Email Marketing 101: Building relationships, not lists.
1)2) Direct mail may have its purposes, but for the every day “stay in touch” communication, email is better. The cost per “sale” is almost always going to be much much lower.3) Geek alert: “target” just means that you can look at your list, and use information you know about your customer already to communicate in a more relevant and individual way. Talk to your customers in ways that show you know them and care about what they care about.s
Some numbers on the impact of email on businesses and on purchase decisions.
Get the email to your customer Build your opt-in List & make sure the emails doen’t end up in the SPAM folder.Get your customer to open your emailMake sure the content is relevant, personalize, and write good subject lines!Focus on the business objective! Build relationships and loyalty to your business and products over long-term.
- A customer can hit “SPAM” button on his email software. Even if they “opted-in” this will over time, if it happens to much, get you “blacklisted”. Make sure to ASK your customer to put you on their contact list (white list). Make sure your email content is interesting and relevant, so customers don’t feel their times is being wasted. Don’t over do it, set expectations, and stick to your committed email schedule (weekly, once a month, etc)
- Focus on the real value to the customer, not the perceived value or the “marketing gimmick” value.
Open rate is mostly driven by the subject line and the “FROM” line. You should test different ideas to measure and see what works best for your customers and what they respond to best.Always focus on the customer’s self-interest.Test into personalization. Some demographics have shown negative response to personalization, while for others, it improves open rate.Use seasonality as a way to make content more relevant. Use zip code or other data to know who you’re addressing and to target offers.If your customers are loyal to your brand, use your brand in the subject line. If they don’t really recognize your brand, its probably not going to help open rate to have it in the subject line.LETS TRY IT: Write 3 subject line ideas for a possible marketing email to your current customers. Let’s look critique…any volunteers?A/B split testing: Send one version to half your list, the other version to the other half of the list.
SKIP if running short on time…If you’re driving online sales, links should point to product being referenced. If you’re driving to a regular store, its good to have an “action” that is easy but that provides measure of response - Link that takes to online coupon graphic to print. (or just include it in the email and ask the customer to bring it in) - Link to driving directions and map page to store. - Link to online order form for delivery. - Link to online catalog or product gallery. - Link to online instructional video that provides more information.It all depends on your end-goal. An online action, or an off-line store sales driver. Stay focused on that.Keep different email “formats” for different purposes. You can invite customers to subscribe to a “offers and discounts” email, and a “newsletter with updates and interesting information” email. Let the customer choose what they want to read and get from you.
They are not using an email sending vendor. The use PHPList, a Free “open source” list management tool. Good tool, but requires some technical knowledge. Not good for deliverablity. Good double opt-in practice on sign up email.No graphics or visuals. I would have expected it from a nice restaurant with a somewhat pricy menu. FROM is “Caffe Gelato Listmaster” – “Listmaster” is a techie term not needed, and is very inpersonable! No personalization. Again, the more high end, the more I expect to be recognized or treated as a valued customer (known).
KILBY CREAMS VS SPANISH TOURS- Uses Constant Contact, a well-know service provider. Not my most recommended.- Make the subscription link easy to find. Put it on the home page if possible!-Keep it personable—don’t use the words “database” or “email list”!- Email list makes it sound like they’ll get SPAM or unwanted advertising.- I tend to not like the Constant Contact email template designs. Unless you have your own designer, or pay someone to design it, their templates are not great (but sometimes design is not the most important thing…)
KILBY CREAMS VS SPANISH TOURS- Make the subscription link easy to find. Put it on the home page if possible! Newsletter implies interesting content that is valuable on its own. Good way to sell yourself as the expert, and build long-term relationships.
Good relevant subject line (midst of the big snow storm)No personalization…not necessarily bad.No prices on the email itself. No coupon or discount to pull them in. That’s a decision maker for me.No “call to action” on each flower image.Poor branding, no logo (or on website).
Low impact subject line. No personalization. They don’t give me a reason to go. Doesn’t tell me why I should care? What’s in it for me? Subject line is bland…but, maybe that works for them. Here is what I would have used.SUBJECT: Meet author Lucie Snodgrass, get a $30 gift certificate, enjoy the best beef in the East coast.No design. People read left to right, so one should align left unless highlighting a point or quoting, etc.I’ve never actually been to a meal at Fair Hill Inn…email doesn’t recognize that, nor does it attempt to “introduce” me to the experience.Some branding with the picture, but no use of logo.Email says “Reservations Required for All events,410-398-4187 and then shows website but site doesn’t take online reservations. Not a problem, but should set expectations and make it clear to avoid frustrating customers.
