Email Marketing to your own database
Email is the original communications method for the Internet. Everyone needs an email address to be contacted digitally and it is the digital equivalent of a street address. Email marketing very similar to direct marketing in that it involves sending individual messages to individual people. Some marketing consultants would say that email is the digital way of performing direct marketing but which ever way you look at it you need to start with a database of names (ideally) and email addresses.
Your email marketing database, privacy and opting in
Most small businesses use either Microsoft Outlook (or Microsoft Exchange) to manage their regular sending and receiving of email messages or Google Gmail (and Google Apps). These systems both have the capacity for you to add contacts and send messages to all of those contacts so some business owners and managers consider this email marketing and it is. The problem is that this method is not fully AntiSPAM compliant and even if you tried to be compliant you’d be spending a LOT of time remove email address of people who don’t want to receive your marketing messages.
Privacy concerns and the ability to enable people to subscribe AND unsubscribe have spawned a huge number of companies who manage the entire email marketing process for you. These companies include:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
- Active Campaign
- and more
Cloud or self-hosted email marketing software
The most common way of managing an email server was in a server cabinet in your office and this was called self-hosted because you (or your IT consultant) managed your own server and it’s connection to the Internet. Self hosted is more and more beginning to mean that you manage your server but your server is a virtual server and just one little part of the hardware of a much bigger company which focuses on the hardware and internet connection (a data centre) while you and your IT people manage the software that is running on it. This method is still much more costly than simply using cloud based software.
Cloud-based software includes software like MailChimp and Xero where a company not only provides the software that performs the functions you want, but also the hardware and Internet connection needed to make it available 99.9% of the time.
The appeal of MailChimp and other Cloud software services
The biggest appeal of these systems is that they’ll make sure their software and server are running all the time so you can just use the software for the purpose you intend. Better still many work using a freemium model where you can use a basic version of the software for free until your email marketing database gets bigger.
The freemium model that is used by companies like MailChimp make it convenient to use their software to manage all of your initial email marketing while your business is just small and then continue to use it for paying a low monthly subscription fee each month as your email marketing database grows.
These software programs then focus on continuously improving their software to give you every conceivable function you could possibly want.
Email Marketing Open rates, clicks and Analytics
Once you start sending messages to your database you will
- increase traffic to your website,
- measure your website analytics and conversion rates,
- let your customers know about your current special offers or just remind them that you are available to help them again
Importing, adding to and writing messages
Once you’re clear that you need to start doing email marketing for your business the hardest parts are:
- Collecting and Importing your data
- establishing a way to continuously adding new details to your email list
- figuring out what to write
That’s where we can help. Ready to get started? Get a FREE Digital Marketing Consultation