How To Use Email Opt-In Offers To Attract More Subscribers

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

You email subscription list needs constant maintenance. Part of that job is removing old subscribers from your list so that those who are hard bouncing or not responding to your emails are no longer receiving your content.

The problem is that when you remove contacts from your list, your contacts list shrinks, giving you less opportunity to make a return on your email marketing campaigns. To avoid this you should look into adding names to your list. This is mostly done via an opt-in form that is either embedded on a web page or ‘pop-ups’ after an action has occurred.

Simply requesting the users details may persuade some people to sign up to your email list, but the vast majority of people will not just sign up. Instead you should look into giving something away for their contact details. This is a much better way to entice your website visitors to sign up.

Why Are Offers So Effective?

Email addresses are valuable. When businesses are sold, the number of addresses on their contacts list can form part of the valuation. Consumers know this and they have a vested interest in keeping the number of organisations who have their contact details down to a minimum.

Therefore, you need to give them a reason why they should sign up to your mailing list. Simply stating that they’ll receive more information every so often is not going to be highly effective – every business could offer that promise. You need something unique; an offer that will invoke their imagination and will be highly valuable to them.

What Can Be Offered?

There are a variety of options for your opt-in offer. Many organisations offer a free quote. This can be good for those businesses where customers have bespoke prices depending on the work that needs to be done.

An uncommitted potential customer now could be a loyal customer in the future, but only 30% of those who land on your website will ever find their way back.

Therefore, consider creating information you are willing to provide in exchange for their contact details. This information can be presented to the subscriber in many different formats such as:

  • An auto-responder email system.
  • A whitepaper.
  • An ebook.
  • A locked area of your website.
  • A free application (or a lite version)
  • A trial of your service.

The latter of these is very inefficient and should only be considered as a last resort. However, any of the other three options are very common. The first option, an auto-responder series is highly effective as it regularly reminds your audience of your brand.

However, the real power of the offer is that the audience will find it valuable. Therefore, giving advice like “how to…” and “X number of ways to…” are perfect options.

How Can You Deliver Ebooks, Whitepapers Or Apps?

If you decide to offer your subscribers an ebook, whitepaper o app there are various options for delivering on your offer. The first is through an autoresponder. That is, when the visitor signs up for your email you automatically send them an email to confirm their subscription and provide an attachment of the ebook or whitepaper.

If you use this option you should also include a confirmation link, so they confirm they have signed up to your email marketing list. Otherwise you may breech CAN-SPAM laws.

Another option is to send the visitor back to a secure page on your website where your customer can download the document. This can be effective as it is a double opt-in (where two actions have to be taken to confirm sign-up) and therefore conforms with best practices and CAN-SPAM laws.

Conclusion

Email marketing lists need constant maintenance. Removing old contacts is important, but so is the process of adding new contacts. One of the most efficient ways of adding new subscribers is to offer something valuable in exchange for contact details. This could be a free quote, but more than often it is an ebook or whitepaper. These are highly effective and can really grow your marketing list. The more on your email list – the higher chance you have to make a return on your email campaigns.

What offer do your new subscribers have? How many offers do you have?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Create more offers for your website to encourage more sign-ups.

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3 Email Etiquette Rules To Observe

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways for your business to sell to its target audience. If used correctly, it is highly trusted by those who have opted-in to receive your marketing messages. Research has shown that those who have already interacted with your brand are likely to buy from your email content.

To be able to achieve these results however, you need to be following strict email marketing etiquette. Some of these rules are not just because consumers will dislike your content and perhaps remove themselves from your list, but also because they would violate laws in various countries.

So what are three of the most important email marketing etiquette rules you must observe?

1. Use A Third Party Email Provider

When you are creating an email list for your party or family newsletter, creating a long blind-copy or group list is fine. However, when you want to engage your target audience, you need to use a professional email marketing service.

There are several reasons for this which will impact how professional your marketing content will look to the receiver. For instance:

  • An email marketing provider allows you to include an opt-out link for those who want to unsubscribe.
  • You can’t scale up your email marketing campaigns when you have a successful business or a large list.
  • It is easier to make mistakes when using a general mail client rather than an email marketing software program.

A professional service will also provide you with more functionality such as email list segregation, stylish templates, monitoring of campaign success and automation. While these can be done manually, it would take valuable time away from your business and subsequently lower the return of investment in your email marketing campaigns.

2. Gain Permission Before Emailing A Contact

Don’t assume you have permission because you have received contact details via a business card, telephone call or because they have followed you on social media. Instead seek permission by either having them sign up through your website or getting them to write down their permission on a sign-up sheet.

