8 Great Reasons to Start with Email Marketing – Birds on the Blog

8 Great Reasons to Start with Email Marketing

Hands-up if you think email marketing is no longer relevant? That marketing by social media is better?

This isn’t necessarily true and here’s why:

  1. Ownership of Audience – you have ownership of your email marketing contact list so won’t lose this information and can download it at anytime. If you had lots of followers on social media, if your account was shut-down or should that platform even ceased to operate, you have no way of keeping in-touch.
  2. Ability to Personalise – emails can easily personalised by using the contact’s name at the beginning of the message, and also elsewhere, so you build and maintain a good relationship on a personal level
  3. Evidence of Receipt – it’s highly likely that your contacts will actually receive and read your message and, using the platform’s data and analytic tool, you can monitor this. As you are the only person to see 100% of your social media posts, your reach can be really limited.
  4. Pre-warmed Leads – your subscribers have specifically signed-up to receive your news and updates, therefore they are already interested in what you have to say. You may have many followers on social media followers but are they actually interested in your content? Are they even your ideal client?
  5. Link Clicks – as above, your contacts have chosen to receive the content you provide so they are more likely to click-through from the email via any links to your website, blog or online store etc. It’s very likely clicks will be higher than from your social media posts
  6. Building Relationships – through sending frequent and consistent emails with details about you and your business, you will be building a great relationship with your audience. Remember, these contacts have chosen to receive your news and therefore they want to get to know you and are potentially future clients or customers
  7. Contact List organisation – most platforms enable you to organise your subscribers into groups, segments or similar, thus allowing you to send pertinent messages to different contacts dependent upon various criteria, such as their particular interest, behaviour or location etc.
  8. Little or No Cost – email marketing has a really good return on investment and, other than the time taken to compose messages, can be free, if you don’t pay for your platform.

If you’re particularly interested in email marketing statistics, check out these links from industry experts:

So why would you need to use a specific email marketing platform in your business?

Because of GDPR – the European General Data Protection Policy Regulations which came into force in May 2018. The hype and conversations around GDPR may be less frequent these days, but GDPR most definitely hasn’t gone away. We all still need to be aware of and comply with Data Protection. Therefore, using your normal email account, such as Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo, to send messages to many contacts on a regular basis is just not allowed. The emails may be marked as Spam, you could be blacklisted and your account could even be closed-down.

So how do you keep in-touch with all your contacts to share your news?

You need to use a dedicated email marketing platform

This does mean that you will need to open yet another account to access yet another application, but the good news? Doing-so won’t necessarily cost you! If you have a small contact list, or will only be sending emails a few times per month, then there are many free plans to choose from.

Note, that when signing-up to an email marketing application, in order to comply with GDPR, you will have to specify how you obtained the contact details. The application will require you to confirm that your subscribers were legally obtained and that each contact has specifically opted-in and agreed to receive your messages. You may have to wait a little whilst your list is approved. Emails sent by a reputable platform will also include an unsubscribe link for any of your audience to easily remove themselves from your updates with a single click.

Which application you choose will depend upon your own individual requirements. For example, landing pages and workflows were important to me, but may not be a priority for another business owner.

You will need to research email marketing platforms and consider what features you need.

Think about and answer the following questions:

How large is your audience? Most applications do charge by the number of contacts you have. Note that contacts may also be referred-to as a list, subscribers or an audience.

How many actual emails do you plan to send per-month? Some platforms charge by the number of messages sent each month and this figure will be different to your subscriber list. E.g. if you have 100 contacts and wish to email them weekly, you will be sending around 400 messages per month. A daily message ups the number to 3,000…

Easy to use? You will, no-doubt want to start sending emails ASAP, so an application with an easy-to-use editor and template library will speed-up the learning curve.

Sign-up and pop-up forms? In order to add new subscribers to your audience, you will need to capture their email address. Website forms are ideal for this and the designs can vary.

Do you need a stand-alone landing page? This can be useful if you want to share a dedicated link, a specific URL, to a more comprehensive stand-alone sign-up page.

