Where Should You Put Email Signups On Your Small Business Website?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Growing your email marketing contact list should be one of the main focuses of your website. Research has demonstrated that 70% of your website visitors will never return to your site unless you subscribe them to something. You can see the evidence of this statement through your own website by opening up your visitor statistics and viewing how many visitors to your site are new and how many are returning.

With email marketing you can change that and turn those new visitors into continuous, loyal visitors. The more times an individual visits your website, the greater the chance they will make a purchase.

So, where can you place your email signup form on your small business website? Here are some of your options:

1. Pop-up

This is probably one of the easiest and most successful ways to build your email subscriber list. The popup window can be designed so it displays to your visitors immediately after they have arrived, after a time delay or as they click off your site or a specific page.

Experts recommend you delay the appearance of your popup so there is at least 15 seconds from when they land on your page to the signup form displaying. You also want to make sure that you don’t have the popup appear every time a particular individual visits your site or for each page they visit. Your web designer should be able to ensure this is programmed in.

2. On The Side Bar

Consider placing the email sign up on the sidebar of your page. It must be at the top of the side bar for it to perform well. Research has shown that placing it even slightly lower on the sidebar significantly reduces the number of subscribers you can sign up.

This is actually a mistake that is fairly common; even for the biggest website brands on the market.

3. At The Top Of The Page

Placing your email sign up form at the top of the page is one way to ensure it is noticed. Some of the big online marketing firms like Social Triggers, have attempted to use this method to grow their email marketing list. Some of those who have tried it out have reported success, while others have reported that their rate for subscriptions declined.

The best option for this is to test for your own website and see what works.

4. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all offer options for an email signup form to be on your profile. Social media is a great place to include your signup form because you have already developed a trusting relationship with your followers. This will make them more willing to sign up to receive more promotional information.

It is important to consider this as an option as only 4% and 0% of Facebook and LinkedIn users respectively want to receive promotional content through social media. However, over 80% of email users like to receive news of special offers via email.

5. Your Footer

If your visitors read your entire page, this could be one of the best places to locate your signup form. Your readers will be highly engaged and be looking for more information from your brand; which is what your email list will offer them.

However, this way may suffer from poor signup numbers; but, those who do will be high quality leads.

Conclusion

Your signup form is an important part of your online marketing sales process. If you place it in the correct location, you will see an increase in the number of new subscribers. Then you can see a significant return on your email marketing investment.

Take Action:

  • Test the location of your signup form to see what provides you with the best results.

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3 Potential Changes For Small Business Email Marketing In 2015

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As 2015 fast approaches there is going to be a need to look at what trends will start or will be continued into the New Year. Being ahead of these trends and implementing them in your small business email marketing campaigns is more likely to generate results that will succeed.

So what are the potential changes that will affect your email marketing campaigns?

1. Quality Content Will Require Professional Writers

As brands continuously develop so they become an online resource for potential and current customers, they will need to generate content that matches their customer’s expectations. To match these, you will need to ensure the writing is of the highest possible quality.

Research has shown how professionally written content can improve the leads and the number of sales generated. Currently, it is reported that two-thirds of the writing produced by businesses is done by product managers. Yet, with so many tasks already their responsibility, they have little time to create a well crafted sales message.

Therefore, some forward thinking businesses will outsource the majority of their writing to professional writers. These writers will be able to create content that is high quality and able to deliver results for your business. This will improve the results that your email marketing campaigns achieve.

Also, because you aren’t relying on an individual who has a significant number of responsibilities already, and may place email content low on their priority list, you will ensure your business is always producing new content, on time. This will allow consistency and improve the trust your email contacts will have in your brand.

2. Video Email Marketing

Video is a rich form of communicating with your audience. The human brain is designed to be attracted to moving images and the changing facial expressions that can be produced and used within your videos.