This isn’t just polite, because no-one likes to receive something they don’t want to but it can also be a legal requirement. According to marketing laws, you must have sought permission from any individual you email. An individual is counted as anyone who is not attached to a business, is not in a limited company or if the email address has identifiable information included within it.

Therefore, legally, you can only send cold-emails to addresses like sales@website.com or customerservice@website.com. There is no telling who will be monitoring these email addresses and it is unlikely to be a decision maker.

3. Give Subscribers The Opportunity To Opt-Out At Any Time And Easily

The final rule is another legal requirement, especially in America where it is part of the CAN-SPAM laws. You must give subscribers the opportunity to say they no longer want to receive your email marketing messages. This can easily be done by your email marketing provider with a simple link to automatically unsubscribe them from the list.

In addition, you should also manually remove those who request via email that you remove them from your mailing list. This may take some time, but is a legal requirement.

It is also important because if too many people report you for sending spam, your server can be blacklisted and this will make it harder for you to send marketing emails.

Conclusion

These email marketing etiquette rules are to protect the customer and build trust with them. Significant benefits can be had from following them, mainly that your company’s server will not be blacklisted allowing you to send content to all your contacts. This in turn will improve the return on investment from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Assess your email marketing behaviours against these rules.
  • Make changes that are required.

Do you have any other email marketing etiquette rules to suggest? What mistakes do you often see from other companies?

Let us know in the comments below.

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How To Build Your Email Marketing Momentum In 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

2015 could be your small business’ year to make email marketing one of your best sales avenues. With an increase in email marketing results you will see an improvement in revenue and profits without spending a significant increase in costs.

If you want your email marketing to be a triumph this year, then you need to be prepared and build your marketing processes for success. Here is a process to do just that and create momentum that will carry you through 2015 and beyond.

1. Segregate Your Email Marketing List

The first thing you should do is to split your current email marketing contacts list into several sub-lists. Not everyone who is interested in receiving mail from you will be interested in the same thing: some will be new to your small business, others will be old customers or some will have bought certain products that have potential add-ons.

You need to establish which sub-groups your email marketing strategy could utilise and then place members into these groups. This doesn’t mean that you can’t send an email to everyone, but this should be rarely done as you target your contacts based on their behaviours and their position in your sales funnel.

2. Plan What You Want To Publish

Email marketing is not something that you can just create quickly and send off. It takes careful planning and strategising. You don’t want to be sending too many emails with the same subject or topic in a short space of time; nor do you want to be leaving off popular topics.

To avoid this, you need to plan in advance what topics you are going to publish and when. It should also include which sub-list you would like to send the content to.

3. Create Content

To ensure you don’t fall behind on your email marketing campaigns, your content should be created at least two or three weeks in advance. This gives you time to strategise, create, edit and schedule in your emails. It also lowers the stress from having a tight deadline and allows your creativity to be better.

You can start to create content in Microsoft Word or another word processor and then edit it. After this, drop it into your email marketing management program and create the template.

4. Create A Template And Schedule Emails

If you haven’t already, creating a template is really important. It creates a sense of consistency with your email marketing list and this can be more beneficial than you realise. Consistency will instil a professional image for your small business and people will become accustomed with your email’s design. Eventually they may look forward to receiving your content.

Once you have designed your email template, you can create your emails in advance and schedule them to go out at a specific time.

5. List Generation

Next you need to maintain the momentum by continuously growing your list. There are several ways you can do this including using a static form to requests details when visitors land on your website. Alternatively, you can use a pop-up to appear after about 15 seconds to request details from your visitors.

Finally, there is the option to offer your visitors a free gift in exchange for their contact details. The gift can be anything from free content on the website, a downloadable e-book, a free review or something else. For this you can be really imaginative. As long as you are providing something of value, and generating traffic, you will have new contacts to your list.

6. Maintain Your List

At the same time as generating contacts for your list, you should be maintaining those already signed up. This might mean moving them to a different sub-group or removing them because they haven’t responded or interacted with your email for some time.

Removing contacts isn’t a bad option as it allows you to concentrate on those who are really interested and provides better statistical analysis of whether your email content is desired by your email marketing list.

Conclusion

These processes will help you supercharge your email marketing campaigns for 2015. Then you can better process your email marketing leads to achieve good sales, high revenue and better profits.

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5 New Ways Small Businesses Can Spice Up Email Newsletters

 Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. The only problem is that the majority of businesses online are now using email to contact and sell to the same people you are contacting. These can be direct competitors or businesses offering substitute goods. This can be bad news for your email marketing campaigns as it limits the effectiveness of your message; unless, you find a way to stand apart from these competitors and spice up your email newsletter.

There are several ways you can do this. Here are five options for you to consider.

