E-mail marketing: before you get started

269 billion e-mails were sent per day in 2017, according to Statista. This may not surprise you given the number of e-mails arriving in your own inbox. But did all these e-mails get read? Of course they didn't. There are three things you must do before starting an e-mail marketing campaign to increase the chance that your e-mails will be read by the people that matter. 

By Ellie Clifford, account executive

E-mail marketing can be tricky to get right. When people receive an e-mail that is not relevant to them, unattractively designed or not interesting, they tend to ignore it or press the delete button. However, once you know what to do to reduce the chance of this happening, e-mail marketing becomes relatively easy.

Know your goals
E-mail marketing can help you to achieve many goals including generating new business leads, increasing sales, raising brand awareness, gathering information about your target customers, sharing news and promoting an event. Your campaign should be built around your goal. For example, to increase sales your e-mails may focus on your products and upcoming offers, whereas if you want to generate new business leads you may want to send out more thought leading content about your field of expertise.

Your call to action will also depend on your goal. If you’re gathering data, your call to action may be to take part in a survey. If you’re promoting an event, it may be to register.

Tidy up your database
Since the update to the general data protection regulation (GDPR) earlier this year, you could be fined up to €20 million or four per cent of your global turnover if you do not comply. You must have a legitimate business reason to contact people and they must have given consent to be contacted. But don’t let GDPR put you off. If you’re wondering how to get consent to send someone communications, all you have to do is ask them.

Growing a mailing list organically is the best way to make sure everyone on your list is relevant and interested and to remain GDPR compliant. But it takes patience. Speed it up by generating assets, such as whitepapers or infographics, which people can download once they’ve input their e-mail address.

Choose software
There are many software options that automatically send e-mails to your contacts to make your job easier. At Stone Junction, we use MailChimp because it provides a good choice of professional, attractive templates while making it easy to design your own. MailChimp also includes a survey functionality, so is a great choice if you plan to use surveys to collect data.

Some e-mail automation software, including HubSpot, SendinBlue and Mailchimp, offer a free version, which is ideal if you only want to send e-mails to a small number of contacts. For larger scale campaigns, you may need to pay for the software.

Because it is so easy to send regular e-mails to hundreds, even thousands of contacts, it’s reasonable to assume that a large proportion of the 269 billion e-mails sent in 2017 were sent as part of an e-mail marketing campaign.

For advice on identifying the goals of your e-mail marketing campaign, tidying your database, choosing a software or anything else to do with e-mail marketing, contact me at ellie@stonejunction.co.uk.

Ellie Clifford

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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