As technology develops and Smartphones and other mobile technology become more advanced, mobile devices will be better able to display rich content. Therefore, your email marketing campaigns will need to include videos within their content. These will need to be short, approximately two to three minutes and contain high quality information to engage your audience.

In addition, you will need to host the video on sharing sites like YouTube, which is the second largest search engine after Google, to gain better reach and attract new audiences for future email campaigns.

3. Email Contacts Are Short-Lived

As more businesses start to develop their digital marketing channels, the amount of content that is online for your target audience is going to reach a critical point. At this critical point, the amount of information available is going to be too much for the customers to read in their limited amount of time.

Therefore, what is going to happen is readers will choose which brands deserve the majority of their attention. To ensure your brand has their attention you will have a limited amount of time to grab it. If you are unable to convince them of your industry authority or expertise, they will either leave your mail unopened or unsubscribe from your email marketing contacts list.

Use valuable information and carefully written content to keep their attention.

Conclusion

Email marketing is a constantly evolving digital marketing channel that can be highly successful if it is employed in the right manner. With the New Year approaching, the latest trends will need to be used in order for your brand to achieve the best results from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Examine the changes that are going to happen above and consider what your brand needs to do to make the most of your 2015 email marketing campaigns.

How successful have your 2014 campaigns been so far? What changes are you going to make for 2015?

Let us know in the comments below.

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How To Find A Designer To Handle Your Small Business Email

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creating an email design to sell your products can be a difficult task; especially if you have limited computer and graphic design skills. A well created email can sell your services effectively. Therefore you will need to find an email design program that can create perfect small business emails.

The problem with finding a good design program is that there are various options on the market and not all offer the perfect combination of features. A good design program needs to have several functions for it to be highly effective for your small business email marketing campaigns.

So what should you be looking at with your small business email design program?

Examples

The first thing you need to do is to look at what others using the program have created for their email marketing campaigns.

You might be able to see some of the designs in your inbox. Some companies manage email marketing campaigns using free accounts. Free accounts normally include a link to the provider of the email marketing service. This is purely for a marketing point of view, but it is useful to identify what email designs are possible with their email designer.

Secondly, you could go to the website and look at their current clients or example designs. You can find Fluttermail’s through our features page.

This method could be time consuming, but as the overall design of the email is so important, investing your time into this process could be very profitable.

Ease Of Use

You want to ensure your email marketing design program is fairly easy to use. If you do not have any coding skills, then you won’t want an email designer that can only create emails in HTML code. Many modern email designers feature a click and drag interface. This is fairly simple to use and offers great results as long as your internet connection is strong enough.

By checking how each email is built; you can be confident that you can generate the look you are excited about publishing.

It might help your creativity if there are templates included with your email design package. A great template will allow you to tailor the images, colours and what is in each element box. These templates can greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to build a single email.

Save Designs

One of the most time saving processes with creating further email campaigns is the ability to use previous designs and editing some of the smaller details. This is really important because your contacts will want to know that you are being consistent. Using previous designs as a basis for future campaigns does this perfectly.

A template also allows you to A/B test your email marketing campaigns. This can be achieved by designing the email once and editing it for the second version or resending it if you are testing optimal timing.

Preview Settings

You need to know your email will display effectively on the different email clients your customers are likely to use. The best designers will allow you to see the results before you send off the email. This can allow you to make changes so your email looks perfect no matter what device or email client it is viewed upon.

Remember to preview the mobile display as well as the desktop as more emails are being opened via mobile devices than ever before. You might also want to see if the feature to test your email is available.

Conclusion

Choosing your email marketing design program can be a difficult process. There are many different functions and features that you will want to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Be certain that the design program you choose contains the above elements for running your successful small business email marketing campaigns, growing your business and achieving better profits.

Take Action:

  • Review the Fluttermail email design program.
  • Create a trail account for $1.

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New Trends In Holiday Email Marketing For 2014

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christmas is just a couple of months away and as with every winter holiday season the time for giving and receiving is becoming a hot topic for customers.

