In Depth Email Campaign How-To for Entrepreneurs

January 30, 2011 Uncategorized Leave a comment

Hey guys, thanks for all the compliments on the site, it means a lot to me. If you see any typos let me know, I was going without sleep most of the time I was writing content so I am sure¬† I made a few mistakes here and there I haven’t caught yet. Anyhow, I thought today we would delve a little deeper into what an Email campaign really is, with some general pointers on what not to do. How to start your own, including what steps you will need to take. How to make the email campaign, and the follow up necessary. Finally, the benefits of having an email campaign and how to make the best ROI using it as a tool.

An email campaign can be a wonderful draw for customers when you have a special to run or an exciting announcement to share. Via your store, website, promotion or other means you have people give you your email address for the express purpose of adding them to your email list. Make sure the customer wants to be a part of your list because if they do not the advertisements may only anger and alienate them from wanting to be a customer any more. Using these email addresses you will send prepared and formatted emails to your email list via a service, and then have to follow up with ensuring the emails were properly delivered, spam filters ensured you are a human, and requests to be removed from the mailing list taken care of. It is important to not use your email list to spam your customers. Email campaigns should not occur too frequently, I would recommend not more than bi-weekly.

To start your email campaign you first need to attain a good list. There are many ways to do this. Ask those on your social networks to sign-up online, or via email. Ask customers that come to your brick and mortar location or website to sign up for “occasional” offers and news with their email address. Ask people to opt-in to your email campaigns via a contest, whether online or in store. Once you have your list of emails for the campaign you will need to find a service to send your campaign. It is important to do this because servers will block your email address for sending out too many emails as a spammer. The services available take extra steps so that the servers know they are not spammers and are a valid service. Also because they will take care to send your campaign at the requested time and most will host the content for your email campaign so you do not have to do it elsewhere. They often charge according to how many email addresses you will be sending to. Rates and quality vary so research carefully. Verify what if any reporting is available, this makes a huge difference and can determine your campaign’s success or failure. Good reporting allows you to see via your client’s reactions what works and what does not. Another important thing to look for in your service is one that provides or allows you to format in “Share this” “Opt-In” and “Opt-Out” buttons. These will help your campaign grow via current customers sharing and prevent any sticky situations with clients not wishing to receive updates.

After securing these things you need to format the email with content and images. Often, the services will allow you to build your campaign in a provided WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. It often takes time to get used to these if you are unfamiliar with them but there are usually free tutorials available. You may want to have your content and images ready. These campaigns can vary from simple text to intricate graphics alone to a mixture of the two. Skills in photo editing and design, as well as copy writing come in handy but even just simple formatting can be effective to get your message across.

After you have formatted the email campaign make sure to send yourself a test if the service allows this and check it thoroughly for any mistakes, if there happens to be another set of eyes to check over it have them do so as well. Then schedule the job to go out when desired. It is important to set the email to come from a company email address specifically for that purpose. If you do not have one, set one up, like you would for orders(such as [email protected]) and a day or two after your campaign is sent go to this email address. There will be some people who have put a block on their email address until the sender verifies themselves as a human by completing a captcha form. This only takes a couple seconds. You will see vacation or out of office auto responses some times and those can be ignored but some folk will ask you to unsubscribe them and it is important that you remove their email address from the list. You do not want to pester anyone who chooses not to be on your email list.

This process may sound like a lot of work but you can often find someone like Nova Bomb who will take care of this process for you. The prices range, usually on the complexity of the emails campaign and on the number of emails you will be sending the campaign to. These charges are usually based on a per occurrence. Just make sure to allot into your budget for the frequency expected and desired. The benefits of this sort of direct marketing are more tangible than many internet services because reporting is almost always available to show you how many of your targets click through the email to your website. Some reporting is more extensive and allows you to see exactly which links they clicked, when they opened the email, how many clicks that user made, etc. Use this reporting to determine what is working best for your target customers and adapt as needed. For a couple hundred or even less a special this sort of marketing can give huge returns. Especially when you consider a billboard will likely get less response and cost thousands for 1 month. Meaning that you could get a much greater ROI (return of investment) on the newsletters than on the billboard. Though the billboard will likely be seen by more people, they will not be people already inclined toward your business. The targeted email list will be addressing those already showing an interest in your business and you can in most cases get a whole year of email campaigns for the same price as one month of billboard. Though I only compared it to billboards price range and ROI. It is one of the most cost effective direct advertisements I have seen for both traditional and digital media, even when compared to CPC (cost per click) and paid ad placement.

I know this is a lot of information to take in but if you have any questions feel free to ask me!