Segment, group and tag? The ability to segment, group or tag your audience will enable you to send messages targeted to your contacts’ interests.  The process, ease of use and understanding does vary between platforms.

Automated emails and workflows? In addition to composing and sending individual messages, will you generate automated workflows, such as a welcome/nurture sequence, or other autoresponders dependent on your subscribers’ actions?

Necessary integrations? Do you need to integrate your email marketing platform with other applications such as your website, CRM or online store?

Ability to A/B split test? Monitoring data to ascertain open, read and click-through rates etc is essential to ensure optimum audience engagement. A split-test will send two email variations to a few contacts each, monitor the stats, then send the final message according to the best performing message.

Data analytics? What detail will you want to analyse and what format is preferred? The analytics vary in sophistication between providers on both their free and paid platforms.

Mobile optimised messages? So many people now read emails on their mobile device so your message needs to look good on a small device. Most applications do have a preview option to see what the message will look like on different sized screens.

Composition from a mobile device? If you want to quickly produce messages from a smart phone, then a dedicated mobile app or platform that’s easy to use on a small screen will be essential.

Email send options? How much control do you need to schedule messages to be sent at an appropriate time and day? Some paid plans will optimise the time automatically depending upon the data from your audience.

Sending to different time-zones? Do you have a worldwide audience and would like emails to be delivered at an appropriate time, e.g. 9am in every time-zone? If available within the platform, this is likely a paid feature.

Language translation? Will you need to send emails in different languages so need an application which will translate your content?

Sending emails to China? Finally, perhaps a strange option, but not all applications are licensed in China so receipt of messages there may not be achieved.

A great resource for reviewing the various email marketing applications available is the free comparison tool at – https://www.emailtooltester.com

The Email Tool Tester blog provides some comprehensive platform reviews and comparisons too!

Or start straight-away with one of these top three platforms with good free plans:

  • Mailerlite – a newcomer with a modern, clean and simple interface
  • Moosend – straightforward to use with many workflow templates
  • Send-in-Blue – great automation features on the free plan

For a growing business with the budget to subscribe to a paid plan from the outset, then consider:

  • ConvertKit for non-technical ease of use with great landing pages
  • Active Campaign for a feature-packed application with great automation and which also acts as CRM
  • Get Response has powerful email automations and list management with a smartphone app too.

In summary:

Free email marketing tools are typically focused on the email message. Often you cannot customise your theme, or at the very least, are unable to remove the link and branding to the email newsletter app. There are also fewer automation options or advanced marketing tools.

Full-featured email marketing applications go well beyond sending emails. They also help you gather contacts with forms and landing pages, send emails automatically through RSS feeds and drip email schedules, and track results often with built-in CRM tools. All of this to be customisable for your brand, so your emails stand out from the crowd.

(This summary provided by Zapier: https://zapier.com/blog/free-email-marketing-software/)

Nancy Benn VA: https://www.nancybenn.com/

Links:

Mailerlite – https://www.mailerlite.com/

Moosend – https://moosend.com/

Send-in-Blue – https://www.sendinblue.com/

Convertkit – https://convertkit.com/

Active Campaign – https://www.activecampaign.com/

Get Response – https://www.getresponse.com/

Author Nancy Benn

About the Author Nancy Benn

As a versatile Virtual Assistant with more than a decade of experience, I help overwhelmed business owners achieve more by assisting with those essential, but time-suck admin tasks that don't directly generate any income or bring in new sales. By providing flexible admin support, I assist and encourage entrepreneurs to focus on doing what they love in their business and what will generate new revenue by identifying tasks that can be delegated and outsourced. Operating virtually, I can work online from anywhere with good Wifi! Initially based on the Notts/Derbys border, since Autumn 2017 I’ve provided seamless assistance and support to entrepreneurs from 12 different homes in Portugal and Spain. After travelling for two years, hubby Rob and I now live next to the Med amongst the orange groves in Valencia, sharing our lives with two dogs and a parrot.