According to business advisors, shops are starting to stock popular seasonal items, children are writing their present lists and restaurants are taking in Christmas dinner bookings. This all leads to one thing, businesses vying for the attention of consumers and every year new trends appear in this constant battle.

Here are some of the new trends for 2014 which businesses are starting to use.

1. Spreading around the Christmas joy

Unlike with previous years where one day was the major focus, there are 24 potential days for your business to create special offers for customers. These days range from Halloween at the end of October to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in mid-January.

As a result, the average small business will send an estimated 19 promotional emails to each subscriber in October, 22 in November, 28 in December and 19 in January. This is a lot of copy to create for your campaigns and some businesses have turned to different content strategies to make their email marketing tactics unique.

So what content is in some of these emails?

The most common content is suggestions on what gifts consumers should buy for friends and family. However, this typical content strategy will only be highly successful for those brands who have a very loyal following and low competition.

The new trend is for advice emails where small businesses provide tips on anything from ‘how to host the perfect party’ to ‘what to do with unwanted gifts’. These are highly valuable to the reader and receive more interactions.

2. More Consumer Spending

This year, it is expected there will be an 8% increase in the consumers spend on Christmas gifts. This increase is much higher than the inflation rate and therefore provides evidence there is a strong economic recovery happening. What is fuelling this increase in spending? The number of special offer days available for consumers to buy products at a reduced price is one reason.

In November, there is Black Friday and Cyber Sunday (perfect days for promotional e-mails). In December there will be Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday, Free Shipping Day and Super Saturday – again all great days for promotional emails. And after Christmas there will always be the January sales, which can always yield good returns for a well crafted email.

So, unlike with previous years, there are a lot of times where you can send special promotional emails to your email list to gain their interest and provide them with offers available through your website or in store.

3. Small Businesses Have Focus

In the past, the focus has been on larger organisations with their nationwide offers. In 2014, there will be a day set aside to promote buying products from small business. This day is about actively encouraging customers to choose smaller businesses and is supported by business federations and governments.

But don’t just sit back and allow for your customers to find you. Become proactive and create an email campaign that will draw audiences to your website on the Saturday right after Black Friday in November. Start sending out a couple of emails before the day and remind your followers on the day. As the onus on the day will be about buying from small businesses, your website should perform well.

Conclusion

This holiday season is likely to be good for small businesses who are using email marketing to connect with their audience. Using their lists and sending high quality content and promotional emails at the right time, businesses can expect to see a rise in email interactions, website traffic and sales.

Take Action:

  • Plan your seasonal email marketing campaign, sending out emails for all the important dates.
  • Use a mixture of promotional emails and some providing advice for your customers.

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5 Examples Of Successful Small Business Email Newsletters

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways to communicate with your target audience. Research has proven it can contribute significantly to your sales.

Sales isn’t the only factor of success. Email marketing can open up new avenues to increase brand awareness and generate more traffic to your website or physical store.

Many of the best performing small business email campaigns have several common attributes. Looking at some of the best examples can give you ideas on how to improve your own email campaigns and achieve great success.

Here are five examples of successful small business emails:

Moo.com

The high quality business card supplier does not focus its content on the business card but rather on giving creative inspiration, news and business tips to their audience.

The emails have images related to the content that help the reader to ascertain quickly what the email is going to be about. At the end of the short, easy to read content is a clear call to action (CTA). The CTAs are invitations rather than demands – so appeal to the inquisitive reader. They also have clear social media sharing buttons both at the top and bottom of the page.

Bicycle Adventures

This company combines bicycling tours with staying in five star hotel and lodges. Their newsletter is very clean and simple – making it easier for the audience to read. The header image is often one of a spectacular view with a clear header above it to describe what the particular edition is about.

Underneath the image is the subtitle, often describing a new available offer and then the newsletter rounds off with two locations their readers can book. Each location includes an image, not of the hotel but of the scenery they will be cycling around.

