Email marketing is one of today’s more efficient and accessible ways of advertising. As for global reach, it remains the most cost effective marketing strategy at your disposal. Some companies have phased out their more traditional marketing approaches such as Yellow pages, billboard, and cold calls in order to experience a more ‘instant gratification’ effect from their marketing efforts. Even the smallest of businesses have turned to Email marketing to help boost sales and revenue.
Email Marketing is Not Spam!
First off, when I refer to email marketing, I am not referring to spam. A proper email marketing campaign is targeted to people who want to hear about your products or services, typically, customers, prospective customers, or members if you work in an association. Email marketing is part of a marketing and communications function and should only be executed if you have the permission of your contacts of subscribers.
If you do not have properly developed list of contacts of people who have agreed to hear from you, and you go down the route of blasting out unsolicited emails, well, you’ve effectively let the world know that you don’t want any friends. If however you want to learn more about the right way to execute email marketing campaigns, then read on.
A good starting point is to get hold of an email software application that has the capability to distribute mass emails to a specified contact list, store demographic data, and track results of your campaigns. I’m partial to InSite Messages because it does everything you’d expect an email campaign system to do plus, it generates instant reports on pertinent information such as send rates, link-through rates and ties all your campaign data this back into contact information and message history.
InSite Messages was a heaven sent whenever I had to begin my marketing campaign for survey participation. We also used it to help bring in registrants for our Spring and Fall Conventions, product releases, publication sales and weekly newsletters to our members. The only thing to remember about blast emails is to be mindful to send meaningful information and not to inundate your customers’ inbox with emails containing unnecessary information.
- Won’t clog up your email server.
- Cost effective and sometimes even FREE.
- Outbound emails can be scheduled and sent automatically.
- Comes with templates for professional look and feel.
- Automated contact lists and subscription links.
- Manage content or insert feeds as content.
- Easy to read, up-to-the-minute reports.
Beyond the Basics
Beyond basic email marketing communications, many news services are now using email campaign management software to send news and bulletins to subscribers. A good email campaign management system will allow you to insert RSS feeds directly into the page that will be emailed to subscription lists. All you have to do is indicate what feeds you want included on your page. You can then schedule when the message or bulletin will be sent, and the feeds will be emailed on a single page to your subscribers.
Of course this works well if you have a list of subscribers. If you are using a tool like InSite Messages, you can manage contacts and subscribers and assign contacts to any number of lists. Once your contacts are in the system, you can easily set up unsubscribe links in the body of your messages. If a contact no longer wants to receive emails from you, they can simply click the unsubscribe button and the email campaign software will drop them from future mailings.
Below, I have outlined a quick summary of a few ways businesses and organizations are using email campaign software to communicate and market to their stakeholders.
Customer Newsletters & Bulletins: Enewsletters and bulletins are a great way to connect with customers on new programs, products, services and to communicate other important information about your organization.
Employee Newsletters & Bulletins: Internal communications is an important and often overlooked function. Email blasts to employees on new programs, initiatives, products and services can be a very effective way to communicate what is going on in your organization.
Email Marketing Campaigns: Email marketing campaigns are a great way to market new programs, products, services and communicate other important information to your customers.
News Services and Announcements: Email event notifications and announcements are also important to communicate to your customers and prospects.
Press & Media Releases: Public Relations companies have really picked up on email campaign software to streamline the design and distribution of professional press releases. With a click of a button media contacts can be notified immediately.
Whichever direction you decide to take your email marketing, you are sure to keep your customers in the loop and up-to-date on what is going on in your organization. And at the very least it proves you are alive and well and flowing with the ever-changing tides of technology.