Automatic email when I signed up.Personalized with my name. Ads value with a coupon!STRONG branding.All graphics, but they made good use of alternative text so message doesn’t get lost if using a mobile phone or graphics are turned off.Design is a little TOO busy, and some of the fonts are to “stylish” making it somewhat harder to read…beware when being “in brand” makes it hard to read. Good use of social media links to deepen the relationship.
It doesn’t have to have great design, but it should be neat, organized, and easy to read!Notice each announcement has its own “header”. Notice it starts with a personal spiritual challenge—it doesn’t forget that the recipient is a person (in this case, with spiritual attributes that require nurturing). It’s relationship-focused. Patter – each “edition” ends with the “Biblical Injunction” and is personally signed. Not all information is “business” – some of it is just observations, encouragements, etc.Great example of a simple but effective weekly “newsletter” type email that connects “customers” and builds “brand loyalty” (that’s just a fancy word to say it helps you develop loyal friends that know you and speak well about you) List of about 150 aprox emails. No service provider is used (or needed). Not perfect: Little to no use of website. Its limiting, but they haven’t needed it up to now. Sign up sheet is on the welcome desk at the church (location).
Build your list. Put your website address on EVERYTHING. Use your website domain as your email address for everyday business (and even for personal correspondence).Do “VIP” clubs (birthday club, etc.) to “brand” your email efforts. If you have the time, write a monthly or weekly newsletter email. (better for businesses that require being an “expert” at something) Bike or outdoor equipment, high end foods, high end anything really…, wines, books, etc.
Skip if time is needed, on the hand out for those who want to read it.
Recommend top two choices, other options include bottom two choices.
Solid features, and advanced tools. Great price. $1 Trial Account
Low cost winner:Youcan email 500 customers 6 times per month for free. Great one to use to start up and for small lists.
Go to MailChimp.comClick on Sign up FREEEnter your information to create an account.Click on confirmation email.Set up account, business info, etc.Set up and import list.
Transcript of "Email Marketing 101 for Small Business"
Email Marketing 101<br />Building relationships, not lists<br />
Why email?<br />Newspaper<br />Lower cost than postcard or regular mailing.<br />Quicker turn around time to get message out.<br />You can measure and track results!<br />You can target and personalize better!<br />Better tool for building & maintaining customer relationships.<br />Email<br />Flyers<br />Postcard or mail<br />
Does anyone read emails?<br />Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email<br />Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email<br />
Tips on deliverability<br />#1 Use a good Email Service Provider (ESP).<br />ESPs have relationships with major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) & take care of all the techie stuff.<br />Write accurate subject lines and relevant content!<br />
Subject Line best practices<br />Your subject line should describe the subject of your email.<br />Always set your subscribers' expectations during the opt-in process about what kinds of emails they'll be receiving.<br />Don't confuse newsletters with promotions. If your email is a newsletter, put the name and issue of the newsletter in your subject line. Because that's what's inside. If your email is a special promotion, tell them what's inside. Either way, just don't write your subject lines like advertisements.<br />When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what's inside, and the worst subject lines sell what's inside.http://www.mailchimp.com/articles/email_marketing_subject_line_comparison/<br />
Writing subject lines<br />Start your subject line with a verb focused on the value to the customer without selling to hard.<br />Personalize (as appropriate)<br />Ex. “Get 20% discount on ____ this Friday”or “Josué, get a free desert for your birthday”or“Celebrate spring time with your product”<br />The only thing that matters is your customer: TEST!<br />Let’s try it!<br />
Focus on the end goal<br />Don’t overload your customer with information.<br />Use your website toexpand as needed.<br />Keep it simple and<br />Easy to read.<br />Provide multiple linksto your end-goal<br />
Building your list (even if you don’t have a website)<br />
Building a list online…<br />Be an expertWrite about a helpful service or product that you are an expert at and make it into a PDF available upon newsletter subscription (ie. 10-Step Guide to...). <br />Advertise yourself Offline Through print advertising promote the value of your newsletters and point the URL to your signup page.<br />Strong Website Call-to-Actions Have prominent areas on your site that allow users to either instantly provide their email address or link to a newsletter signup page. <br />Social MediaPromote the value of your newsletters on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked-in with direct links to your signup page.<br />
http://www.icontact.com/trial<br />During your 15 day free trial, you may send 500 messages to up to 250 subscribers. You may use any feature of the software, and free technical support is provided during your evaluation.<br />Basic plans include sending up to six times your subscriber limit.<br />