At the bottom of the page is a clear call to action, with the text larger than the rest of the page to draw attention to the reader.

What makes this email so successful is not that it sells a lot, but that as soon as the email is sent out, the website has double the traffic, often 1,400 unique visitors on day of release.

Wine Station

Next on the list is Wine Station, who doesn’t have an online store. Instead they rely on their readers visiting their physical store. Their emails have a feeling of luxury with clear labelling and pictures focusing on their products.

At the bottom of the page they include a special offer to entice people to visit their store.

Traffic into their store can be significant after an email has been sent out, with some emails generating 10 times the amount of traffic they usually get.

Build It Green! NYC

This small environmental group uses its emails to encourage signups and volunteer participation. The emails include a clear call to action at the top of the email and detailed information in the body. There are also some clear images demonstrating what the event is.

Generally the success of this email is regarded in telephone calls. According to the organisation, every email they send out receives 40 telephone responses.

The Pajama Program

While technically not a small business again, this organisation does have an excellent email which raises $1000 per email sent. The charity raises funds for children in need and uses its emails for donation collection and thanking those who have participated.

The emails always include images of those who they support and carry short messages with a clear call to action at the bottom.

What Do These Newsletters Have In Common?

These emails have three main concepts in common. Firstly they all have a relevant image that portrays exactly what the email is about, they have limited text and thirdly they invite the reader to continue on the journey with a clear call to action.

Action steps:

  • Sign on to some of the above examples and see what their emails look like.
  • Take some of the lessons learned here and incorporate them into your small business email.

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The Best Day To Send Small Business Email Newsletters

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your email list could be the most valuable marketing asset your small business owns. Email marketing is one of the biggest contributors to online sales and is a great platform for relationship building with your audience.

There are a number of different elements to increase the open rate of your small business emails. We’ve discussed some of the more advanced tactics to increase your email marketing success including:

These tips are brilliant for creating a sleek email marketing strategy to drive visitors back to your site and increase interaction with your content. In addition to optimising who receives and how often they receive your emails, you can also optimise when to send your emails.

Optimising Your Sending Time

There have been numerous studies researching the best time and day to send your emails. One study of over one billion sent emails found 7% of all emails were opened between 2pm and 3pm and approximately 28% of all emails were opened between midday and 5pm. The study found very few emails were opened in the morning with only 12% opened between 8am and 12 noon.

The evening was far more productive than the morning with approximately 23.5% off the emails opened between 5pm and midnight. This study however only looked at when the emails were opened and did not identify when they were sent.

An Experian study on the other hand did look into the sending time. The research found the open rates for emails were higher when they were sent in the evening. Those sent between 8pm and midnight had an average unique open rate of 21.7%. It is generally considered this is because the number of emails received at this time is lower and therefore there is less competition.

The same study also found the late evening emails had a slightly higher than average revenue per email.

Which Day Of The Week To Send Your Small Business Email?

Sending your small business email on the right day is also important. It is generally considered Monday and Friday are not the best days for your email to be sent.

This is because Monday receivers are generally recovering from their weekends and are looking to get a head start on their week’s main tasks. Therefore, their focus is away from their inbox. Friday is seen as a bad option because your contacts are likely trying to finish off tasks for the weekend and don’t want to start something new.

Generally, people think that this leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the main options for sending emails. While these days do receive a higher amount of email traffic and generally 17-18% of emails are opened on these days – research would seem to suggest there is a better option.

Weekend Readers

Data from Harland Clarke suggests emails sent on a Wednesday have an average open rate of 15.6%. In contrast, an email sent on Saturday is likely to be opened by nearly a third of receivers.

Harland Clarke suggests the reason for this is competition. While the majority of emails are sent on a Wednesday (26.9%) only a small proportion are sent on Saturday (5.5%).

