Posted by Paladin on August 23, 2017
If you are using email to market your business, it’s a smart idea to employ an email marketing service.
Not only will it save you time and money, but it may even save your sanity. The right tool will make your email marketing efforts manageable and cost-effective. It also allows you full control in the creation of valued relationships with your clientele.
Building Your List
Email marketing isn’t worth your time if you don’t have an email list. The easiest way to build a list is by simply asking your clients if they’d like to sign up. It’s a great way they can stay on top of news about your business and the products or services is offers. Many people want to know about sales and promotions in advance or about any special occasions or events taking place. Also, you can treat the email list a de facto VIP list: offering exclusive coupons and special sale hours for those on the list. You can quickly generate and build a robust email list if you provide the proper motivation!
What Your Email Marketing Service Should Do for You
Finding the right email marketing service shouldn’t be difficult. First, determine which features are essential for your needs. Second, determine which features aren’t. Finally, select the email marketing service that offers more of the former than the latter. Here are a few options you should consider. Many of these features employ time and money-saving automation features which will help you achieve and maintain the edge over your competitors.
- List Management: create, name and maintain multiple email lists.
- Contact Management: automatically eliminates duplicate contacts upon upload. Identifies and eliminates hard bounces. You can include contact information beyond just names and email addresses. Information such as including phone numbers, mailing addresses and zip codes that can help you more effectively sort and segment your contacts for the sake of your marketing efforts. This feature will automatically delete contacts who unsubscribe from your list and will alert you to the contacts who were unable to receive the messages at all.
- Wide Variety of Email Templates: different audiences and different content may require a different layout. Seek out a service offering a diverse selection of prefab templates and greater customization options.
- Easy Tracking: track and compare important metrics like delivery rates, hard bounces (i.e. message undeliverable due to an email address no longer existing) and soft bounces (i.e. message undeliverable due to an inbox being full), open rates, click through rates, sales, and earnings per click.
- Easy and Customizable Reports: turn those metrics into intuitive visual aides and relevant reports.
- Social Media Sharing Tools: make sharing your content across the major social media networks as easy as a click for your end user.
- Image Library: your image library should be as visually engaging and diverse as your verbal content.
- 24/7 Live Chat Support: if your software is not working properly, ensure your chosen service has a reliable tech support team who can be contacted easily, whenever you may need them.
- Community Support: some software companies host Q&A forums where users can pool their vital knowledge for each other’s benefit.
- Autoresponders: no matter what action end users may take with your email (e.g. unsubscribe, RSVP, request more information, claim an offer, et al), ensure that a pre-written email is automatically delivered to them to serve as another vital touchpoint in order to create brand awareness.
- Delivery Schedulers: sets specific days and times when emails are delivered to certain contact lists.
- Free or Inexpensive Plans: take advantage of free trials. Test out a variety of potential email marketing services before you sign up for any length of time with a certain service.
Beyond that, we encourage you to research services that offer free educational videos to help you learn new tricks of the trade at your own pace that you can reference at your convenience.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is “a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” The last thing you want is having your email list shut down and owing hefty fines for violations of the act’s provisions. Here are a few tips to keep you in compliance:
- Make sure your header information matches your business, including email addresses.
- The subject line must match the content of the email.
- Identify the message as an ad, either early on or at the bottom, and be clear and conspicuous with the disclosure.
- Include your physical address within the email.
- Include a way to opt out of the email list clearly and conspicuously.
- Honor opt-outs in a timely manner, within 10 business days and without charging a fee. You also cannot ask for identifying information beyond an email address.
- Monitor what your service is doing. You are still responsible if your email marketing service is not compliant. That includes being responsible for paying the fines.
However, a good service will make sure that you are in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. Their reputation depends on it!