Email Marketing Lowdown
One of my first responsibilities, when I started working here, was sending out email blasts. I had never done it before and was extremely worried I would make a mistake. To err is human, and I have made a few mistakes when sending an email to thousands of people. There is no magical "undo" button with email marketing. My knowledge of email marketing is not only from making mistakes, but also research, and experience.
You must have people to email if you want to run a successful campaign, but most people aren't familiar with best practices when it comes to adding new contacts. Moreover, fewer people are familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
The excellent, yet annoying, double opt-in feature of email marketing. This feature requires the user to confirm their subscription to your email list after they've signed up to receive emails from you. Double opt-in prevents spammers from adding your email address to random lists across the internet. If you don't click the confirmation link in the email from the platform, then you won't be added to that list. Whether you're uploading a CSV file or people are using a form on your website, you should use double opt-in. You don't want people reporting your email as spam.
Sign up form
Giving visitors to your website a convenient way to sign up to receive updates from you is one of the best ways to reach new people. You can provide them with a choice of which list they want to subscribe. These forms also record the IP address of the person who submits the form.
Each email you send out must have a way to unsubscribe from your list. Usually, your email platform handles this, so you shouldn't have to worry about it. Some people place this link in the header and others in the footer, but that's up to you. When they click the unsubscribe link your email platform will remove them from the list, and you can no longer email that contact.
Maintaining your list
Having many people on your email list may sound great, but you could be wasting money by sending to people who aren't interested. You can search your contacts and see who isn't clicking your links, who isn't opening the email, and who is bouncing. It's ultimately up to you, but we would rather have quality contacts that engage with our campaigns.
Your message should be consistent with your brand. Each email should have your logo, address, email, and phone number. The overall message of the email should be short and have an easy to find call-to-action. Make it easy on the recipient to engage with you.
When someone signs up for an email list, it is a good idea to send them a welcome message. This email should inform the contact what types of information they will be receiving. In addition to the content, you should also let them know the frequency at which you send out emails. Most people feel better about receiving marketing emails when they know what to expect.
It would be best if you had a plan before you send out your first email. Based on the frequency the client wants to send out an email, we create a schedule for the entire year. I would recommend an email once a month at first, and then once you have a feel for it, you can increase the frequency.
There are a lot of different email clients out there, and your emails look different in all of them. There is no standard when it comes to what should be supported by an email client. Some people chose to use one big image, but that is a terrible idea. The image is going to be large, so the email might not load on slower connections, or the email client might have images disabled. Keep your emails simple, clean, pretty, and consistent with your brand.
There are several email marketing platforms out there. We've used Mailchimp, iContact, ConstantContact, and VerticalResponse. They all offer similar features, but Mailchimp is our favorite. Mailchimp has a modern user interface, and it's fast and very affordable. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. We would love to help you get started.