Testing When Your Best Send Time Is

However, the best time for your email marketing may be different and the only way to know for sure is to conduct a test. Try doing a split test and send half your list an email on one day and the half on another day. Do this for several weeks and then swap the poor performing day with another day. Repeat the process until you have a day which consistently performs well.

You can also do the same with the timing of your emails.

Take Action:

  • Test when your email marketing campaigns should be sent.
  • Let us know how your testing has gone in the comments.

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5 New Ways To Make Your Small Business Email Stand Out

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The success of your email marketing campaigns will often depend on how you design your content. There are several elements you can implant within your emails to make them stand out from your competitors. An email which is unique and captures the imagination or interest of the reader will lead to a better click through rate.

So what could you include in your small business emails to make them stand out and achieve success?

1. Videos

Videos are very effective when it comes to marketing. Audiences feel more connection to moving images and a voice providing information and are more likely to take action when included in emails. According to studies, videos in emails can increase the click through rate by up to 300% and the conversions by an estimated 45%.

However, only 58% of your audience can see videos embedded in your emails. The other 42% will be shown a “fallback image”, which has to be manually linked to a page hosting the video.

2. Animated GIF Images

Animated GIF images are a collection of images which create a slideshow creating the illusion of moving images. They can look very attractive and are accepted by most email viewing software. Most animated GIF images are created to showcase entertaining clips. However, Sprout Social used a GIF slideshow to demonstrate how to use their new mobile interface.

If used sparingly, customers react very well to GIFs and will share your emails with their peers. You can also experience a significant increase in interactions. Using only one animated GIF per four emails is probably the recommended level.

3. In-email calculator

Include a calculator within the body of your email to increase interaction with your audience. This calculator can be designed to measure how much your business can save the potential customer in a year or how much a project might cost.

You can set the calculator to send you a notification when the calculator has been used, who used it and what the results were. You can then use these to contact the customer with specific sales information to close the deal.

4. Audio

There are very few email marketing campaigns which have audio. The general consensus is that audio has no place in a visual based marketing avenue. However, audio can be powerful. Recent studies demonstrated certain songs can make people feel good. Audio is also known to encourage interactivity.

Good ideas for including audio are:

  • If you are musician and want to include an example of your latest release.
  • If you are a public speaker and want to include a sample of a speech you recently made.
  • If you have recently released a podcast and want people to download it.

5. Infographics

Infographics are a brilliant marketing tool and are often used on blogs and social media to draw attention to a brand. Take it one step further by including it as an email. Infographics are so successful because they can contain a wealth of information and are easy to read for the audience.

You do need to ensure that your infographic still contains all the basic elements of a successful email campaign such as a good call to action and inviting title. However, you may find shares and interaction are greatly increased when an infographic is used.

Conclusion

There are significant options for your marketing team to create innovative and interesting email campaigns designed to inspire your audience.

Take Action:

  • Design an infographic, GIF animation or video and insert that into a future campaign.
  • Create and send a calculator into the body of your next email.
  • Release a sample of your latest public speaking event or podcast.

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What Website Pages Should You Link To From Your Small Business Emails

"Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Driving traffic to your website is the primary goal of any email marketing campaign. Deciding which web page to direct your audience to from your email can be a difficult decision. There are so many different options available that just one link may not seem enough, but at the same time too many links will seem like spam to your readers.

The best option is to consider two links in every email. This gives your audience flexibility and allows you two touch points to attract readers back to your website.

So what two website pages should you consider? Here is a list of some choices and their advantages and disadvantages.

Home Page

The most common option for small businesses is to include the homepage on their emails. The major problem with the home page is that it isn’t specific enough to give the reader any valuable interaction or you extra information on the customer. Relying on the customer to navigate your site to find something to process them further down the sales paths is wasteful. It is more likely they would look at a few non-specific pages or leave your site.

Contact Us Page

Email marketing is all about getting the audience to interact with you. Therefore, the contact us page sounds like the perfect option. It encourages readers to contact your sales team for them to close the deal.

