Why should I be using an email marketing platform I hear you ask.
Well how do you email communicate in bulk to your customers at the moment? Via your Hotmail or Yahoo account or a nice branded professional email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) ? Do you bob an image in as an attachment and hope for the best? Or fill your email with text and lots of underlined blue links?
If you are a small business and sending regular bulk emails and updates to a growing list of subscribers it is best practise to set up an account through one of the many many email marketing services out there to choose from (mailchimp, constantcontact, icontact etc)
Why should I even care? Well here is a roundup of why its important to you and your business…..
- Easy templates that will be seen
Firstly most of these email services have a lovely large library of pre-designed email templates to choose from. This not only saves you time in designing an email but most importantly you can feel confident these emails will work across all email clients or programs (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc). So they will be seen J Imagine all that hard work of writing an email and then it doesn’t get seen. The trickiest part about designing an email is making sure it works across all these platforms and the provided templates are tested and solid. Winner!
- Brand it
Now is the time to get that template branded up so it’s instantly recognisable as your business. Mailchimp even has a button in its template editor where it can fetch the colours off your website and match them in your email. So you don’t need to worry about your hex or pantone colours….Love love love this feature!
The main reason to use an email service is that they manage your email list, aka the people who want to hear from you, automatically. Which to you and me means if someone wants to opt out of your newsletter, they click a link in your email and they are automatically removed. Meaning you don’t have to do anything, your data is clean and up to date and no one gets annoyed with you if you send them an email they don’t want, which is great right!
- Collecting Data The email service providers also have ingenious features where you can place super simple sign up forms on your website or Facebook page making it easy for people to sign up to your communications. Bonus is these opt-in forms manage these new users automatically as well.
- Don’t be a rule breaker
This is the most important thing. Don’t glaze over, pay attention now! The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 set the first national standards for sending of commercial emails. Standards include providing an area where your readers can opt-out of receiving future emails and also broadcasting the sender’s address in the email What’s great about email marketing services is that they make sure you are following these standards by adding these items automatically so you don’t need to worry. They also stay on top of the latest laws and restrictions within the ever evolving email legal landscape which means you don’t have to.
The dreaded spam. Spammers are great at finding a way through all the filters and protections that Email & Internet Service Providers put in place. Sometimes this means the good email senders, (that’s us) will get caught in one of those spam nets and our emails will be rejected. This can happen quite easily when sending bulk emails without using one of these reputable email services. If you repeatedly send bulk emails directly from your Yahoo, Gmail accounts or even through Outlook, then you could have your email address shut down by that email provider or by your own Internet Service Provider for what looks like spammy practices. Email service providers such as Constant Contact and MailChimp are trusted within the email community and they keep a good eye on their account holders to make sure there is no funny business going on.
- Is anyone out there?!
It’s no fun sending emails without knowing if anyone opened them. Through the clever analytics you can see who has opened or deleted, what was clicked and revisited, hat worked and what didn’t. You can get an insight into your readers mind-set and what they actually want to read. All these email services have great statistics built into their systems. Have you checked your Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook email stats? Oh wait, there are none.
- It’s Free
Yes, you heard me right its FREE. Well for the most part. Email Service Providers offer free trials and the cost is minimal after that. However, my favourite and go-to service is Mailchimp because its all free and will forever be free as long as you have under 2000 contacts and send less than 12,000 emails a month. Making it the perfect solution for small businesses.
So stop monkeying around. If you would like to chat about your email marketing or would like some help with a training session to get your up to speed on the glorious Mailchimp (other email providers are available) just get in touch