
  • add images, colour and links to make it look more interesting and professional

How important is the email list you use?

Very.

You’ll get a better response rate if you use your own list, which can be as high as 15% .

The reason why it’s so high is because these people have given you permission to communicate with them via email. Bought-in lists cost money and may not do so well. Give people the opportunity to opt-in to your email marketing from your website and social media pages, in fact via any communication you have with customers or prospects.

Once you’ve got their permission, you can send regular newsletters or a one-off email promoting a special offer you think will interest them.

Improve your response rates by making your content relevant to the recipient. Make your promotional offers compelling and newsletters and announcements relevant and newsworthy. Remember to include calls to action to give customers a reason to respond.

I recently came across a blog from HubSpot which lists 12 of the best email marketing examples you’ve ever seen. Click here to read it.

And why not check out our blog post on MailChimp which is a great tool for writing and sending email newsletters, and the best thing is it’s free! Take a look at our Portfolio page which has examples of MailChimp newsletters we’ve sent out for clients.

If you have any questions on email marketing, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a message via the Contact page on our website.