Though, a contact page serves no real purpose in an email campaign. The contact details for your business can be easily included at the bottom of your email. Anti-spam laws across the world also insist your physical address is included on the email. Readers will not find a contact page enticing and they will only go there if they have a problem.

A Blog Post

One of the best aspects of an email campaign is the ability to deliver useful content to your potential customers. The information should be something which they find valuable and is actionable. That is why extending that information with content from your blog could be a good option.

It is a way to demonstrate your industry authority as well as encouraging audiences to read more of your content. The more they read of your content, the higher the chance they make a final decision about whether they will buy from you.

However, the blog post does little to help you progress the audience down the sales path. Therefore, while the blog post may be highly useful, it is more of a secondary link. It should perhaps be included in the text and used as evidence for statistics.

A Product Page

A product page is probably another highly used option on email campaigns. It certainly would allow for your audience to be pushed down the sales path and allow you to collect some instant revenue from the campaign.

However, if you push your contacts too quickly they may feel pressured into buying a product. This can cause them to unsubscribe, robbing you of a potential lifelong customer.

Landing Page

Creating a landing page and having a precise action upon it, allows you to collect specific information on what currently interests your contacts. This can then help you with list segregation and tailored emails to specifically target groups; increasing conversion rates and the return on investment for your email marketing.

Conclusion

There are several options for links from your email marketing campaigns. Each option is perfect for different audiences and careful thought is needed in what is right for your readers. Selecting the ideal web page can support your business in knowing what your customers want, processing leads and generating revenue.

Take Action:

  • See what links your audience have been clicking through on previous emails.
  • Select a link which you think is best for your audience and add it to your next email marketing campaign.

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Are Your Small Business Emails Optimized For Smartphones?

"Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Email marketing is constantly evolving. New trends are continuously being implemented allowing email to continue to be one of the most successful online marketing avenues. One of the current trends is the growth in emails being read on a Smartphone.

According to statistics, 90% of Smartphone owners will access the same email accounts from their device as their desktop and just under half of emails opened are viewed on a mobile device.

Emails opened on a Smartphone also have a higher percentage of unique clicks, and emails tend to be read for longer, even when compared to other mobile devices and desktops.

To take advantage of this trend you need to ensure that your email design is optimised so that it can be read on a Smartphone. Here are some of the design elements you can use to ensure this.

1. Restrict Your Use Of Images

Keeping your emails clear of excessive image use is an important aspect for mobile-optimized email campaigns. Using too many images means it takes longer for the email to load on the phone and the potential customer will click off your email before they’ve read it.

Use one relevant image for the email. Ensure that it is not too big either, or you’ll suffer the same problem.

2. Have a Responsive Template

If you are using a predesigned template, then make certain the design is responsive. A responsive design will automatically adjust the view so it fits the screen it is being viewed upon, whether a desktop, tablet or Smartphone.

3. Watch Your Words

Some phones will only display a certain length of the subject line. Therefore you have to ensure your subject line is less than 30 characters. If you have to have a longer title, make the key components of the title within those first few characters.

Some phones will also give more priority to the “from” label. There is little you can do about this apart from to make sure your emails are being sent from an email address which has a name attached to it. Sending emails from a Sales@ or customerservice@ often get opened less, no matter what device is currently being used.

4. Body Text

The body of your email also needs special attention paid to it. Shorter paragraphs are easier for the reader to digest and because your reader is likely to be on the go, have the key points mentioned at the very beginning. Otherwise your message could be forgotten when they are distracted by something going on around them.

5. Linking

Links on phones can look rather clumsy. Reduce the amount of links to just two. These links should not be close together as this can be distracting and reduce the click-through rate.

6. Use Buttons

Because most Smartphones have touch screens; create links to content using buttons rather than in-text hyperlinks. This is far easier for the user to select the link they want. To aid this, have significant space around the button to avoid the user clicking upon the wrong item.