1. Using A Preview Image For A Video

Videos are very intensive to send via email. To avoid this, most businesses use a simple link to a video on YouTube or another video sharing website. This can often lead to a poor video viewing numbers. Yet, videos can be highly effectively in the sales process. Therefore, use an image from the video that looks impressive to entice your audience to click on it and find out more.

You should also consider hosting the video on your website. This way you can set up better monitoring to see how effective the video was at increasing page views.

2. Keep Your Text Short And Snappy

If you really want your audience to read your emails and then click through to your website, don’t place all your content within the email. This only encourages the audience to read the email copy and then either click off your email or delete it. You want them to visit your site and therefore, the best option is to get them there to read the content.

Use teaser paragraphs or descriptions of the content on your email copy and then link them to the full article on your blog or on a landing page.

3. Humour

Comedy is not used frequently enough within the online marketing realm; yet it is one of the best tactics for engaging your audience. Emails containing humour are often shared more via email and social media than those without. This can grow your brand’s online footprint and email marketing list.

Ensure all jokes are clean, short and funny. They cannot be sexual, sexist, racist or in any other way offensive – otherwise you may grab headlines, but not for the right reasons.

4. Competitions

People love to win and entering a competition is one way to achieve that. By offering them that chance through your email marketing campaigns is a way your brand can satisfy their need to compete. The prize doesn’t need to be expensive as long as it something that will have value to the customer.

Ensure that your competition isn’t just related to one email. Promote it over several emails and encourage people to share the emails with their friends and family to gain more tickets or chances to win the prize.

5. Quotes To Inspire And Motivate

Whether you are engaging customers who are already buying or attempting to attract new customers, using quotes from famous people is likely to grab their attention. Quote sites are very popular and are often categorised by industry and type of quote, so finding a good quote for your business is not going to be difficult.

Don’t go overboard, but if you include one good quote from an inspirational person you will be sure to grab some attention. Experiment with where to place the quote as different audience may prefer different placement.

Conclusion

The email marketing landscape is becoming a very busy place. Many of your competitors are likely to delivering their content to your target audiences at the same time as you. Therefore, you need to create content that is highly effective and a little different. One of the best ways: use techniques that will add a little spice to the content and allow your emails to look different to your competitors’.

Take Action:

  • Add a new element into your email marketing design.

What do you use to spice up your content? How effective has it been?

Let us know in the comments below.

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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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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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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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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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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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How To Use Current Events From LinkedIn To Create Email Content

Group of people conversingUsing current events in your marketing mix is an excellent method of developing content which will resonate with your audience. Current events are more likely to attract the attention of your audience and encourage them to read your emails.

‘Events’ don’t have to be about the latest news. It could be covering the most recent trends or the latest problems which your target audience are experiencing at the time.

Discovering what the current issues, trends or news is in your industry are, can be difficult in this fast moving world.

However there is an excellent tool out there which can support your content generation: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is one of the best places to find content because part of the social media platform is essentially like a forum where users discuss what issues are affecting them. By joining these groups you can discover what is currently affecting their lives.

You may also be able to get some ideas for your content through direct messaging or through shared articles.

From there you could make a list of topics and do research on how you can solve those problems.

Quoting

If you are particularly social in the groups which you are a member of, you could contact those who have made interesting comments and request permission to use their words in your content. This could be particularly useful as a quoted comment in your content has more authority than if you simply write the text as if it is all from you.

This is also another method of marketing your brand and perhaps having more signatories to your email newsletter and perhaps someone else who is willing to share your newsletter across their social media profiles because you have mentioned them.

Research

Another benefit of finding topics for discussion through LinkedIn is that the audience have probably already completed a lot of research for you. You should take what the group say with a pinch of salt, but there is a chance they would have shared articles or news items which back up what they say – therefore you can spend less time in researching the topic and give your content more authority.

You should include links to this research in your email marketing so your readers can see where you have collected the information from.

The Content

This style of email newsletter suits businesses which like to give very informative and highly valuable content. Essentially, the newsletter is a demonstration of your skills and expertise, offering a preview of the support or solutions you can provide your customers.

In your email you should ensure a story is told. There should be a set up of the problem, the solution and an idea which the audience can action themselves.

Make sure your audience can share the content socially with social media buttons and there is a link to either similar content on your blog or a related blog.

Further Benefits

If you post old versions of your email newsletters online, you can benefit additionally from the content because it is likely people will be using search engines to find articles on the topic you have written about. A good email should have a keyword density which can be easily indexed by the search engines on your website.

Conclusion

LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for reaching out to your customer base, as long as you use the information it provides to its full potential. The information it can provide is reliable, timely and relevant to your audience and therefore they will enjoy reading and interacting with your email content.

Take Action:

  • Have a look on LinkedIn and use some of the conversations you read for your next email newsletter

Do you use social media for conversation generation?

Let us know in the comments below.

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