7. Link To Mobile Friendly Websites

Any link needs to direct the reader to a mobile friendly site. Otherwise your reader will be disappointed with a poor looking site and will take no further action with your brand.

Conclusion

Having a mobile friendly email is not a difficult task, keep elements simple and strip down most of the advanced features that were once a trend. A quality email designed for mobile, with the rise of users accessing their emails online, will allow you to achieve more from your campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Have a look at your last few emails and see if there are improvements you can make to ensure your emails are Smartphone friendly.
  • Test your new email design to see how it looks on a Smartphone.

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Who Should Manage Your Small Business Email Newsletter?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Running a small business email newsletter campaign can be challenging as there are several responsibilities other than simply clicking send for each marketing message. That is why some businesses outsource their email marketing to services which specialise in this style of marketing.

For some, outsourcing is not an option and instead they have to manage the email marketing in-house. There is also the option of going hybrid and having some of the email marketing handled by a service provider and some in-house. Here is a breakdown of each option, their advantages and disadvantages and how you can get the most out of each method to generate your email marketing content.

Fully In-house

In-house development of your email marketing campaign certainly has its benefits. The fact that you have someone on the inside of your business creating and sending out your mail allows you to maintain your brand’s voice and therefore your entire marketing is aligned! This can often be a factor in the long term success of conversions. This method can also offer substantial savings, yet that doesn’t always mean cost effectiveness.

On the other hand, there are problems. Unless you hire someone to maintain your email marketing full time then you are going to be doing the work yourself or have a member of your staff do it who has other responsibilities. This can cause problems in busy times when they don’t have the necessary time to offer proper maintenance of the email list.

This can result in missing email deadlines, something which could lead to the loss of email subscribers.

Another issue is that your staff member may not be the best writer, email designer or have another key skill missing. Any of these can affect the quality of your email and therefore cut your conversion rate down.

If you do go down this path it is important that you do several things to ensure the best quality:

1. Hire someone who has experience in writing sales / brand messaging.

2. Give the individual the time to complete their email marketing responsibilities. This may mean taking them off other responsibilities at email release times.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a good option for those who know that they don’t have the time or expertise to manage their email marketing. Top quality content can be written, delivered and monitored for a price which is suitable for your business. This can allow you and your team to concentrate on what you do best – providing your service to your customers.

Yet there are risks when going down this route. Firstly you have to ensure that the provider is legitimate. If the provider has a bad record online then your emails are going to be sent to spam folders. Also they might be able to send the emails, but they might not be able to write them or capture your brand’s voice.

Any of these problems occurring could mean your contacts question your professionalism, and you may lose subscribers and conversions.

Yet this method can offer a vital component to the marketing, statistics. Statistics allow you to fine-tune your marketing and find out what’s successful and what isn’t. If you don’t know how to monitor your email statistics this might be a good option.

To make outsourcing work, ensure the following:

1. You see examples of work for previous clients of the outsourcing company.

2. You are put into contact with previous clients to speak to them about how they found the service.

3. You add yourself onto the subscriber list to make sure emails are being delivered properly. Sometimes it is best to add you and three or four of your team members as well.

Hybrid Service

Having a hybrid service may be your best option. This is where you are outsourcing what you cannot do and completing the tasks which you are able to manage. You might want to outsource the sending and analysis of the results or the content writing.

This method can be more expensive than that of in-house email marketing, but it can offer you more control while maintaining high standards. Ensure however that you have an effective workflow when you have different individuals working on the various elements of the email campaign to guarantee meeting deadlines.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective online marketing methods. It is also a massive undertaking for anyone, let alone a small business team that may be pressed for time. Ensure you are doing the best for your business and consider the options above to make your small business email marketing a success.

Take Action:

  • Make a decision on whether you want to have your small business email managed in-house, out of house or by mixing the two options.

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